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2023 Linguistics & Comparative Literature Degree Guide

The study of Linguistics and Comparative Literature are two separate entities, however they both deal with the examination of dialect and how it has developed and changed over time. If you are fascinated by the structure of language, this would be an ideal major for you. Students will learn language development and relationships among language groups from a humanistic and scientific perspective. Some of the classes you will take are Historical Linguistics, Philosophy of Languages, Phonology and Phonetics, Great Books of Western Culture, Romanticism, and Literature of the Americas.

Depending on the college you choose, different concentrations may be available to you. These include Linguistics, Language Interpretation and Translation, Comparative Literature and Applied Linguistics.

Linguistics & Comparative Literature Degrees Shrinking in Popularity

#96 Most Popular Major
8.5k Degrees Awarded
-1.7% Increase in Graduates

Linguistics & Comparative Literature was the 96th most popular major in the 2020-2021 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 8,539 degrees in this year alone. This represents a 1.7% reduction in comparative literature degrees awarded over the prior year's total of 8,685.

Our 2023 Best Linguistics & Comparative Literature Schools ranking analyzes 146 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for linguistics and comparative literature students. Explore this or one of our many other custom comparative literature rankings further below.

2023 Best Colleges for Linguistics & Comparative Literature
2023 Overall Best Linguistics & Comparative Literature Colleges >

Best Linguistics & Comparative Literature Schools by Degree

Associate Degrees in Linguistics & Comparative Literature
Bachelor's Degrees in Linguistics & Comparative Literature
Master's Degrees in Linguistics & Comparative Literature
Doctorate Degrees in Linguistics & Comparative Literature

What Are The Requirements For a Degree in Linguistics & Comparative Literature

This major is well suited to individuals who are creative, curious and analytical thinkers. You will spend a good amount of time studying the origin and development of language, making a love of reading and writing important. You can prepare for this major ahead of time by taking courses in English Literature, Foreign Languages, English Language, World History, and European History.

Prior Education for a Comparative Literature Program

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for most comparative literature degree programs and many students will need a minimum GPA and SAT/ACT score depending on the school. Once you obtain your degree, additional comparative literature certifications required to pursue a career in this field.

Linguistics & Comparative Literature Degree Types

There are various different levels of comparative literature degrees. You can get anything from a in linguistics and comparative literature to the highest comparative literature degree, a . Depending on the linguistics and comparative literature degree you choose, obtaining your diploma can take anwhere from 1 to 4+ years.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to comparative literature, with approximately 37.7% of workers getting one. See the the most common levels of education for comparative literature workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 37.2%
Doctoral Degree 27.1%
Master’s Degree 25.4%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate 4.2%
Post-Master’s Certificate 2.8%

54.7% of comparative literature workers have at least a master's. The chart below shows what degree level those who work in linguistics and comparative literature have obtained.


This of course varies depending on which comparative literature career you choose.

Career Opportunities for A Degree In Comparative Literature Graduate

Above Average Number of Jobs
$28k Average Starting Salary
8% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

A graduate with a degree in Linguistics & Comparative Literature can go into many different career paths. You may find work as a Postsecondary Teacher, Speech-Language Pathologist or an Audiologist. Pathologists and Audiologist help diagnose, treat, and prevent speech and hearing problems. They work directly with the language and the individual development of it.

Graduates can also peruse a career as a translator or interpreter. Translators and interpreters are in high demand because of growing business between nations. You may also choose to become an Anthropologist or Archeologist. Both of these fields examine the past of different cultures. As an Anthropologist you will examine the elements of human culture and society. As an Archeologist, you would examine the relics from the past to recreate the history and culture. Other career paths include Librarian or University Professor. Some of these jobs may require additional education.

Solid Growth Projected for Comparative Literature Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your comparative literature degree? Linguistics & Comparative Literature careers are expected to grow 8.3% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to linguistics and comparative literature.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
High School Teachers 1,095,500 7.5%
English Language and Literature Professors 92,900 9.8%
Interpreters and Translators 80,300 17.7%
Social Scientists 44,900 6.7%
Foreign Language and Literature Professors 39,100 11.7%

How Much Money Do Comparative Literature Grads Make?

Linguistics & Comparative Literature graduates between 2017-2019 reported earning an average of $28,017 in the 2019-2020 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $10,968 to as high as $57,928. As you might expect, salaries for comparative literature graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


High Paying Careers for Comparative Literature Majors

Salaries for linguistics and comparative literature graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers comparative literature grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Social Scientists $85,750
Foreign Language and Literature Professors $79,160
English Language and Literature Professors $78,150
High School Teachers $64,340
Interpreters and Translators $55,230

Getting Your Linguistics & Comparative Literature Degree

With over 1,297 different comparative literature degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased comparative literature school rankings to help you with this.

One of 17 majors within the Foreign Languages & Linguistics area of study, Linguistics & Comparative Literature has other similar majors worth exploring.

Comparative Literature Concentrations

Major Annual Graduates
Linguistics 3,247
Modern Languages 2,871
Language Translation 971
Comparative Literature 964
Other Linguistic, Comparative, & Related Language Studies & Services 288

View All Comparative Literature Concentrations >

Majors Similar to Comparative Literature

Related Major Annual Graduates
Romance Languages 15,009
American Sign Language 2,724
East Asian Languages 2,293
Classical Languages & Literature 1,428
Germanic Languages 1,425

View All Comparative Literature Related Majors >


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