Founded in the mid-1930s, the Department of Linguistics at the University of Chicago is the oldest linguistics department in the United States.
We are theory-oriented with a deep empirical interest in languages. One of the outstanding characteristics of this department is our commitment to a wide range of approaches to the study of language. Interdisciplinary, interdepartmental study is encouraged, and students regularly work with faculty in several other departments.
The faculty are involved in synchronic and diachronic research on languages from around the world. These varied interests are reflected in the range of topics of the dissertations that have been written in the Department.
Graduate students are expected to become active researchers as soon as possible after their arrival here. Many students come with strong undergraduate training in linguistics, or with a Master's degree; others come with strong training in fields such as philosophy, mathematics, or a particular language or language group.
Statement on our Support for Black Lives
This message is to express and assert our collective support for Black members of our community — students, colleagues, friends and neighbors — who are carrying an extraordinarily painful burden during these already very distressing times. The pandemic has highlighted the structural racial disparities endemic to the communities we form and the city we inhabit, with Black lives being lost at an incredibly disproportional rate. In recent months and days, we have again seen a series of murders of Black men and women by vigilante White civilians (Ahmaud Arbery) and the police (Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd), as well as explicit legitimization for devaluing Black lives by the President. We see and hear and share the great pain and rage that these dehumanizing injustices are causing to Black communities all over the country, including our own immediate and extended communities, and we cannot be silent about it, because Black lives — the lives of our students, colleagues, coworkers, friends and neighbors — matter.
—The University of Chicago Department of Linguistics
The Department of Linguistics' Statement on Diversity and Inclusion
The Department of Linguistics at the University of Chicago is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment where we value difference, in all of its forms, including race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, language, abilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, and national origin. The University’s Diversity and Inclusion website highlights efforts being made across all branches of the University to promote inclusion and diversity amongst members of the University and Hyde Park communities. In addition, Student Disability Services, Student Support Services, the Office of LGBTQ Student Life, and the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs all provide resources and assistance to students, faculty, and staff.