Jun 22, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Linguistics Major, B.A.

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Department of English  

College of Letters, Arts and Sciences  

  Available Program Format(s): In-Person  

About the Program

The Linguistics program is an interdisciplinary study of human language.  The core of the Linguistics major is the study and analysis of language structure (phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics) focusing not only on the structure of English but also that of other languages.  

In addition to completing the core courses that focus on general linguistics, students must complete two semesters of a single modern language of their choice, at or above the 2000-level, as well as explore the various ways in which language is related to human beings and human experience.  

The Linguistics major is designed to help students gain knowledge about language and its significance in society, to aid students in critical thinking,  and to prepare them for a world of linguistic diversity.  This major is excellent for students who are planning careers in business, law, education, or writing.  The major also prepares students for graduate programs in linguistics or a particular linguistics subfield, such as anthropological linguistics, socio-linguistics, psycholinguistics, computational linguistics, modern or classical languages, or ESL. 

Student Outcomes

  • A student demonstrates the ability to transcribe and analyze speech sounds.    
  • A student can identify and explain the principles of synchronic language variation and/or diachronic language change.   
  • A student demonstrates the ability to perform morphosyntactic and/or semantic analysis.   
  • A student can integrate the relevant information found in textbooks and research materials into one’s own written work. 

General Degree Requirements

To earn a degree, students must satisfy all requirements in each of the four areas below, in addition to their individual major requirements. 

Program Requirements

  • A total of 120 semester hours are required for graduation.
  • No single course in the Linguistics program may be used to fulfill more than one requirement within the major (general studies and ESSJ courses not included).
  • To receive credit for any ENG or LING prefix course, the student must receive a grade of “C-” or better. Students should note that programs differ in the minimum grade required.
  • A minor is required for this program. 

General Studies Requirements: 33 credits

Students should consult the General Studies Requirements  for a list of courses that fulfill the General Studies Requirements for degree completion.  

  • Written Communication (6 credits) 
  • Oral Communication (3 credits) 
  • Quantitative Literacy (3 credits) 
  • Arts and Humanities (6 credits) 
  • Historical (3 credits) 
  • Natural and Physical Sciences (6 credits) 
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (6 credits) 
  • Global Diversity (0 or 3 credits**)


** Students will fulfill the global diversity requirement by taking an approved course within one of the following categories: arts and humanities; historical; natural and physical sciences; or social and behavioral sciences. 

Ethnic Studies & Social Justice Requirement: 0 or 3 credits

  • Students should consult the Ethnic Studies & Social Justice Graduation Requirement  for a list of courses that fulfill the ESSJ Requirement for degree completion.  
  • Many programs include courses that meet this requirement. Students should consult with their advisor to determine what program courses may fulfill this requirement. 

Language Requirement: 6 credits

Linguistics majors are required to take at least 6 credit hours of a single language (French, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, or other modern language) at or above the 2000-level (the language courses must contain grammar). Students who have not taken enough high school language courses to enter at the 2000-level will be required to take the prerequisite, 1000-level language courses. 

Linguistics majors who are Modern Language minors must take either:

  • 6 credit hours of a different language than their minor at or above the 2000-level, or
  • 6 credit hours from the courses listed below in either the linguistics and/or the interdisciplinary electives category.

Linguistics Electives: 15 credits

Any five of the following courses may be chosen in consultation with a linguistics faculty advisor:

Interdisciplinary Electives: 9 credits

Any three of the following interdisciplinary courses may be chosen in consultation with a linguistics faculty advisor (at least one must be 3000/4000-level):

Senior Experience: 3 credits

Summary of Requirements

General Studies Requirements 33 credits
ESSJ Requirement 0-3 credits
Required Core Courses 12 credits
Language Requirement 6 credits
Linguistic Electives 15 credits
Interdisciplinary Electives 9 credits
Senior Experience 3 credits
Minor and Unrestricted Electives 39-54 credits
Total for the Linguistics Major, B.A. 120 credits

Required courses for the major may also count for General Studies and ESSJ requirements, so the total credits listed may be greater than the number required to complete the degree. Therefore, it is important that you work with your advisor to make sure you are meeting requirements for your degree.

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