Northeastern Illinois University

Linguistics Department


Main Linguistics Office
3050 Lech Walesa Hall
3601 Bryn Mawr Ave
Chicago, Illinois 60625
Phone: 773-442-5871


Welcome to the Linguistics Department

The Linguistics department at NEIU was established in the early 1970s, in the hey-day of modern linguistics. Since that time, the department and program have evolved to keep in step with changes in the field and in our student population. What has remained consistent is the quality education, the dedicated faculty and a challenging and exciting curriculum students have come to expect.

For nearly four decades, our students have used their MA in Linguistics to pursue and further their careers in many areas including curriculum design, publishing, academia, forensics, language documentation and revitalization, among other careers.

Click here to view a printable version of our MA Program brochure

Click here to view a printable version of our Undergraduate Minor Program brochure

We understand that students who embark on the journey to mastery in a discipline do so for a variety of reasons: career enhancement or change, curiosity and love of learning, self-discovery, and ultimately personal fulfillment. Our program provides depth and breadth in the discipline of linguistics — offering opportunities for personal and professional growth; developing students' knowledge, expertise and skills; and building confidence.

Our carefully designed curriculum provides students with a solid foundation in the study and understanding of human language as a convergence of genetic, psychological and social systems, and networks. We train students to critically examine and analyze the world within and around them — a skill that can be applied to teaching, curriculum development, corporate cultures, legal contexts, intercultural communication, forensics, artificial intelligence, publishing, counseling, and child development. Knowledge of how and why we communicate brings us closer to understanding who we are and how we can affect our worlds.

Through their course work and hands-on research, students will be introduced to:

• The nature and structure of language;
• The principles and methods of language analysis;
• The relationship between language and cultural, national, social, and personal identity;
• The role of language as a mediator of intercultural understanding.

Through their active professional development and research, our faculty brings rich and varied expertise to the program. Our faculty's areas of expertise and interest include Discourse Analysis and Identity studies, Multiple Language Acquisition, Language Contact, World Englishes, Origins of Language, Syntax/Semantic Interface, and Historical Linguistics — as well as work in the structure of a variety of languages such as French, Persian, Japanese, Crow, and Lakhota.

Career Opportunities

An MA in linguistics is a recognized asset for careers within social and behavioral sciences, especially those concerned with language policies and practices in multilingual settings as well as in the following professions:

• Academia
• Language teaching
• Natural Language Processing (AI)
• Computational Linguistics
• Bilingual Education
• Technical Writer
• Translation
• Lexicography
• Curriculum Development
• Law
• Market Research
• Publishing
• Political Messaging

• Foreign Service
• Copywriting
• Interpreting
• Social Work
• Grant and Proposal Development
• Journalism
• Speech Pathology and therapy
• Audiology
• Communication Disorders Specialist
• Social Media
• Public Relations
• Product branding

See what the Linguistics Society of America has to say about the benefits of having a lingusitics degree.

CNN reports that linguistics is one of the 10 overlooked majors that can get you a job:

"Linguistics majors study language -- its structure, how it's acquired, how people use it, its history, etc. As globalization continues as an emerging trend in business, those with a linguistics background will become more valued in several fields." See full article


Undergraduate Advisor

Richard W. Hallett
Professor, Coordinator, Undergraduate Advisor
Office: LWH-3069, Phone: 773-442-5879, email address:

Graduate Advisors

Judith Kaplan-Weinger
Professor, Graduate Advisor
Office: LWH-3070, Phone: 773-442-5877, email address:

Shahrzad Mahootian
Professor, Graduate Advisor
Office: LWH-3068, Phone: 773-442-5875, email address: