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2021 Best Colleges for Foreign Languages & Linguistics

Foreign Languages & Linguistics is a popular major and United States is the most popular state for students studying it. 31,165 of the 31,165 Foreign Languages & Linguistics degrees awarded last year were given by colleges in United States. With so many options it can be a challenge finding the right fit. This year's Best Colleges for Foreign Languages & Linguistics ranking analyzed 185 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in foreign languages and linguistics. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 25 schools for Foreign Languages & Linguistics students.

Choosing a Great Foreign Languages & Linguistics School

Best Colleges for Foreign Languages & Linguistics The foreign languages and linguistics program you select can have a big impact on your future. Important measures of a quality foreign languages and linguistics program can vary widely even among the top schools. Below we explain some of the most important factors to consider before making your choice:

Quality Overall is Important

The overall quality of a school is important to ensure a good education, not just how well they do in a particular major. To account for this we consider a college's overall Best Colleges ranking which itself looks at a collection of different factors like degree completion, educational resources, student body caliber and post-graduation earnings for the school as a whole.

Over 80% of the schools in this list are in the top 14% of our overall quality ranking.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 225 to 1 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Graduates Earn More After College

Foreign Languages & Linguistics graduates from colleges on this list tend to earn more after college than those from other schools. Recent foreign languages and linguistics graduates from U.S. schools with a bachelors degree earned an average of $28,955 in 2017-2018.

Other Factors We Consider

In addition to the above, you should consider some of the following factors:

  • Major Focus - How much a school focuses on Foreign Languages & Linguistics students vs. other majors.
  • Major Popularity - How many other foreign languages and linguistics students choose this school.
  • Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or a recognized foreign languages and linguistics related accrediting body.

Our full ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best schools for Foreign Languages & Linguistics students.

Best Schools to Study Foreign Languages & Linguistics in United States

Learn about the top ranked colleges and universities for foreign languages and linguistics majors. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list. Of the 185 schools analyzed, only 25 earned the distinction of being on this list.

Top 25 Best Foreign Languages & Linguistics Colleges

#1

Gallaudet University

Washington, DC

Gallaudet University is a wonderful option for individuals interested in a Foreign Languages & Linguistics major. Located in the city Washington, Gallaudet is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population. This school ranks 658th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of District of Columbia.

There are about 84 foreign languages and linguistics undergraduates studying this program at Gallaudet.

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Columbia University in the City of New York is among your top options if you want to study foreign languages and linguistics. Located in the large city New York, Columbia is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 32 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Columbia is a great school overall.

There are approximately 235 foreign languages and linguistics undergrads enrolled in this degree at Columbia.

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Brigham Young University - Provo is one of the finest schools in the country for foreign languages and linguistics. BYU is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Provo. This college ranks 109th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Utah.

For those interested in pursuing a higher degree, BYU also offers a Master's Degree in foreign languages and linguistics.

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It's difficult to beat University of Wisconsin - Madison if you want to pursue foreign languages and linguistics as a major. Wisconsin is a fairly large public school located in the large city of Madison. A Best Colleges rank of 76 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Wisconsin is a great school overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Wisconsin also offers 2 different higher degree levels in foreign languages and linguistics, the most popular of which is a Doctor's Degree (Research / Scholarship).

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Located in the city Seattle, UW Seattle is a public college with a fairly large student population. This college ranks 97th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Washington.

There are roughly 270 foreign languages and linguistics undergraduates enrolled in this degree at UW Seattle.

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#6

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN

Located in the large suburb Notre Dame, Notre Dame is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 14 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Notre Dame is a great school overall.

There are about 149 foreign languages and linguistics undergraduates enrolled in this program at Notre Dame.

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#7

Duke University

Durham, NC

Duke is a large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Durham. A Best Colleges rank of 2 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Duke is a great college overall.

Duke University is a fairly popular school to study foreign languages and linguistics in United States exceeding 90 graduates last year.

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VMI is a small public school located in the town of Lexington. This college ranks 188th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Virginia.

With 18 undergraduates, Virginia Military Institute is one of most popular schools to study foreign languages and linguistics in United States.

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UCSB is a very large public school located in the suburb of Santa Barbara. This school ranks 133rd out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

A popular major for foreign languages and linguistics undergraduates, there are about 239 individuals enrolled in this program at UCSB.

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Located in the city University Park, Penn State University Park is a public college with a very large student population. This school ranks 112th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

There are approximately 189 foreign languages and linguistics undergrads enrolled in this degree at Penn State University Park.

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#11

New York University

New York, NY

NYU is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of New York. This school ranks 130th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of New York.

For those interested in something more advanced, NYU also offers 2 different higher degree levels in foreign languages and linguistics, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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UCLA is a very large public school located in the large city of Los Angeles. A Best Colleges rank of 65 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means UCLA is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, UCLA also offers 2 different higher degree levels in foreign languages and linguistics, the most popular of which is a Doctor's Degree (Research / Scholarship).

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#13

College of the Holy Cross

Worcester, MA

Holy Cross is a small private not-for-profit school located in the midsize city of Worcester. A Best Colleges rank of 31 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Holy Cross is a great college overall.

A preferred major for foreign languages and linguistics undergrads, there are approximately 71 students studying this degree at Holy Cross.

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#14

Boston College

Chestnut Hill, MA

Boston College is a large private not-for-profit school located in the small city of Chestnut Hill. A Best Colleges rank of 61 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Boston College is a great college overall.

A popular major for foreign languages and linguistics undergrads, there are about 45 individuals studying this program at Boston College.

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Located in the city Minneapolis, UMN Twin Cities is a public college with a very large student population. This college ranks 124th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Minnesota.

For those interested in something more advanced, UMN Twin Cities also offers 2 different higher degree levels in foreign languages and linguistics, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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Located in the large city Pittsburgh, Pitt is a public school with a very large student population. This college ranks 129th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

For those interested in something more advanced, Pitt also offers 2 different higher degree levels in foreign languages and linguistics, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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UC Santa Cruz is a large public school located in the city of Santa Cruz. This school ranks 292nd out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

For those interested in something more advanced, UC Santa Cruz also offers 2 different higher degree levels in foreign languages and linguistics, the most popular of which is a Doctor's Degree (Research / Scholarship).

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UMass Amherst is a fairly large public school located in the large suburb of Amherst. This college ranks 118th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

For those interested in something more advanced, UMass Amherst also offers 2 different higher degree levels in foreign languages and linguistics, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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#19

University of Virginia - Main Campus

Charlottesville, VA

University of Virginia is a fairly large public school located in the small suburb of Charlottesville. A Best Colleges rank of 42 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means University of Virginia is a great college overall.

There are roughly 213 foreign languages and linguistics undergraduates enrolled in this degree at University of Virginia.

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U of Michigan is a fairly large public school located in the medium-sized city of Ann Arbor. A Best Colleges rank of 38 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means U of Michigan is a great school overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, U of Michigan also offers 2 different higher degree levels in foreign languages and linguistics, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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UT Austin is a very large public school located in the large city of Austin. A Best Colleges rank of 91 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means UT Austin is a great college overall.

There are approximately 228 foreign languages and linguistics undergraduates enrolled in this degree at UT Austin.

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UC Berkeley is a very large public school located in the medium-sized city of Berkeley. A Best Colleges rank of 69 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means UC Berkeley is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, UC Berkeley also offers 2 different higher degree levels in foreign languages and linguistics, the most popular of which is a Doctor's Degree (Research / Scholarship).

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Located in the suburb College Park, UMCP is a public college with a fairly large student population. This school ranks 117th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Maryland.

There are about 155 foreign languages and linguistics undergraduates enrolled in this degree at UMCP.

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#24

Wofford College

Spartanburg, SC

Wofford is a small private not-for-profit school located in the city of Spartanburg. This college ranks 198th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of South Carolina.

Wofford College is one of the most popular school to study foreign languages and linguistics in United States with more than 52 graduates last year.

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#25

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL

Located in the midsize city Gainesville, U of F is a public college with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 85 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means U of F is a great school overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, U of F also offers 2 different higher degree levels in foreign languages and linguistics, the most popular of which is a Doctor's Degree (Research / Scholarship).

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Rest of the Top Best Colleges for Foreign Languages & Linguistics

#27

Emory University

Atlanta, GA

Honorable Mentions

These are some additional schools worth mentioning that are also great but just didn't quite make the cut to earn our top Best Colleges for Foreign Languages & Linguistics award.

Rank College Location
28 Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
29 Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, IN
30 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC
31 Wellesley College Wellesley, MA
32 Ohio State University - Main Campus Columbus, OH
33 University of Oregon Eugene, OR
34 Bucknell University Lewisburg, PA
35 Colgate University Hamilton, NY
36 University of Arizona Tucson, AZ
37 Virginia Tech Blacksburg, VA

Foreign Languages & Linguistics by Region

View the Best Colleges for Foreign Languages & Linguistics for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
The Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

Foreign Languages & Linguistics Majors to Study

Major Annual Graduates
Romance Languages 15,711
Linguistics & Comparative Literature 8,639
American Sign Language 2,762
East Asian Languages 2,438
Classical Languages & Literature 1,544

View All Foreign Languages & Linguistics Related Majors >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities 547,539
Visual & Performing Arts 153,295
English Language & Literature 59,299
Theology & Religious Vocations 32,172
Philosophy & Religious Studies 16,252

View All Foreign Languages & Linguistics Related Majors >

Notes and References

  • The bars on the spread charts above show the distribution of the schools on this list +/- one standard deviation from the mean.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to John Stephen Dwyer. More about our data sources and methodologies.

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