The program emphasizes intellectual breadth and connections integrating many areas of Linguistics, as well as connections with neighboring disciplines.

Faculty expertise in the department spans an unusually diverse range of endeavors. The graduate program accordingly includes a broad range of advanced coursework focusing on analyzing linguistic structure, variation and change, and cognition, using methods including archival research, field methods, experimental and corpus-based analyses, and computational modeling.

The Linguistics department has strong commitments to language documentation and reclamation, theoretical training and research, and the interdisciplinary study of language and cognition. Graduate students in the Linguistics department are eligible to apply to Graduate Designated Emphases, including the Designated Emphasis in Indigenous Language Revitalization, and the Designated Emphasis in Cognitive Science.

The department has an excellent record of placing graduates in professional careers in academia, in private industry (e.g. research and development, technology), and non-profit organizations.