The Department of Linguistics offers a major in Linguistics; a major in Language, Culture & Society; and a number of emphases that add a specialization to the Linguistics major.
The department’s major in Linguistics focuses on the structure and use of language as a fundamental human activity, exploring similarities and differences across the languages of the world in phonetics, phonology, grammar, meaning, historical linguistics, and other aspects of linguistic structure, function, and cognition. It is especially recommended for students planning to pursue a graduate degree in linguistics, and for students interested in careers allowing them to make use of the knowledge and analytical skills they develop in linguistic analysis.
The department's major in Language, Culture & Society is an interdisciplinary degree that focuses on sociocultural linguistics, combining aspects of sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, and related fields. It is especially recommended for students planning to pursue a graduate degree related to sociocultural linguistics, and for students interested in careers allowing them to combine issues of language, culture, and society.
The department also offers emphases in a variety of modern languages: Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Slavic (Russian), and Spanish. These emphases allow students to combine a strong foundation in linguistics with close study of a particular language. The language emphases are especially recommended for students planning to pursue graduate study of linguistics within a modern language department, and for students interested in careers involving a high degree of language ability and knowledge of linguistic structure, including international careers.
Bachelor of Arts – Linguistics – Chinese Emphasis
Bachelor of Arts – Linguistics – English Emphasis
Bachelor of Arts – Linguistics – French Emphasis
Bachelor of Arts – Linguistics – German Emphasis
Bachelor of Arts – Linguistics – Japanese Emphasis
Bachelor of Arts – Linguistics – Slavic Emphasis
Bachelor of Arts – Linguistics – Spanish Emphasis
In addition, the department offers an emphasis in Speech and Language Technologies. Students in this emphasis complete a range of courses that cover the structural analysis of language, quantitative and statistical methods for detecting sequential and hierarchical patterns, and computational approaches for parsing and synthesizing speech and language. The Speech and Language Technologies emphasis is ideal for students planning to pursue careers in many aspects of tech-oriented industries, such as software development, search algorithms and analytics, voice recognition, language-based user interfaces, and speech synthesis.
The department also offers four minors: General Linguistics, Sociocultural Linguistics, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, and Speech and Language Technologies. Minors allow students to add depth in linguistics to another degree, in preparation for graduate school in linguistics or a related field or for a career requiring linguistic knowledge and/or analytic ability.
Students majoring in linguistics are encouraged to minor in related areas to which the Department of Linguistics contributes, such as the American Indian and Indigenous Studies minor, the Feminist Studies minor, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Studies minor, the Speech and Hearing Sciences minor, or a minor in a modern or classical language. For more information about minor requirements, visit the Office of the Registrar.