Undergraduate Study in Linguistics

Girl & Boy"I am very happy with the level of interaction between students and faculty/staff members in the Linguistics department. I have been able to get to know all of my LING teachers. Since the LING department is a bit smaller than most, it allows this interaction. Also, it's nice to have multiple classes with the same people. This also makes group activities and participating in class easier and more enjoyable." —Senior, Italian and Linguistics double major

"The Linguistics faculty are so easy to work with. Yes, they instruct you, but they are patient when you don't understand and are always enthusiastic about working outside of class if needed." —Junior, French and Linguistics double major

As reflected in the above quotes, the Linguistics department gives its majors the experience of an academic neighborhood—something that few other CU departments can do. At present, there are about 85 students working toward a Major or Minor degree in Linguistics at CU Boulder. Because of the small scale of the major and a faculty dedicated to teaching excellence, Linguistics majors can interact extensively with peers and instructors both inside and outside the classroom.

Because the Linguistics major has relatively few course requirements (27 credits in Linguistics plus 5 credits of a natural language other than English), it can readily be combined with electives, a minor or a double major in another field that interests you. Among the areas of study that you can insightfully combine with linguistics are: Anthropology, International Affairs, Communication, Theatre, Speech, Language and Hearing Science, Cognitive Science, Computer Science, Education, modern languages, Philosophy, Classics and Sociology.

What can you do with a degree in linguistics? Linguistics graduates have built careers in foreign service, international business, translation and interpreting, lexicography, teaching English as a Second Language in the US and abroad, information technology, technical writing and publishing. Students who augment their linguistics training with computer science coursework are highly valued by companies that develop natural-language processing tools for speech recognition, speech synthesis, automatic translation and information retrieval. Even if you do not intend to work in a language-related profession, the linguistics major can benefit you: business and industry employers are increasingly aware that linguistics majors have well developed skills in complex problem solving.

Linguistics students are also well equipped for further training in many fields, including some already mentioned: Anthropology, International Affairs, Law, Journalism, Communication, Speech, Language and Hearing Science, Computer Science, Education, foreign languages, Philosophy and Psychology. And of course, linguistics majors often pursue graduate study in linguistics and closely related areas, including psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, computational linguistics, neurolinguistics and speech pathology. If you want to know more about the field of linguistics, what the linguistics major is about and how you can use a BA degree in linguistics, go to Why Major in Linguistics? on the Linguistics Society of America website.



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