Linguistics Major and Minor
What is linguistics?
Linguistics is the scientific study of language, and as such offers students the opportunity to look at one of the tools used by human beings to create and perform cultural and social identities and practices. The field of linguistics draws on a wide area of inquiry, including the investigation of the ways that languages change over time, description of the ways in which language functions as a part of cultures, considerations of the interrelatedness of language and thought, examination of the process of language acquisition, and analysis of the functioning of the brain and the vocal organs in the production and analysis of speech.
As a linguistics major at CSUSM, you will complete a core set of classes and select from one of three concentrations (As a new student, you will have to select one of these concentrations when you apply; however, core coursework is the same for all three in the first year, and you can switch anytime during your second year after you've explored your interests more):
- Language, Culture, and Society. The Language, Culture, and Society Concentration provides students with a solid grounding in the core fields of linguistics, coupled with an exploration of the many ways in which language is implicated in the construction and practice of all cultures. Students deepen their understanding of the connection between language and culture through classes which offer a linguistic lens on these processes. Classes from related disciplines offer a wider range of perspectives from which to view and understand the interconnection of language, culture, and society. Language, Culture, and Society majors are encouraged to participate in CSUSM’s Study Abroad Program.
- Speech and Language Sciences. The Speech and Language Sciences Concentration is designed for students who want to pursue careers in the field of speech-language pathology (SLP). The courses included in this concentration represent a subset of prerequisite courses that students must take in preparation for applying to the Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology at CSUSM*, or at other SLP programs. Students interested in applying to Master of Science programs at other institutions should consult with those programs about course equivalency.
- Language Studies. The Language Studies Concentration provides students with a solid foundation in linguistics combined with the study of a language of choice. Students acquire general skills in linguistic analysis, which are in turn applied to the language of choice. Students deepen their knowledge of the language through literature classes and gain interdisciplinary perspectives from area studies classes in other departments focusing on the country or setting where the language is spoken. The languages available for study are Spanish, German, French. Students interested in studying other languages should speak to an advisor in the Linguistics Program to determine the language of focus and the appropriate coursework below. It is recommended that language studies majors participate in CSUSM’s Study Abroad Program.
View Linguistics Major Worksheet for complete requirements.
To learn more about what you can do with a linguistics major, and by extension to have some ideas about what you could do with a linguistics minor, read this article by the Linguistic Society of America.
The purpose of the Minor in Linguistics is to introduce students to the analysis of linguistic structures through the core courses of the minor, and then to provide students with the opportunity to pursue, through a range of course options, the direction of linguistic study that best complements their chosen major. The minor consists of 21 units of credit.
View Linguistics Minor Worksheet.
Jocelyn Ahlers, Professor of Linguistics
Nicoleta Bateman, Professor of Linguistics
Visit Cal State Apply to apply for Fall 2023 admission.
Current courses in linguistics
- LING 101 - Mysteries of Human Language: An Introduction to Linguistics
- LING 105 - Language Use in Social Media
- LING 121 - History and Structure of English Words
- LING 150 - Introduction to Communicative Sciences and Disorders
- LING 190 - Topics in Linguistics
- LING 200 - English Grammar and Syntax
- LING 255 - Language Endangerment and Revitalization
- LING 300 - Linguistics in the Classroom
- LING 303 - Black English
- LING 305 - Languages in Contact
- LING 321 - Introduction to Syntax
- LING 331 - Survey of Native American Languages
- LING 340 - Interdisciplinary Topics in Linguistics
- LING 341 - Language Issues in the United States
- LING 350 - Language Structures
- LING 351 - Language Acquisition
- LING 355 - Heritage Languages and Heritage Speakers
- LING 360 - Introduction to Cognitive Linguistics
- LING 361 - Introduction to Morphology
- LING 371 - Linguistic Anthropology
- LING 381 - Language and Gender
- LING 390 - Topics in Linguistics
- LING 391 - Phonetics and Phonology
- LING 400 - Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Literacy
- LING 451 - Bilingualism
- LING 480 - Field Methods for Linguistics
- LING 499A - Supervised Independent Study
- LING 499B - Supervised Independent Study
- LING 499C - Supervised Independent Study