Why study linguistics?

Because language is a 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.

Minor Overview

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 minor 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 minor 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 (fiorentino@ku.edu), 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 (minai@ku.edu), if you are interested in pursuing Global Awareness Program certification as part of your Linguistics degree.

Requirements for the Minor

Students can graduate with one of the two Linguistics tracks - either the General Linguistics Track or the Second Language Acquisition Track.

General Linguistics Track:

LING 106Introductory Linguistics3
or LING 107 Introductory Linguistics, Honors
LING 110Language and Mind3
or LING 111 Language and Mind, Honors
LING 305Phonetics I3
LING 312Introduction to Phonology3
LING 325Syntax I3
Elective: One 3-hour junior/senior level (300+) Linguistics course chosen by the student in consultation with their Linguistics advisor3
Total Hours18

Second Language Acquisition Track:

LING 110Language and Mind3
or LING 111 Language and Mind, Honors
LING 305Phonetics I3
LING 325Syntax I3
LING 343Bilingualism3
LING 415Second Language Acquisition I3
Elective: Any 3-hour Linguistics course (including LING106 or LING107), or a 3-hour course from the Advanced Language Structure list below, chosen by the student in consultation with their Linguistics advisor
AAAS 470Language and Society in Africa3
or EALC 570 The Structure of Japanese
or EALC 572 The Structure of Chinese
or FREN 310 French Phonetics
or FREN 441 The Story of French
or FREN 443 French Inside Out
or SLAV 520 Russian Phonetics, Phonology, and Inflectional Morphology
or SLAV 522 The Grammatical Categories of Russian: Linguistic Units, Functions and Meanings
or SPAN 429 Spanish Phonetics
or SPAN 520 Structure of Spanish
or SPAN 570 Studies in Hispanic Linguistics: _____
Total Hours18

Minor Hours & GPA

While completing all required courses, minors must also meet each of the following hour and grade point average minimum standards:

Minor Hours
Satisfied by 18 hours of minor courses.

Minor Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 12 hours of junior/senior (300+) hours of KU resident credit in the minor. 

Minor Junior/Senior Hours
Satisfied by a minimum of 12 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the minor.

Minor Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 GPA in all departmental courses in the minor. GPA calculations include all departmental courses in the field of study including Fs and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.