Major Advising and Declaring
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The requirements listed here apply to students declaring in the 2020-2021 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.
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.
- 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)
How to Declare
To declare, a student should have completed the following requirements:
- LING 201 or ENG 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
- If there are extenuating circumstances, we are happy to discuss this with you. Don’t let a GPA below 2.5 stop you from talking with a linguistics advisor about the major.
If you have not yet completed LING 201 but are very interested in a Linguistics major or minor, you may contact the department manager or chair about declaring as a pre-major and the possibility of enrolling in LING 310.
When you are ready to declare, fill out this form Major Declaration and Change Web Form. Replace the default Registrar.Office@wwu.edu email at the bottom of the form with Linguistics@wwu.edu, then click "submit."
An advisor will work with you through email to complete a linguistics Major Checklist.
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 Majors
Not a requirement for Minors
One year of college-level study of a non-Indo-European language:
- Chinese 102 and 103
- or Japanese 102 and 103
- or Arabic 102 and 103
- or others under advisement
or two years of college-level study of an Indo-European language:
- Spanish 202 and 203
- or French 202 and 203
- or German 202 and 203
- or Russian 202 and 203
- or Greek 202 and 203
- or Latin 202 or 203
- or others under advisement
The language requirement may be waived in consultation with the Chair in some circumstances for native or fluent speakers/signers of non-English languages, in which case the required credits for the major will come from additional upper division linguistics classes under advisement.
Graduation Procedure for Major Evaluations
Your graduation paperwork will include:
- Degree Application, completed by you.
- Major Evaluation, completed by the linguistics department manager or chair.
- Minor Evaluation, completed by the minor department.
Please contact Sara Helms, firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.