What is natural language and how is it structured? What is common to all human languages, and how do languages differ? How do languages change? How do we use language in different social and interactional contexts? Language is a complex and multi-faceted phenomenon. 

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B.A Degree

Students  may choose from one of two tracks:

  • Functional linguistics
  • Generative linguistics

Students in both tracks study a common core of introductory courses and a range of electives.

 Functional linguistics

The program of studies includes the detailed study of diverse languages and of different theories and research methods that highlight structural, comparative, historical, discursive, and interactional aspects of language research. The program includes the following subfields:

  • Synchronic linguistics: the study of the structure of languages with respect to different levels of analysis
  • Comparative linguistics: the study of common properties of languages and the classification of languages into families
  • Typological linguistics: the study of language universals and linguistic diversity 
  • Historical linguistics: the study of language change over time
  • Sociolinguistics: the study of the correlations/relationships between language use and social structure
  • Interactional linguistics: the study of language use in different discursive contexts

 Generative linguistics

The program of study familiarizes students with the principles and scientific methods in language study in contemporary linguistic theory. Language is seen as a complex cognitive system unique to human beings. Consequently, the linguistic system is taken to be universal in its principles and foundation and thus common to all languages.

During the years of study, we focus on theoretical courses which gradually acquaint the students with analysis skills focalizing on different levels of linguistic analysis, such as phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics, and this in parallel to studying at least one foreign language, to the student's choice.

 Possible combinations

Studying in the linguistics department combines naturally with the following programs of study:

Cognition, Philosophy, Psychology, Computer Science, Mathematics, Communication, Sociology and the literary-cultural departments of the Humanities, for instance: Hebrew, English, Latin-America studies, Romance studies, German studies, Russian studies, Asian studies, Classical Studies, Comparative and General literature.

Of course, other combinations are possible and worthwhile!

Programs for new students:
B.A Major Courses offered in the current session are listed at - click here (information is valid as of 2018)
The information above is correct for students that started at 2018. For more information Please refer to the program guides found on this website or contact an advisor.

M.A Degree

During the M.A. studies, students sharpen their basic academic skills, deepen their knowledge of various languages and get acquainted with the central questions tackled by linguistic research today through the various seminars.

M.A. studies can be pursued in two tracks: research and non-research. Students studying in the research track are required to write an extended research paper under the supervision of the department’s faculty.

During their studies, students take part in ongoing research projects. Outstanding students can earn a scholarship in one of the following programs:



Ph.D Candidates

The Linguistics Department of the Hebrew University has a vibrant graduate program, with MA and PhD students and postdoctoral researchers and several excellent programs, research projects, and labs.

PhD students work on a wide variety of topics, ranging from descriptive and theoretical linguistics to experimental and computational analysis of language. For an impression of what our graduate students are doing, see student page.

There are several special programs for outstanding students associated with the Linguistics Department, such as:

  • The Language Logic and Cognition Center, LLCC, whose goal is to create an environment where there is interdisciplinary engagement in issues pertaining to language, crossing boundaries of computer science, linguistics, philosophy and psychology. Click here for information.
  • The joint graduate program in Linguistics working in collaboration between the Hebrew University and Tel-Aviv University (supported by the Humanities Fund). The program proposes a five-year curriculum in the following tracks: Syntax, Semantics, Phonology, Computational Linguistics, Psycho- and Neurolinguistics, Usage-Based Linguistics. Click here for information.

There are opportunities for PhD students to participate in a variety of research projects (see link research projects) and to collaborate with a number of labs, including  the LLCC lab, Computer Science labs , the Language Learning and Processing Lab.

We welcome new ideas and research frameworks. If you have an interest in linguistics that you don't see represented here, get in touch!