Minor in Linguistics

Linguistics is the scientific study of language. Students use scientific principles–collecting data, making observations, and developing and testing hypotheses–to study 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. As language is an intrinsically and exclusively human characteristic, the study of linguistics cuts to the heart of human cognition and social interaction. 

Students majoring in a variety of STEM, liberal arts, and pre-professional fields find a linguistics minor further strengthens their analytical and communication skills, providing an advantage to their careers and graduate studies.

Declaring a Minor in Linguistics

Students in good academic standing may declare the minor at any time by meeting with their major adviser. Please see Undergraduate Advising’s Minor page for additional considerations about earning a minor.

Minor Requirements

The requirements for the Linguistics minor differ depending on your college:

  • Students in the College of Arts and Sciences
  • Students in the College of Education

Students in the College of Arts and Sciences

To declare a Linguistics minor, you must have at least sophomore standing (45 credits completed) and a declared major. There are no other admissions requirements to the Linguistics minor, although it is strongly recommended that you have taken or be enrolled in an introductory class in linguistics.

Requirements for the Linguistics minor:

  • Introductory course in linguistics (5 credits):
  • Core courses (15 credits):
    • Three from (5 credits each):
      • Introduction to Linguistic Phonetics (LING 450)
      • Syntax I (LING 461)
      • Phonology I (LING 451)
      • Syntax II (LING 462)
      • Sociolinguistics I (LING 432)
      • Semantics I (LING 478)
      • Introduction to Morphology (LING 481)
    • It is highly recommended that two of the three courses be Introduction to Linguistic Phonetics (LING 450) and Syntax I (LING 461).
  • Elective courses (12 credits):
  • Additional credits in linguistics or related fields. Six of the twelve credits must be upper division. For details, see the Elective Requirement section on the Linguistics major page.
  • Total credits: 32

Students in the College of Education

A secondary minor in Linguistics has also been approved by the College of Education for a Washington State teaching endorsement in a foreign language. A secondary minor is one open to both secondary and elementary level candidates. In addition to fulfilling the requirements for Arts and Sciences minors in Linguistics, you must also complete:

  • 15 credits of coursework at the 300 level (or higher) in a particular language (with at least a 2.0 grade in each course), as well as at least 5 credits in the history or culture of the speakers of that language;
  • One course in pedagogical methods for that language (completed with a 2.0 grade or better);
  • (For some languages) A proficiency examination in the language. Some language departments require a proficiency exam for a teaching endorsement for a minor in that language (sometimes in place of the 15 credits at the 300 level). With respect to the proficiency exam, a Linguistics minor is subject to the same requirements that a minor in a particular language is subject to.

For more information, inquire at the College of Education Teacher Education Program or at the department that offers the language. The Linguistics undergraduate adviser can sign student applications for the Teacher Education program (under the minor department).