Linguistics, BALAS

for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences Major in Linguistics

department website:

department faculty: Linguistics Faculty

advising: Linguistics Advising 

overview of college admissions & requirements: Liberal Arts & Sciences

college website:


The Department of Linguistics offers undergraduate instruction of four types: courses in linguistics, in English as an International Language, English as a Second Language, and in non-Western languages.

Linguistics courses focus on empirical and theoretical issues connected with how languages are structured, how they are used, and how they change through time. These courses are of interest not only to linguistics majors, but to students in any field where the analysis of languages is important: anthropology, speech and hearing science, psychology, philosophy, computer science, foreign languages, and others.

English as an International Language courses are concerned with the teaching of English to speakers of other languages, and are useful to any students planning a career in language teaching.

English as a Second Language courses are for students whose first language is not English, to build up skills in speaking, understanding, reading, and writing English.

Non-Western Language courses build up skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing a specific language; familiarize students with literatures and cultures connected with the language; and examine linguistic issues peculiar to the language itself. These courses are of interest to students planning international careers, or simply desiring to broaden their perspective and learn about a different language and culture.  Languages offered by the department are: African Languages (Bamana, Lingala, Swahili, Wolof, and Zulu), Arabic, Hindi, Modern Greek, Persian, Sanskrit, Turkish.

for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences Major in Linguistics

A Major Plan of Study Form must be completed and submitted to the LAS Student Affairs Office before the end of the fifth semester (60-75 hours). Please see your adviser.

Departmental distinction: Students are strongly encouraged to fulfill the requirements for completing their program with distinction. Candidates for the degree with distinction must register their candidacy with their advisers no later than the end of the second semester of the junior year. They must achieve a grade point average of at least 3.4 for the required 36 hours in linguistics, and register for at least 4 hours of LING 391 - Honors Individual Study, plus submit a senior honors thesis to the Department of Linguistics by the first day of the month preceding the month of graduation.

General education: Students must complete the Campus General Education requirements including the campus general education language requirement.

Minimum required major and supporting course work: Normally equates to 50-52 hours.

Students must complete 21 hours of coursework at the 300- or 400-level, including at least 12 hours of 300- or 400-level linguistics courses on this campus. These courses may be included in the core courses or electives.

Twelve hours of 300- or 400-level courses in the major must be taken on this campus.

Minimum hours required for graduation: 120 hours.

Major core courses: 18
Intro to Language Science
Language History
Elements of Syntax
Elements of Phonology
Elmnts Semantics & Pragmatics
Intro to General Phonetics
Select one of the following:3
Language, Mind, and Brain
American Voices: Linguistic Diversity in the US
Major electives: 15 hours of Linguistics courses at the 200- to 400-level, chosen in consultation with the student's advisor15
Students must fulfill the LAS foreign language requirement, and in addition, complete at least 8 hours in a second foreign language. One of these languages must be a non-Western language chosen from the following list or approved in consultation with the student's advisor: American Sign Language, Arabic, Bamana, Basque, Chinese, Hebrew, Hindi/Urdu, Japanese, Korean, Lingala, Persian, Quechua, Sanskrit, Swahili, Turkish, Wolof, Zulu. Courses used to complete this requirement may also be used to meet the requirement of "Courses in linguistically relevant areas," below. 8-10
Courses in linguistically relevant areas chosen in consultation with the student's advisor. There are two ways of meeting this requirement: 14
A. The courses may come from any of the following disciplines: any foreign language, anthropology, classics, computer science, English, English as an international language, philosophy, psychology, speech and hearing science, communication.
B. Students desiring to specialize in the linguistics of a particular language should complete at least four semesters of instruction in that language beyond the elementary level, and a linguistics course or independent study focusing on the selected language or its language family.