Computational linguistics teaches computers how to recognize and create language in a human way. It is a subfield of artificial intelligence that combines linguistics, math, and computer science. It’s a field that is expected to grow at a steady rate. The average salary for a computational linguist is $79,000 a year.
Linguistics is an excellent field to pursue. The skills learned with a degree in computational linguistics offers a wide variety of career opportunities. Government, education, information technology, science, and medicine are a few fields that can be pursued or broadened with this degree.
It is possible to enter the field with a Bachelor’s Degree, but a Master’s is often preferred. Some careers in the field require a Doctorate. We’ll look at the best computational linguistics degree programs at all levels, so you can find the program that best suits your needs.
The Best Computational Linguistics Bachelor Degree Programs
Stanford University, Stanford California
- Graduation rate: 94%
- Acceptance rate: 4%
- Average tuition: $12,000
Standford’s Computational Linguistics program is one of the oldest in the U.S. Standford is an Ivy League school with a low rate of admissions. However, it is well worth it if you are accepted. The program works closely with the Computer Science Department to provide hands-on learning as well as theory. Areas of study in the program include computational semantics, sociolinguistics, and sentiment analysis.
The broad scope of the program gives a great foundation for a career in the field. They are well connected with Silicon Valley. This allows their degree program to teach the skills needed for a career in industrial language processing, and allows you to make networking connections.
The University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Pennsylvania
- Graduation: 95%
- Admissions: 8%
- Average tuition: $25,000 after aid
The University of Pennsylvania is an Ivy League School. It is one of the initial 9 colleges founded in the U.S. before the Declaration of Independence. its Computational Linguistics program works closely with the Linguistics Department, the Institute for Cognitive Science, and the Department of Computer and Information Sciences.
Students are encouraged to interact with teachers and engage in research. Many of the faculty members hold positions in both Linguistics and Computer Science. They also have close ties with the Linguistic Data Consortium. The English Pen Treebank was created at the University by Mitch Marcus, and is now considered an important resource for automatic parsers and linguistics research.
Cornell University, Ithica New York
- Graduation rate: 94%
- Acceptance rate: 11%
- Average tuition: $30,000 after aid
Cornell University offers a linguistics program that allows you to focus on your specific area of study. It provides courses on all the major areas of linguistics, including phonetics and syntax, historical linguistics, and computational linguistics. Class sizes are small which allows students to work on projects on one on with faculty.
Students can minor in computer science. The program can also be combined with computer science or technology to further meet your academic goals. Students will learn the practical and theoretical aspects of linguistics. There is an emphasis on skills including communication, problem-solving, and data analysis that can aid you in any area of life.
The University of Southern California, Los Angelos California
- Graduation rate: 92%
- Acceptance rate: 13%
- Average tuition: $30,000 after aid
The University of Southern California offers a bachelor’s in linguistics. It focuses on how the mind uses and processes language, and similarities and differences between languages. Linguistics is offered as a major and a minor, as well as combined programs. These include Linguistics and Philosophy, Linguistics and East Asia Languages and Cultures, Computational Linguistics, and Linguistics and Cognitive Science.
The program requires a capstone project which can be a research paper or a summer internship. The program offers many options for enrichment that can also help you in your chosen career field. These include opportunities to study abroad, internships, research projects, including the opportunity to design your own.
The University of Illinois, Champaign Illinois
- Graduation rate: 85%
- Admissions rate: 62%
- Tuition: $17,000 after aid
The University of Illinois began offering its Computer Science + Linguistics program in 2014. They take an interdisciplinary approach with the goal of preparing students to solve 21st-century problems in a wide variety of fields. The program is the result of a partnership between the College of Engineering and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
The program takes a unique approach. It focuses on relating computers to language as well as society. Courses include elements of syntax, machine translation, semantics and pragmatics, and computational morphology.
Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington Indiana
- Graduation Rate: 76%
- Acceptance rate: 77%
- Average tuition after aid; $13,000
The Indiana University Bloomington offers a computational linguistics bachelor’s degree. It is considered a public Ivy League school, and is well ranked for its graduate and undergraduate programs. You have the option to minor in a related course of study, including linguistics, psychology, mathematics, or computer science. This can help prepare you for the career that you want to go into after college.
The program is part of the Department of Linguistics, and is designed to combine linguistic analysis, cognitive science, and computer science. You can also choose the Joint B.S./M.S. in Computational Linguistics once you have completed your freshmen year. This allows you to complete an undergraduate and graduate degree in 5 years.
Fresno State University, Fresno California
- Graduation: 56%
- Average tuition: $6,400 average after aid
Fresno State University offers a Computational Linguistics major that is part linguistics and part computer science. In fact, any student that majors in computer science will complete half the course requirements for the Computational Linguistics course. Students can add the program as a minor, which requires 27 units beyond the Computer Science major.
This dual focus gives graduates opportunities in fields in linguistics, computer science, and computational linguistics. Fresno State explains that language is complex, and still poorly understood. Computational linguistics involves developing a greater understanding of language itself, and then translating the knowledge into artificial intelligence understanding.
Master’s Computational Linguistics Programs
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
- Graduation rate: 90%
- Acceptance rate: 17%
- Average tuition: $33,000
Carnegie Mellon University has a strong emphasis on research. In fact, they have a Language Institute Catalogue with over 100 resources that is available to anyone. They also offer internships so students can get hands-on training in their chosen field. Students research more than 20 areas of language and technology, allowing them to make breakthroughs that have an impact on the industry and the world.
They offer 5 graduate programs. A Ph.D. in Language and Information Technology and Master of Language Technology are research-based. Master of Science in Intelligent Information Systems, the Master of Science in Biotechnology Innovation and Computation, and the Master of Computational Data Science are industry-based programs that prepare you for a career in the private sector.
The University of Rochester, Rochester New York
- Graduation rate: 85%
- Acceptance rate:29%
- Average tuition: $29,000
The University of Rochester Computational Linguistics Masters program focuses on language analysis and computer machine learning of language. Students will take courses in linguistics and computer science, for a total of 32 credit hours.
A bachelor’s degree in a STEM field is preferred, but it is not a requirement for admission. Applicants must have math credits including basic calculus, but statistics or analysis courses are not required. Programming courses or experience is required. The course also provides students the opportunity to continue to a Ph.D.
University of Washington, Seattle Washington
- Graduation rate: 84%
- Admissions rate: 49%
- Average tuition: $12,000 after aid
The University of Washington’s Computational Linguistics Masters program is available at the Seattle campus or online. They offer part-time and full-time enrollment. Computational Linguistics plays a part in nearly all of today’s technology, from voice to speech to search engines.
The program combines linguistics and natural language processing, which gives students a firm understanding of language itself. Internships are part of the program. Students have interned at global corporations, including Amazon and Google. This gives them the hands-on experience they will need when entering the workforce.
Georgetown University, Washington D.C.
- Graduation rate: 94%
- Admissions rate: 15%
- Average tuition: $30,000
Georgetown University’s Computational Linguistics Master’s program is one of four linguistics concentrations. The University states that it is a lively and vital scientific discipline. The program seeks to reveal new information and models for human linguistics, and to create practical tools for the benefit of society. Admission to the program requires 24 credits and a Master’s thesis.
The University of Texas
- Graduation rate: 81%
- Acceptance rate: 39%
- Average tuition: $17,000 after aid
The University of Texas offers a master’s in computational linguistics. The program focuses on computer science and linguistics. The University of Texas has two subdisciplines. Research in computational linguistics focuses on algorithms and computational implementation of linguistic models. Natural Language Processing, or NLP, focuses on the application of natural language data.
MA programs are occasionally offered, but the school prefers to admit to its Ph.D. program. 54 hours of coursework is required for consideration for the program. It typically takes between 5 to 7 years to complete. An MA is not required for eligibility to the Ph.D. program.
Syracuse University, Syracuse New York
- Graduation rate: 82%
- Acceptance rate: 50%
- Average tuition: $34,000 after aid
Syracuse University requires official transcripts, TOEFL and GRE scores, and 3 letters of recommendation. The Computational Linguistics program recognizes that the applications of the field go far beyond improving computer technology and user experience. They note that it also plays a significant role in sociology and humanities research. They are additionally used by government entities and law enforcement as a way to gather and sort through large amounts of data.
To complete the Master’s program, students must complete 36 hours of coursework, including 3-6 hours of internship. Students must maintain a gpa of 3.0 or above, and complete 9 linguistics and computer science courses.
Montclair University, Montclair New Jersey
- Graduation rate: 65%
- Acceptance rate: 71%
- Average tuition: $20,000
Montclair University offers the only Masters in Computational Linguistics program in New Jersey. The program accepts undergraduates regardless of their undergraduate major. Up to 11 prerequisite courses may be required for those without previous computer science and linguistics courses. The course provides research opportunities funded by federal research grants.
How We Ranked Schools
We ranked schools based on the bullet points listed. Graduation rate, acceptance rate, and the overall value of the education provided when considering tuition. Tuition is given as the per rate year for in-state students after financial aid. Schools with a low acceptance rate are prestigious, and their reputation will aid you when you enter the workforce. However, each of the schools on our list has a strong reputation in the linguistics and computer science fields. The graduation rate is an indication of how likely a student is to succeed at completing the program.
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