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2020 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. 34,883 of the 34,883 Foreign Languages & Linguistics degrees awarded last year were given by schools in United States. With so many options it can be difficult finding the best fit for you. This year's Best Colleges for Foreign Languages & Linguistics ranking analyzed 341 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 quality education, not just how well they do in a particular major. To take this into account we consider a school's overall Best Colleges ranking which itself looks at a combination of various factors like degree completion, educational resources, student body caliber and post-graduation earnings for the school as a whole.

The lowest ranked school in our list is in the top 19% of our overall quality ranking while the vast majority are in at least the top 9%.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 123 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. colleges 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

Explore 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 341 schools analyzed, only 25 earned the distinction of being on this list.

Top 25 Best Foreign Languages & Linguistics Colleges

Doctorate Highest Degree Type
3rd Most Popular In CA
1.1% Growth in Graduates

University of California - Berkeley is a good option for individuals interested in a Foreign Languages & Linguistics degree. UC Berkeley is a very large public school located in the midsize city of Berkeley. This school ranks 65th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

With 275 undergraduates, University of California - Berkeley is one of most popular colleges to study foreign languages and linguistics in United States.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In WI
20.6% Growth in Graduates

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 city of Madison. This college ranks 80th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Wisconsin.

There are about 572 foreign languages and linguistics undergraduates enrolled in this degree at Wisconsin.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In NY
12.7% Growth in Graduates

Columbia University in the City of New York is among your best bets 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 very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 26 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Columbia is a great college overall.

There are roughly 299 foreign languages and linguistics undergrads enrolled in this degree at Columbia.

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Master Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In UT

Brigham Young University - Provo is among your top options if you're planning on studying foreign languages and linguistics. BYU is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the midsize city of Provo. This college ranks 102nd out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Utah.

In addition to its bachelor's programs, BYU offers a Master's Degree in foreign languages and linguistics.

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#5

Princeton University

Princeton, NJ
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
2nd Most Popular In NJ
23.1% Growth in Graduates

Princeton is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Princeton. A Best Colleges rank of 20 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Princeton is a great school overall.

With 130 undergrads, Princeton University is one of most popular colleges to study foreign languages and linguistics in United States.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In MI

U of Michigan is a very large public school located in the medium-sized city of Ann Arbor. A Best Colleges rank of 35 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means U of Michigan is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, U of Michigan also offers 4 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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#7

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
2nd Most Popular In IN
7.6% Growth in Graduates

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 13 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Notre Dame is a great school overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Notre Dame 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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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In VA
11.7% Growth in Graduates

University of Virginia is a very large public school located in the small suburb of Charlottesville. A Best Colleges rank of 33 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means University of Virginia is a great college overall.

There are approximately 240 foreign languages and linguistics undergraduates studying this program at University of Virginia.

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#9

Georgetown University

Washington, DC
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In DC

Located in the large city Washington, Georgetown is a private not-for-profit college with a large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 42 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means Georgetown is a great college overall.

There are about 151 foreign languages and linguistics undergrads studying this degree at Georgetown.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In OH

Ohio State is a fairly large public school located in the large city of Columbus. This college ranks 206th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Ohio.

For those interested in something more advanced, Ohio State 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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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In WA

Located in the large city Seattle, UW Seattle is a public school with a very large student population. This school ranks 84th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Washington.

There are approximately 277 foreign languages and linguistics undergrads studying this program at UW Seattle.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In CA
2.0% Growth in Graduates

UCLA is a very large public school located in the city of Los Angeles. This college ranks 49th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

There are roughly 449 foreign languages and linguistics undergrads enrolled in this degree at UCLA.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
2nd Most Popular In MO

WUSTL is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Saint Louis. A Best Colleges rank of 19 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means WUSTL is a great college overall.

A favorite major for foreign languages and linguistics undergrads, there are approximately 112 individuals enrolled in this degree at WUSTL.

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#14

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In MA
39.9% Growth in Graduates

Harvard is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Cambridge. A Best Colleges rank of 5 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means Harvard is a great school overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Harvard 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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#15

Hamilton College

Clinton, NY
13th Most Popular In NY

Located in the midsize suburb Clinton, Hamilton is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population. A Best Colleges rank of 21 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means Hamilton is a great college overall.

With 51 undergraduates, Hamilton College is one of most popular schools to study foreign languages and linguistics in United States.

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#16

Middlebury College

Middlebury, VT
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In VT
3.0% Growth in Graduates

Middlebury is a small private not-for-profit school located in the town of Middlebury. A Best Colleges rank of 41 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means Middlebury is a great college overall.

There are about 166 foreign languages and linguistics undergrads enrolled in this degree at Middlebury.

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#17

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
3rd Most Popular In PA

UPenn is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Philadelphia. A Best Colleges rank of 3 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means UPenn is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, UPenn 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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#18

University of Arizona

Tucson, AZ
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In AZ

Located in the large city Tucson, Arizona is a public school with a fairly large student population. This school ranks 325th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Arizona.

There are about 251 foreign languages and linguistics undergrads enrolled in this program at Arizona.

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#19

New York University

New York, NY
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
2nd Most Popular In NY
12.3% Growth in Graduates

NYU is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of New York. This school ranks 129th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of New York.

With 244 undergraduates, New York University is one of most popular schools to study foreign languages and linguistics in United States.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
4th Most Popular In CA

Located in the small suburb Davis, UC Davis is a public school with a fairly large student population. This college ranks 74th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

University of California - Davis is one of the most popular college to study foreign languages and linguistics in United States with more than 271 graduates last year.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
5th Most Popular In CA

UCSB is a fairly large public school located in the midsize suburb of Santa Barbara. This school ranks 125th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

With 205 undergraduates, University of California - Santa Barbara is one of most popular colleges to study foreign languages and linguistics in United States.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In TX
2.1% Growth in Graduates

UT Austin is a very large public school located in the large city of Austin. This college ranks 78th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Texas.

There are about 236 foreign languages and linguistics undergrads enrolled in this degree at UT Austin.

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#23

Duke University

Durham, NC
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
3rd Most Popular In NC

Duke is a large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Durham. A Best Colleges rank of 1 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Duke is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Duke also offers 3 different higher degree levels in foreign languages and linguistics, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In IN
12.3% Growth in Graduates

Located in the small city Bloomington, IU Bloomington is a public school with a very large student population. This college ranks 181st out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Indiana.

There are about 293 foreign languages and linguistics undergraduates enrolled in this program at IU Bloomington.

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#25

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In FL

Located in the city Gainesville, U of F is a public school with a fairly large student population. This college ranks 73rd out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Florida.

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 Master's Degree.

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Rest of the Top Best Colleges for Foreign Languages & Linguistics

Additional Award Winners

This section shows the rest of the schools awarded a Best Colleges for Foreign Languages & Linguistics badge. Showing in this list means the school was ranked in the top 15% of the 341 different United States foreign languages and linguistics schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
51 Davidson College Davidson, NC

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
52 Western Washington University Bellingham, WA
53 Washington & Jefferson College Washington, PA
54 Tufts University Medford, MA
55 University of California - Riverside Riverside, CA
56 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
57 Wake Forest University Winston-Salem, NC
58 Trinity College Hartford, CT
59 Colgate University Hamilton, NY
60 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
61 University of Oklahoma Norman Campus Norman, OK
62 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
63 University of Connecticut Storrs, CT
64 Boston University Boston, MA
65 University of Rochester Rochester, NY
66 Pomona College Claremont, CA
67 Bryn Mawr College Bryn Mawr, PA
68 San Jose State University San Jose, CA

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 16,242
Linguistics & Comparative Literature 8,641
American Sign Language 2,660
East Asian Languages 2,323
Classical Languages & Literature 1,633

View All Foreign Languages & Linguistics Related Majors >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities 516,754
Visual & Performing Arts 154,258
English Language & Literature 57,989
Theology & Religious Vocations 31,559
Philosophy & Religious Studies 16,163

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.

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