Linguistics is the scientific study of language. Students use scientific principles–collecting data, making observations, and developing and testing hypotheses–to research the structure, acquisition, and use of language. They apply this rigorous approach to all different levels of linguistic structure, with the opportunity to join faculty on research projects. Students expand their knowledge through the study of two languages from different language families, and they further draw on disciplines including psychology, anthropology, sociology, information and computer science, and more.
With advanced analytical skills and a deep understanding of language, an intrinsic human characteristic, graduates pursue careers in a variety of professional areas such as technology, policy, nonprofit, government, publishing and education.
Admissions, Advising & Student Resources
Please see our Undergraduate Programs section for information about applying to the program, career paths, scholarships, and other student resources.
The following is an outline of the required courses for the Linguistics major:
Introductory course in linguistics (5 credits):
- For details, see Introductory Courses page.
Core courses (25 credits):
- Introduction to Phonetics (LING 450)
- Introduction to Phonology (LING 451)
- Syntax I, II (LING 461, 462)
- One LING 4XX (Excludes LING 400, 419, 430, 480, 490, 499)
Language courses (30 credits):
- One year each (or the equivalent) of two languages, one of which must belong to a family of languages different from the student's own native language. For native English speakers, this means one year of study of a non-Indo-European language. Non-native speakers of English may count English as one of their languages. A student may test out of one language, but not both. For full details, see the Language Requirement page.
Elective courses (20 credits):
- Additional credits in linguistics or related fields. For full details, see the Elective Requirement section below.
Total credits: 50, in addition to required language courses
- Linguistics students are expected to meet A&S GPA standards.
- Overall GPA for courses taken for the major must be 2.0 or higher.
- Cumulative GPA must be 2.0 or higher.
- While it is not a requirement for students to achieve a 2.0 in each major course (excluding the courses used for major admission), it should be noted that students who do not achieve a 2.0 or higher in core courses should anticipate difficulty with the successive courses in a given course sequence.
Double Majors Involving Linguistics
Courses used to satisfy the requirements for a second major may also be used to satisfy applicable Linguistics major requirements, such as the language and elective requirements.
There is no College or University rule to the effect that courses which are potentially applicable to two majors must count exclusively towards one major or the other.
Generally, any upper division courses (300 level or higher) in Linguistics or Romance Linguistics which you have not already used to satisfy the core course or language requirements may be applied to the elective requirement, with the exception that introductory linguistics courses may not be used to fulfill the elective requirement. Additionally, LING 220 and 270 may count towards the elective requirement. Many departments on campus offer classes that are related to linguistics. These may be counted toward the Linguistics Elective requirement. See the list of approved elective courses in other departments.
NOTE: If you want to take a class outside the linguistics department that is related to linguistics but is not on the approved list, contact the Undergraduate Adviser for more information.
For current course offerings, consult our Current Courses section. For complete lists and descriptions of the department's course offerings, consult the General Catalog: