College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Major

Linguistics, BA

The requirements below apply to students declaring in the 2019-2020 catalog year. Students follow the major and minor requirements found in the catalog in effect at the time they declared their major or minor. (To find your catalog year, check your unofficial transcript on Web4U or check the appropriate line in Degree Works.) Note that when catalog year requirements differ and new requirements are in place or courses are no longer offered, you will determine a plan of study in consultation with your advisor. 

University Catalog Page (Click here to see major requirements)

62 credits

Introduction

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

www.wwu.edu/careers/students_choosingamajor.shtml

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 you are ready to declare, email Sara Helms, helmss@wwu.edu, the following information, and she will declare the major for you:

  • Name
  • W#
  • Phone number
  • If you have any other majors

 

Sara will work with you through email to complete a linguistics Major Checklist.

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.

Language Requirement for Linguistics majors (not a requirement for minors)

Students must have two years of college study of an Indo-European language like FrenchSpanish, or German, -OR- one year of college study of a non-Indo-European language, such as ChineseJapaneseAmerican Sign Language, or Arabic.

If you are bilingual/multilingual but do not have college credits in another language, you can have the requirement waived in consultation with the Program Director Kristin Denham (denham@wwu.edu), and you can make up the additional credits with other upper division coursework. 

Graduation Procedure for Major Evaluations

Graduation paperwork is due to the Registrar's Office at least two quarters in advance of graduation. Due dates can be found on the Degree Application.

Your graduation paperwork will include:

  • Degree Application, completed by you (found on the Registrar's Website).
  • Major Evaluation, completed by the linguistics department manager or chair.
  • Minor Evaluation, completed by the minor department.

 

Please contact Sara Helms, helmss@wwu.edu, for a completed Major Evaluation. Include your W# with your request. Sara will approve your request in Degree Works, pending completion of remaining requirements displayed in Degree Works.