The Linguistics Major

Admissions requirements

Although the department prefers that prospective majors present a cumulative GPA of 2.50 or higher, it will accept students who meet the following minimum qualifications:

  1. Completion of at least one year of college course work in a foreign language or demonstration of first-year proficiency in a foreign language placement exam. Students must earn a minimum grade of 2.0 in the third-quarter language course used to satisfy this requirement.
  2. Completion of at least one writing (W) course, OR a second composition (C) course beyond the College of Arts and Sciences' minimum C requirement.
  3. Completion of an introductory linguistics course, such as LING 200 or LING 400.
  4. Completion of one additional quantitative and symbolic reasoning (Q/SR) course.
  5. A minimum grade of 2.0 in each and a cumulative GPA of 2.50 in the W, introductory, and QSR courses.

Applicants who do not meet the minimum qualifications may appeal and may submit materials in addition to transcripts clarifying any aspect of past course work. See adviser for information on appeal procedure.

Once applicants complete all the admission requirements listed above, please schedule an appointment with the Humanities Academic Services Center for an advising meeting to complete the application process.

The Linguistics Major

The following is an outline of the required courses for the Linguistics major:

Introductory course in linguistics (5 credits):

Core courses (25 credits):
  • Introduction to Linguistic Phonetics, Phonology I (LING 450, 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
GPA Requirements
  • 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.

The Elective Requirement

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.

Linguistics Department Course Offerings

For current course offerings, consult our Current Courses section.

For complete lists and descriptions of the department's course offerings, consult the General Catalog: