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BA Program

A major in Linguistics permits a student to explore both the independent and interdisciplinary aspects of human language. Courses focus on both historical and synchronic analysis, and cover several modern approaches to data. Students wishing to declare the major should have already completed or be currently enrolled in at least one course counting toward the program.

Why Study Linguistics?

Requirements for Major

The major program consists of 30 credits. The following courses, yielding 12 credits, are required of all majors:

  • LNGS 3250
  • a course in historical linguistics (e.g., ANTH 3480, CLAS 3300, or ENLS 3030).
  • a course in the structure of a language, which must be a linguistics course (e.g., ANTH 3450, LING 3400, or SPAN 4203)
  • a course in theoretical linguistics, (e.g., ANTH 3490 or ANTH 4420).

The remaining credit hours are comprised of linguistics electives. A maximum of three credits of study of an ancient (e.g., Sanskrit, Old Icelandic) or a non-Indo-European (e.g., Japanese, American Sign Language) language may be applied toward the major. Linguistics majors may double-count no more than two courses with another program. The program is chosen in consultation with the program director. Input from an advisor in a related department is also encouraged.

Distinguished Majors Program in Linguistics

Students with superior academic performance may apply to the Distinguished Majors Program (DMP) in which they write a thesis demonstrating original research. Requirements for admission to the DMP are:

  1. an overall GPA of at least 3.400, and a GPA of at least 3.400 in the major. This GPA must be maintained throughout the fourth year in order for distinction to be awarded;
  2. a thesis proposal, signed and approved by the faculty member in Linguistics who has primary responsibility for supervising the thesis, and by a second faculty member who is the second reader. After consulting with the Program Director in the Spring of the third year, the prospective DMP student submits a DMP proposal for approval by the start of the following semester.

After admission, DMP students enroll in LING 4998 in the first semester of the fourth year. In the second semester of the fourth year, students sign up for LING 4999. These courses place the DMP student over and above the minimum 30 credits required for the Linguistics major. The thesis may be based on empirical research conducted by the student or a critical review or theoretical analysis of existing findings in linguistics or a related field. Students must submit the first draft to their advisors by March 1, and the final draft by April 15. 

Requirements for Minor

The minor is the same as the major with respect to required courses. Two electives are required in addition, for a total of 18 credits. Only Linguistics courses (i.e., no language courses) may be applied toward the minor. Linguistics minors may not double-count any courses with another minor or major.

The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only.  The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at

For questions about the Linguistics Program, please contact Linguistics Program Director Mark Sicoli.