Linguistics Major (B.A.)

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Linguistics is the study of one of the most important characteristics of human beings—language. It cuts across the boundaries between the sciences and the humanities. The program is an excellent liberal arts major or preprofessional major for education, law, medicine, clergy, and others. It is a particularly appropriate major for students who want to teach English as a second language. Dual majors with a foreign language, international affairs, business administration, and the like are quite feasible.

Students interested in the major should consult with the program coordinator or with any professor who teaches linguistics courses. To declare a major in linguistics, a student must meet with the linguistics coordinator to design a course of study. Information is available from the Advising Center, Hood House, and at

LING 405Introduction to Linguistics4
LING 605Intermediate Linguistic Analysis4
LING 793Phonetics and Phonology4
LING 794Syntax4
Select one course in historical linquistics of the following:4
Introduction to Comparative and Historical Linguistics
History of the English Language
History and Development of the Italian Language
Sociolinguistics Survey
History of Slavic Languages and Culture
Topics in Hispanic Linguistics and Cultural Studies (Subtopic A)
Two years of college study (or equivalent) of one foreign language4-16
Select one of the following cognate specialties:8
One year study (or equivalent) of a second foreign language from a different language family or subfamily 1
Psychology of Language 2
Select two elective courses from list below, one of which must be a 600- or 700- level LING or ENGL course 38
Discovery Program Capstone Experience:
LING 779Linguistic Field Methods4
or LING 695 Senior Honors
Total Credits44-56

Old English may count as the second foreign language if the first foreign language is not in the Germanic family.


With its prerequisite, either PSYC 512 Psychology of Primates or PSYC 513 Cognitive Psychology


History of the English Language or Sociolinguistics can be used as an elective if the other one is used for the Variation/Historical requirement.

Elective Courses 

ANTH #670Language and Culture4
ANTH 795Reading and Research (Subtopic B)1-8
ANTH 796Reading and Research (Subtopic B)1-8
CMN 572Analysis of Language and Social Interaction4
CMN 666Conversation Analysis4
Communication Science and Disorders
COMM 738Linguistics of American Sign Language4
ENGL 606Languages of the World4
ENGL 715Teaching English as a Second Language: Theory and Methods4
ENGL 716Curriculum, Materials and Assessment in English as a Second Language4
ENGL 719Sociolinguistics Survey4
ENGL 727Issues in Second Language Writing4
ENGL 752History of the English Language4
ENGL 790Special Topics in Linguistics4
ENGL 791English Grammar4
LLC 791Methods of Foreign Language Teaching4
ITAL 733History and Development of the Italian Language4
LATN 795Special Studies (when topic is appropriate)4
LATN 796Special Studies (when topic is appropriate)4
LING 606Languages of the World4
LING 620Applied Experience in Linguistics1-4
LING 719Sociolinguistics Survey4
LING 790Special Topics in Linguistics Theory4
LING 795Independent Study1-4
LING 796Independent Study1-4
PSYC 512Psychology of Primates 14
PSYC 513Cognitive Psychology 14
PSYC 712Psychology of Language4
RUSS 733History of Slavic Languages and Culture4
SPAN 641Spanish Phonetics4
SPAN 645Intro to Spanish Linguistics4
SPAN 798Topics in Hispanic Linguistics and Cultural Studies (Subtopic A)4

Students may count either PSYC 512 Psychology of Primates or PSYC 513 Cognitive Psychology toward the linguistics major or minor, but not both.

Other courses may be substituted, with the permission of the student's adviser and the linguistics committee, when they are pertinent to the needs of the student's program.

The required minimum overall GPA in major coursework is 2.0.

Candidates for a degree must satisfy all of the University Discovery Program requirements in addition to satisfying the requirements of each individual major program. Bachelor of arts candidates must also satisfy the foreign language proficiency requirement.

Major department courses may not be used to satisfy Discovery category requirements except in the case of a second or dual major.