Jun 21, 2024  
2022-2023 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2028 
2022-2023 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2028 [Archived Catalog]

Linguistics (BS)

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Affiliation: School of Arts & Letters


Linguistics is the study of human language. Students in the BS Linguistics program analyze the structure of language, study the relationship between language and society, gain insights into language development and learning, explore language and the mind, and investigate language in the context of culture.

NOTE: No grade of “D” in major courses is accepted toward a Linguistics degree. An overall cumulative grade point average of 2.5 is required in the major.


Seniors who wish to graduate with Honors in Linguistics must meet the following requirements. Students complete a senior capstone research project in conjunction with the senior seminar course. The capstone project is judged according to eight criteria:

  • Command of linguistic terminology;
  • Knowledge of linguistic theory;
  • Knowledge of previous scholarly work;
  • Scientific treatment of data; 
  • Analysis of data;
  • Sensitivity to linguistic diversity;
  • Connection to other academic areas and/or “real-life” areas of Applied Linguistics;
  • Effective written and oral communication skills.

Students whose major portfolio (compiled during the senior seminar course) is deemed proficient in all outcomes and excellent in four or more, and who have at least a 3.50 cumulative GPA and a 3.70 GPA in the major at the time of graduation are awarded Departmental Honors in Linguistics. A student with a 4.0 major GPA may be awarded Departmental Honors with only three outcomes deemed excellent.  


All Linguistics majors will develop their skills as speakers and as writers. In several of our required courses (including sequence of seminars and LING 414), students can learn how to find and ethically cite appropriate sources, and to follow APA style (which is the style required in most linguistics journals). Students will give both individual and group presentations in multiple LING courses. Every student completes an original piece of research and produces a research paper (in successive stages, receiving and responding to formative feedback on earlier drafts), and presents their research at the English & Linguistic Senior Seminar conference. The presentation is practiced prior to the conference, so that students get feedback about content, organization, visual support, and delivery.


Dialogues Requirements: 42-61 Credits

Missouri Statute (1-4 credits)

Bachelor of Science Requirement: 6-8 Credits

At least six (6) credits from at least two of the following four areas:


The Linguistics major consists of two (2) parts: Required Support and Major Requirements. Each student must complete both parts.

Part I: Required Support: 0-6 Credits

Intermediate proficiency in ONE foreign language

Structure and History of Language:

Select ONE of the following courses:

Core Areas of Analysis:

Select TWO of the following courses:

Elective Courses:

Select additional LING courses to total at least 34 credits in the major.

Note: Students may also elect one semester of a non-Indo-European language (e.g., Arabic, Hebrew, Chinese, Japanese, American Sign Language) or a language structurally dissimilar to English (e.g., Russian, Ancient Greek) for linguistics major elective credit (which will not double-count with the language proficiency requirement of the major). Students may also elect an upper-level language-specific linguistics course (e.g., a course in German dialectology, Spanish Applied Linguistics, etc.) with the permission of the department chair, but only one such course may double-count with another major or minor.


Electives to Total: 120 Credits

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