Linguistics is the systematic study of human language. Students of linguistics investigate the basic structure of language – what are the common patterns that languages share, and what are the differences? Because language provides a window into the human mind, linguistics plays a central role in the study of human cognition, in particular studies of language acquisition, and how scientific research methods can be used to investigate language processing in the mind (psycholinguistics) and brain (neurolinguistics). Language can also be studied in terms of its function as a cognitive system shared by an entire society; sociolinguistics investigates the ways in which the language we use is affected by our social environment. Historical linguistics examines language change and historical relationships between languages. Students of linguistics acquire analytical skills, and the ability to develop and present hypotheses and arguments. Students can get involved in linguistic research in the department by participating in Independent Study LIGN 199 or through the Honors Program.
The Department of Linguistics offers four undergraduate Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) majors.Learning outcomes for the four majors can be found here.
We also offer two minors:
Please see the university catalog for more details.
The undergraduate program introduces majors and non-majors to the scientific study of language in the broader perspective of a liberal arts education.
Inquiries about language classes should be directed to the Language Program advisors .
Inquiries about the Linguistics Undergraduate Program (specific questions about classes, plans of study, graduate school options, and EAP/OAP class approval) should be directed to the Undergraduate Advisors.