The Linguistics Major


Important note: those who declared the Linguistics major before Fall 2013 can elect to follow the old version of the major, as reflected in the pre-2013 Planner and Record form.

LING majors and potential majors should consult Arts and Sciences staff advisor Deanna Fierman concerning Arts and Science requirements, MAPS deficiencies, Core requirements outside of Linguistics and graduation packets. You must see the staff advisor to declare the major. Go to the Arts and Sciences Academic Advising Center website to make an appointment with the staff advisor. For advice about structuring the major according to your specific interests, consult with a LING faculty member of your choice. Once you have declared the major, you should meet with a LING faculty member when selecting your courses for the upcoming semester. You may meet with any faculty member whose office hours are convenient for you (all majors will receive an email list of current LING faculty office hours). Thereafter, you will be required to meet with a LING faculty member during the registration periods of your junior and senior years (in other words, starting at the end of your sophomore year). After advising you, the faculty member will lift your advising flag so that you can register for classes for the coming semester. You will also need to download a copy of the new LING Major Planner and Record form. Keep this form updated for your own records and bring it with you whenever you meet with a LING faculty advisor.

There are no formal prerequisites for the lower-division courses in Linguistics. However, students without strong preparation in basic grammar should take LING 1500: Understanding Grammar. This course may not be counted toward the total number of credit hours required for the major.

As a LING major, you must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete a total of 32 credit hours in LING and specified related areas, at least 18 of which must be upper-division courses.
  • Maintain a GPA of at least 2.00 (C) in both your major courses and overall.

  • Complete all LING courses with a C- or better.

  • Complete at least 5 credit hours of a language other than English. The 5 credit hours offered in satisfaction of this requirement must be at the 3000 level or above for widely taught languages (French, German, Latin, Spanish), or at the 2000 level or above for less widely taught languages (Arabic, American Sign Language, Chinese, Farsi, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish). Only courses taught in the language in question, and focused specifically on language learning, may be used for this requirement. To ensure that the language courses you enroll in will be accepted in satisfaction of the Linguistics language requirement, consult the list of approved language courses in advance of registration. The language requirement may be waived for native speakers of languages other than English; it may also be satisfied by examination or other evidence of 3000-level competence. If the requirement is waived, you must take additional upper-division LING elective courses so that you still meet the College’s minimum major requirement of 18 hours of upper-division course work and 30 hours overall in the major area.

  • Complete the following four 3-credit hour courses:

    • LING 2000 (Introduction to Linguistics)

    • LING 3100 (Sound Structures)

    • LING 3430 (Semantics)

    • LING 4420 (Morphology and Syntax).

  • Complete 15 credit hours from the following list of 3-credit linguistic electives. At least 9 credit hours of electives must be upper-division or graduate courses (or at least 12 if the language requirement is waived). Admission of undergraduates to graduate courses in Linguistics is allowed only by permission of the instructor. Note that this list includes multiple upper-division linguistic-content courses outside the Linguistics department (specifically, courses listed under ENGL, FREN, JPNS and SPAN).

    • ENGL 4003 (Introduction to Old English)


    • FREN 3010 (French Phonetics and Pronunciation)
    • FREN 3020 (French Phonetics through Musical Performance)
    • JPNS 4030 (Japanese Syntax)
    • JPNS 4070 (Second Language Acquisition of Japanese)
    • JPNS 4080 (Kanji in Japanese Orthography)
    • LING 1000 (Language in U.S. Society)
    • LING 1010 (The Study of Words)
    • LING 1020 (Languages of the World)*
    • LING 2400 (Language and Gender)*
    • LING 3005 (Cognitive Science)
    • LING 3220 (American Indian Languages)*
    • LING 3500 (Language and the Public Interest)
    • LING 3545 (World Language Rights and Policies)
    • LING 3800 (Topics in Linguistics)
    • LING 4100 (Perspectives on Language)
    • LING 4220 (Language and Mind)
    • LING 4225 (Learning Language in the World)
    • LING 4450 (Introduction to Formal Syntax)
    • LING 4560 (Language Development)
    • LING 4610 (English Structure for TESOL)
    • LING 4800 (Language and Culture)
    • LING 4900 (Independent Study)
    • LING 4830 (Honors Thesis)
    • SPAN 3050 (Spanish Phonology and Phonetics)
    • SPAN 3150 (Linguistic Analysis of Spanish)
    • SPAN 4430 (Special Topics in Hispanic Linguistics)
    • SPAN 4450 (Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics)
    • Other three-credit courses offered occasionally by the Linguistics department, or any graduate Linguistics course

Note that LING 1500 (Understanding Grammar) does not count towards hours taken for the LING major, although it does count towards graduation. Courses marked with an *asterisk may be taken to satisfy Arts & Sciences Core requirements as well as LING requirements.



University of Colorado at Boulder Search A to Z Campus Map