Department of Linguistics

Sean Fulop, Chair
Peters Business Building, Room 383

B.S. in Cognitive Science
B.A. in Linguistics - Computational Linguistics Option
B.A. in Linguistics - General Linguistics Option
B.A. in Linguistics - Interdisciplinary Language Studies Option
B.A. in Linguistics - TESOL / SLAT (Second Language Acquisition & Teaching) Option
M.A. in Linguistics
M.A. in Linguistics - TESOL / SLAT (Second Language Acquisition & Teaching) Option
Minor in Chinese
Minor in Cognitive Science
Minor in Computational Linguistics
Minor in Hmong
Minor in Japanese
Minor in Linguistics
Minor in Teaching English As A Second Language
Certificate of Advanced Study in Linguistics - TESOL/SLAT (Second Language Acquisition & Teaching)
Certificate of Special Study in Linguistics - TESOL / SLAT [Second Language Acquisition and Teaching] 

Courses Offered

The Department

Linguistics is the study of the human capacity for language. Language is the defining characteristic of the human species; without language, there would be no civilization, no culture, no scientific or technological development, none of the achievements and capabilities distinctive to the human species. Therefore, the study of the nature of language is fundamental to the understanding of what it means to be human.

Students and faculty in linguistics investigate the nature of human language, its structure, diversity, universality, acquisition by children and adults, historical change, and its use in society. They study how language is processed in the human mind/brain, and how it relates to other human cognitive faculties. And they study and develop applications of linguistics to teaching, technology, and many other fields.

Degrees and Programs

Our degrees and programs develop intellectual skills that are essential to professional careers or advanced degrees and can be applied directly to various professional fields. An undergraduate or advanced degree in linguistics can prepare you for a career in a variety of different fields, including but not limited to: teaching, publishing, national security, international affairs, policy, forensics, medicine and technology. Our programs also serve as excellent preparation for pursuing advanced degrees in linguistics and other fields such as English, Anthropology, Psychology, Sociology, Computer Science, and Foreign Languages.

The B.A. Option in General Linguistics provides a broad background in the scientific study of language, including but not limited to phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, language acquisition, sociolinguistics, and related areas.

The B.A. Option in TESL provides professional training and preparation in theories and methods for teaching second/foreign languages and is especially compatible with degrees in education and liberal studies.

The B.A. Option in Interdisciplinary Language Studies is for those students interested in combining the study of a particular language or languages with the core areas of linguistics.

The B.A. Option in Computational Linguistics is for those students interested in text processing, forensic linguistics, software design, machine translation, and other professions dealing with the interface between computers and humans.

The B.S. Degree in Cognitive Science is an interdisciplinary program that combines aspects of Computer Science, Psychology, Linguistics, and Philosophy.

The M.A. degree in Linguistics is designed to increase the student’s knowledge and understanding of linguistics and its applications. The M.A. degree has two options, one in General Linguistics and one in TESOL / SLAT. The general linguistics program is designed to train students who expect to do further graduate work, to teach linguistics at the college level, or to do linguistic field work on less-studied languages. The option in TESOL / SLAT prepares students for further graduate work in applied linguistics and serves those who wish to teach English to speakers of other languages at any educational level, either abroad or in this country. The TESOL / SLAT option specifically meets the needs of English language teachers in this region.

Minors in Chinese, Hmong, and Japanese are also available for students with plans to pursue careers in various areas, such as education, health care, international affairs, marketing, economics, national security, art and literature, etc., where a knowledge of language and culture would be useful.

The Undergraduate Certificate of Special Study in Teaching English as a Second Language is intended for local and international Bachelors students who wish to specialize in English as a Second Language methods. The Graduate Certificate in TESL is designed to train students in the theory and practice of TESL, with application to a wide variety of teaching circumstances.


The Department of Linguistics has a computer lab for computer-assisted language learning (CALL) and for language study. The Department also has a sound booth for phonetic analysis. The Linguistics Department provides practical classroom teaching experience for qualified ESL students through internship programs at area schools and through employment with the American English Institute.