The CU Department of Linguistics has a strong commitment to excellence in teaching at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Our faculty features a recipient of the 2009 Boulder Faculty Assembly Teaching Excellence award, Prof. Kira Hall, as well as the 2013 recipient of the Graduate School’s Outstanding Faculty Graduate Advising award, Prof. Martha Palmer. Prof. Palmer was also recently named Professor of Distinction by the College of Arts and Sciences.
The Department offers a Major and Minor in Linguistics, the Master of Arts degree and the Doctorate (PhD) degree. There are currently over 200 students taking a Major or Minor in Linguistics, and 80 students enrolled in the MA and PhD programs. The small scale of the Department’s programs ensures close peer relationships and extensive interaction with faculty members, many of whom actively engage students in their research programs. A testament to the quality of teaching and mentorship in the undergraduate major is the fact that a high percentage of Linguistics majors complete the undergraduate Honors thesis. Among over 50 majors, minors and certificate programs in the college of Arts and Sciences, the Linguistics department ranks second in percentage of BA degrees awarded with Honors.
The educational mission of the Linguistics department, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, is to provide students with insight into the fundamental design features of language—its sound patterns, its word- and sentence-formation devices, its semantic structure—and to create awareness of language varieties: the diversity of human languages, the use of language shifts to indicate social identity, and the ontogenetic and historical development of language.