Linguistics, BA

57-89 credits


Linguistics, the science of language, is an interdisciplinary field which relates to the diversity of the cultures and languages of the world. It is an integral part of most serious pursuits dealing with aspects of language study and analysis. As the boundaries of the world change, an understanding of individual languages and cultures becomes increasingly important. Communication in this complex society requires knowledge of the workings of languages, as well as their interrelationship with their respective cultures.

Why Consider a Linguistics Major?

All Linguistics majors are expected to acquire knowledge of the functions of language at various levels and knowledge of the techniques and methods used in language analysis. A student of Linguistics will thereby significantly advance his or her appreciation of linguistic and cultural diversity. Students who major in linguistics acquire valuable intellectual skills, including analytic reasoning and argumentation, and learn how to study language scientifically. This means making insightful observations, formulating and testing clear hypotheses, making arguments and drawing conclusions, and communicating findings to a wider community. Linguistics majors are therefore well equipped for a variety of jobs and graduate-level programs.

Sample Careers

Higher Education research and teaching: linguistics, philosophy, psychology, speech sciences, anthropology, computer science, English, modern and classical languages | K-12 Teaching (World Languages, ESL, literacy) | Computer Industry (speech recognition, natural language processing, AI) | Translating and Interpreting | Language documentation and fieldwork | Publishing (editing, writing) | Lexicography (dictionary research and editing) | Law (forensic linguistics)

Major/Career Resources

How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):

To declare, a student must have completed the following requirements:

LING 201 or ENGL 370 or TESL 401 or ANTH 247 or HNRS 217 with a grade of “B-” or better

Minimum cumulative GPA of at least 2.5.

When ready to declare, students should meet with the Linguistics Director and complete the Major Checklist.

The student and Director will then complete a "Degree Declaration Card" (available in Old Main 230, Miller Hall 223 or from the Linguistics Director). This form must be signed by the student and the Linguistics Director and then submitted to the Registrar in Old Main 230.

Major Evaluation Form should be completed by the student and signed by the Linguistics Director at least two quarters before graduation.

Grade Requirements

A grade of C- or better is required for a student’s major or minor courses, and supporting courses for majors and minors.

To declare a major in linguistics, students must have completed the introductory course (LING 201 or ENG 370 or TESL 401 or ANTH 247 or HNRS 217) with a grade of B- or better and have a minimum overall GPA of at least 2.5.



Linguistics Major Checklist          

❑ One course from:❑ For native speakers of Indo-European languages, one year of a non-IE language (such as Chinese, Japanese, or others under advisement) or second year of an Indo-European language; alternative arrangements may be made for native speakers of non-Indo-European languages (12-15 credits).

  •     ANTH 247 - Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology Credits: 5
  •     ENG 370 - Introduction to Language Credits: 5
  •     HNRS 217 - Colloquium in Linguistics Credits: 4
  •     LING 201 - Introduction to Language and Linguistics Credits: 5
  •     TESL 401 - Introduction to English Linguistics for TESOL Credits: 4

❑ One course from:

  •     LING 204 - Sociolinguistics Credits: 5
  •     ENG 270 - Language and Society Credits: 5

❑  LING 310 - Introduction to Linguistic Analysis Credits: 5

❑  LING 311 - Phonetics and Phonology Credits: 5

❑  LING 321 - Syntax Credits: 5

❑ Three LING 400-level courses, including at least two from:

  •     LING 411 - Topics in Phonetics and Phonology Credits: 5
  •     LING 421 - Topics in Morphology and Syntax Credits: 5
  •     LING 431 - Topics in Semantics and Pragmatics Credits: 5



Additional credit concentration with at least one additional upper division course in related department under advisement:

Anthropology Concentration

❑  ANTH 347 - The Ethnography of Communication Credits: 5

❑  ANTH 447 - Anthropological Semiotics Credits: 5

❑ At least one other elective under advisement.


Communication Sciences and Disorders Concentration

❑ Selected courses under advisement from:

    CSD 352 - Anatomy and Physiology of Speech Mechanisms Credits: 5

    CSD 353 - Speech Science Credits: 5

    CSD 354 - Speech and Language Development in Children Credits: 4

    CSD 356 - Phonetics and Phonology Credits: 4

    CSD 361 - Developmental Language Disorders Credits: 5


Computer Science Concentration

       ❑ Applicable courses in computational linguistics under departmental advisement
       ❑ Additional work under advisement


English Concentration

❑ Selected courses under advisement from:

    ENG 436 - The Structure of English Credits: 5

    ENG 438 - Topics in Language Change and Variation Credits: 5

    ENG 439 - Topics in Language and Linguistics Credits: 5


Modern and Classical Languages Concentration options

       Prerequisites: at least two years of study of one of the languages; specific requirements vary by language. Consult an advisor.

Chinese Linguistics

❑  CHIN 304 - Chinese Grammar and Composition Credits: 4

❑  CHIN 402 - Chinese Language and Linguistics Credits: 4

❑ At least one other course under advisement.


French Linguistics

❑  FREN 314 - Phonetics Credits: 4

❑  FREN 401 - Elements De Stylistique Credits: 3

❑ At least one other course under advisement.


German Linguistics

❑  GERM 314 - Phonetics Credits: 4

❑  GERM 401 - Advanced German: Contexts & Cultures II Credits: 4

❑ At least one other course under advisement.


Japanese Linguistics

❑  JAPN 401 - Advanced Japanese Credits: 4

❑ At least two other courses under advisement.


Russian Linguistics

❑  RUSS 214 - Russian Phonetics Credits: 2

❑ At least two other courses under advisement.


Spanish Linguistics

❑  SPAN 314 - Phonetics Credits: 4

❑  SPAN 401 - Advanced Grammar Credits: 4

❑ At least one other course under advisement.


World Language Instruction

❑ Two upper-division courses in one language (Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, Classics, others under advisement).

❑  LANG 410 - World Language Instruction: Theory and Method I Credits: 4

❑  LANG 420 - World Language Instruction: Theory and Method II Credits: 4

❑ At least one other course under advisement.


Philosophy Concentration

❑  PHIL 102 - Introduction to Logic Credits: 3

❑  PHIL 202 - Intermediate Logic Credits: 3

❑  PHIL 403 - Philosophy of Language Credits: 3


Psychology Concentration

❑  PSY 101 - Introduction to Psychology Credits: 5

❑  PSY 210 - Cognition Credits: 5

❑  PSY 220 - Behavioral Neuroscience Credits: 5

❑  PSY 301 - Overview of Research Methods Credits: 5

❑  PSY 318 - Language, Brain, and Mind Credits: 5


TESOL Concentration

       ❑ Completion of the TESOL minor coursework under advisement.


University Graduation Requirements


General University Requirements 2017-18 
Writing Proficiency Requirement (WP)
180 Minimum Total Credits
60 Minimum Upper Division Credits
Residency Requirement
Minimum Grade Requirements
Final Quarter Requirement