Department of Linguistics University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Linguistics Major

For the official catalog text specifying the requirements for the linguistics major, please see the university's Programs of Study page.

The requirements for the linguistics major are designed to ensure that students receive basic training in all the most central areas of modern linguistics, pursue more advanced courses in areas of special interest, familiarize themselves with at least two foreign languages (one of which must be "non-Western"), and support their linguistic training with courses in related fields. The program requires a total of 48-60 subject hours, broken down into the following major categories:

Linguistics Core Courses (18 subject hours):

  • LING 100 - Introduction to Language Science
  • LING 210 - Language History
  • LING 301 - Elements of Syntax
  • LING 302 - Elements of Phonology
  • LING 307 - Elements of Semantics & Pragmatics
  • LING 401 - Introduction to General Phonetics

One course from the following (3 subject hours):

  • LING 225 - Language, Mind and Brain
  • LING 250 - Language Diversity in the USA

If you take both of these courses, you may count one of them toward the "Major electives" requirement below.

Major electives (15 subject hours):

15 hours of Linguistics courses at the 200-level or above, chosen in consultation with the Undergraduate Advisor.

Foreign language requirement (8-10 subject hours):

Students must fulfill the LAS foreign language requirement and, in addition, complete at least 8 hours in a second foreign language. One of these languages must be a non-Western language chosen from the following list or approved in consultation with the Undergraduate Advisor: American Sign Language, Arabic, Bamana, Basque, Chinese, Hebrew, Hindi/Urdu, Japanese, Korean, Lingala, Persian, Quechua, Sanskrit, Swahili, Turkish, Wolof, or Zulu. Courses used to complete this requirement may also be used to meet the requirement of "Courses in linguistically relevant areas" below.

Courses in linguistically relevant areas (14 subject hours):

These must be chosen in consultation with the Undergraduate Advisor.

The courses may come from any of the following disciplines: any foreign language, anthropology, classics, computer science, English, English as an International Language, philosophy, psychology, speech and hearing science, or speech communication.

Students desiring to specialize in the linguistics of a particular language should complete at least four semesters of instruction in that language beyond the elementary level and a linguistics course or independent study focusing on the selected language or its language family.

Advanced hours:

Students must complete at least 12 hours of linguistics courses at the 300-level or above on this campus. These courses may be included in the core courses or electives required above; this requirement is normally met automatically by completing the other requirements.

Major Plan of Study

Each student must complete a "Major Plan of Study" form in consultation with the Undergraduate Advisor, and submit it to the Undergraduate Services Office of the School of Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics. It is recommended that this form be completed shortly after the major is declared (but in any case before the end of the fifth semester), and updated periodically afterwards.