Why study Linguistics
Because language is the window into the mind. Linguistics provides an understanding of the human capacity to acquire, perceive, and produce language and of language’s role in contemporary society.
The department offers a broad range of courses that provide a basic understanding of human language and communication. Linguistics courses examine features of language that underlie the human capacity to express concepts and communicate ideas. The courses address the connections between language, brain, culture, mind, and history. The major gives students a basic understanding of the human capacity to acquire, perceive, and produce language and of language’s role in contemporary society.
Linguistics is a superb preparation for careers that require expertise in the use of language as a means of communication, e.g., business, communications, personnel administration, teaching, health care, and social service. Many majors pursue graduate study in education, law, psychology, computer science, speech and hearing sciences, and languages.
A degree in Linguistics may also be combined with a Research Experience Certification through the KU Research Program (REP). KU's Research Experience Program (REP) is an undergraduate certificate program in which students learn content and skills via classes, apply and integrate what they've learned via a research/creative project, present the project, and then reflect on the progress they've made. Completion of the REP certificate appears on a student's official transcript. Please speak with the Linguistics Undergraduate Research Coordinator, Dr. Fiorentino (email@example.com), if you are interested in pursuing Research Experience Program certification as part of your Linguistics degree.
You can also combine your degree in Linguistics with a Global Awareness Certification through the Global Awareness Program (GAP). KU’s Global Awareness Program (GAP) is an undergraduate certificate program in which you can expand your cultural knowledge and navigate multiple perspectives. GAP tracks your progress on the three components: Academic, On-Campus Activities with a global focus, and/or International Experience (Two-out-of-three components needed to earn the certificate.) Completion of the GAP certificate appears on a student's official transcript. Please speak with the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dr. Minai (firstname.lastname@example.org), if you are interested in pursuing Global Awareness Program certification as part of your Linguistics degree.
Admission to KU
All students applying for admission must send high school and college transcripts to the Office of Admissions. Unless they are college transfer students with at least 24 hours of credit, prospective students must send ACT or SAT scores to the Office of Admissions. Prospective first-year students should be aware that KU has qualified admission requirements that all new first-year students must meet to be admitted. Consult the Office of Admissions for application deadlines and specific admission requirements.
Visit the Office of International Student and Scholar Services for information about international admissions.
Students considering transferring to KU may see how their college-level course work will transfer on the Office of Admissions website.
Admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Admission to the College is a different process from admission to a major field. Some CLAS departments have admission requirements. See individual department/program sections for departmental admission requirements.
First- and Second-Year Preparation
A student who plans to major in linguistics should fulfill the College foreign language requirement by the end of the junior year. LING 106 or LING 107, which is required for the major, provides an introductory survey of the field, and also fulfills a general education social sciences: culture and society (SC) principal course requirement. In addition, LING 110 or LING 111, which is required for the major, fulfills a general education social sciences: individual behavior (SI) principal course requirement. These courses prepare students for upper-division courses in the major. Students considering a major in linguistics should discuss their plans with the director of undergraduate studies.
Admission to the Major
Prospective majors should enroll in the following 2 introductory courses:
- LING 106/ANTH 106 Introductory Linguistics (or its honors equivalent LING 107/ANTH 107)
- LING 110 Language and Mind (or its honors equivalent LING 111)
Grade-Point Average Requirements
Students must earn a 2.5 grade-point average in the 2 designated admission courses. KU's course repeat policy applies to the GPA calculation.
Students should apply to the major during the semester in which major admission criteria will be completed; normally no later than 60 hours, or for transferring students, normally during the initial term at KU. Application to this major after completion of 60 hours, or the initial KU term for transfer students, will likely delay graduation.
Requirements for the B.A. or B.G.S. Major
Linguistics Language Proficiency
Majors must meet Language Proficiency (4th level proficiency) in a second language. Even those seeking the B.G.S. in Linguistics must complete the 4th level of foreign language proficiency. For more information about language study options, click here.
|Linguistics Major Core Knowledge and Skills (15)|
|Majors must complete a course in each of the following areas:|
|Introductory Linguistics. Satisfied by:|
|LING 106||Introductory Linguistics||3|
|or LING 107||Introductory Linguistics, Honors|
|Language & Mind. Satisfied by:|
|LING 110||Language and Mind||3|
|or LING 111||Language and Mind, Honors|
|Phonetics I. Satisfied by:|
|LING 305||Phonetics I||3|
|Introduction to Phonology. Satisfied by:|
|LING 312||Introduction to Phonology||3|
|Syntax. Satisfied by:|
|LING 325||Syntax I||3|
|Linguistics Required Courses (3)|
|Majors must complete a course in each of the following areas:|
|Acquisition & Processing. Satisfied by one of the following:||3|
|Second Language Acquisition I|
|First Language Acquisition|
|Analysis & Description. Satisfied by one of the following:|
|Introduction to the Languages of Africa|
|Field Methods in Linguistic Description|
|North American Indian Languages|
|The Structure of Japanese|
|The Structure of Chinese|
|The Structure of: _____|
|Satisfied by 2 additional courses (6 hours) in linguistics at the junior/senior (300+) level, chosen by the student in consultation with the undergraduate coordinator.||6|
|Capstone Experience (3)|
|Majors must complete one capstone course:|
|LING 420||Capstone: Research in Language Science||3|
|or LING 421||Capstone: Typology-Unity and Diversity of Human Language|
Major Hours & Major GPA
While completing all required courses, majors must also meet each of the following hour and GPA minimum standards:
Satisfied by 30 hours of major courses, or 33 hours required if completing departmental honors course LING 496.
Major Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 24 junior/senior (300+) hours of KU resident credit in the major.
Major Junior/Senior Hours
Satisfied by a minimum of 24 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the major.
Major Junior/Senior (300+) Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.
A sample 4-year plan for the BA degree in Linguistics can be found here: Linguistics, or by using the left-side navigation.
A sample 4-year plan for the BGS degree in Linguistics can be found here: Linguistics, or by using the left-side navigation.
The honors program allows exceptional undergraduate students to work closely with faculty members on a research project. To graduate with honors in linguistics, a student must complete all requirements for the linguistics major and LING 496 Honors Essay in Linguistics (usually taken in the fall semester of the senior year). The student must have a grade-point average of at least 3.5 in linguistics and 3.25 in all courses.
Consult the departmental honors coordinator or the director of undergraduate studies for information. Prospective honors candidates are encouraged to select a thesis topic and thesis director at the end of the junior year.