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Linguistics Major

Effective Fall 2023

Advising

Advising appointments can be made here or by contacting linguistics-ssc@umich.edu

Prerequisites

None; LING 111, 209, or 210 are recommended. (One of 209 or 210 may count toward the major, but not both)

Requirements

Minimum Credits: 30

Minimum Credits: 30

The Linguistics major requires a total of 30 credits, subject to the constraints below.  All credits must be at the 300 level or higher, except for either LING 209 or 210, one of which may count towards the major.

Required Core Courses (12 credits). All majors are required to take the following four courses in the Linguistics Department. The coursework in LING 313, 315, and 316 should be completed as soon as possible, to ensure that all students gain a solid understanding of Linguistics before electing further courses.

  1. LING 313: Sound Patterns. This course explores two fundamental aspects of sounds in language: speech sounds as physical entities (phonetics) and speech sounds as linguistic units (phonology).
  2. LING 315: Introduction to Syntax. This course examines the rule systems whereby words are organized into phrases and phrases into sentences in natural languages.
  3. LING 316: Aspects of Meaning. This course introduces students to the study of meaning in language (semantics).
  4. LING 497: Capstone Seminar. This seminar brings previous coursework, particularly the other required courses, to bear on a specific topic that may vary by term. LING 313, 315, and 316 are prerequisites for 497, but may be taken concurrently with the instructor’s permission.

Students may request to replace a core course with an equivalent advanced, transfer, or study abroad course, but such substitutions are not guaranteed.

Electives (18 credits). Beyond the four core courses, majors fill out their program of 30 total credits, in consultation with a Linguistics advisor, using courses from the categories below:

  • Other Linguistics Courses. Other courses at the 300-level or higher with a LING number, including cross-listed courses. Also, one of LING 209 or LING 210, but not both, may count toward the major.
  • Cognate Courses. Each term, the Linguistics Department posts on its website a list of cognate courses from other departments that are pre-approved for the major. Students may also request that courses not on this list count towards the major, following the guidelines linked here.
  • Independent Study/Experiential Coursework (at most 9 credits). Independent study and experiential practice courses (as defined here) with a LING number may count towards the major, up to a combined total of 9 credits. For more details on independent studies, please see our guidelines.
  • Study Abroad & Transfer Credit. Current students interested in studying abroad or taking courses at another institution must submit a request to pre-approve these courses. Upon completion, students must provide material from the courses (such as the syllabus, lecture notes, and graded homework, papers, and exams) to confirm this pre-approval.

Other Department Policies

Double Major. Because the study of language is quite often interdisciplinary, a major in Linguistics can be designed to integrate very well with other academic fields. As a result, it is very common for Linguistics majors to also major in a second field. An LSA double major requires satisfying all of the requirements for the major of both programs. However, neither LSA nor the Department of Linguistics imposes any limit on "double-counting" courses between majors, allowing students to double-major with substantially fewer than 60 total major credits. (Check with an advisor in the second major, though, to confirm their policy on shared courses)

Residency

Transfer Students. Upon matriculation, transfer students should submit a request for their transfer courses to receive Linguistics credit as soon as possible.

Distribution Policy

No course used to fulfill a major requirement may be used toward the LSA Distribution Requirement. In addition, courses in the LING subject area may not be used toward the Distribution Requirement.

Honors

The Honors major in Linguistics requires completion of the requirements for the major and, in addition, a senior Honors project leading to an Honors thesis. The thesis must be written under the supervision of a faculty member of the Department of Linguistics and with permission of a department advisor. Students may elect LING 495 and 496 when writing the Honors thesis (but are not required to do so). Finally, LSA requires students in an Honors major to maintain a GPA of 3.4 or higher overall (not just in Linguistics).

Linguistics (Major) (Fall 2021 - Summer 2023)

Effective Fall 2021

Advising

Advising appointments can be made here or by contacting linguistics@umich.edu

Prerequisites

None; LING 111, 209, or 210 are recommended.  (One of 209 or 210 may count toward the major, but not both.)

 

Requirements

Minimum Credits: 30

The Linguistics major requires a total of 30 credits at the 300 level or higher, subject to the constraints below.

Required Core Courses (12 credits). All majors are required to take the following four courses in the Linguistics Department. The coursework in LING 313, 315, and 316 should be completed as soon as possible, to ensure that all students gain a solid understanding of Linguistics before electing further courses, especially 497.

  1. LING 313: Sound Patterns. This course explores two fundamental aspects of the sounds of the world’s languages: speech sounds as physical entities (phonetics) and speech sounds as linguistic units (phonology).
  2. LING 315: Introduction to Syntax. This course examines the rule systems whereby words are organized into phrases and phrases into sentences in natural languages.
  3. LING 316: Aspects of Meaning. This course introduces students to the study of meaning in language.
  4. LING 497: Capstone Seminar. This seminar brings previous coursework, particularly the other required courses, to bear on a specific topic that may vary by term. LING 313, 315, and 316 are prerequisites for 497, but may be taken concurrently with permission of instructor.

    In extraordinary circumstances, with permission of the Director of Undergraduate Studies, an advanced course in the area of phonetics/phonology, semantics, or syntax could satisfy the LING 313, 315, or 316 requirement.

Electives (18 credits). Beyond the four core courses, majors are encouraged to fill out their program of 30 total credits, in consultation with a Linguistics advisor, using courses from the categories below.

  1. Regular Linguistics Classroom Courses (at least 6 additional credits).  Majors must complete at least 18 total credits of traditional classroom courses offered by the Department of Linguistics. (The core courses account for 12 of these 18 credits.) Note that cross-listed courses count towards this category whether or not students enroll under the LING number, but meet-together courses only count when registered under the LING number.
  2. Any remaining credits (up to 12) may be met using the following flexible categories:
    1. Independent Study Courses (at most 6 credits).  At most 6 credits of independent study or independent reading courses may count towards the major.  For more details, see our guidelines on independent studies.
    2. Experiential Practice Courses (at most 6 credits).  At most 6 credits of experiential practice courses may count towards the major. (Note that this is calculated separately from the limit on independent studies; a student might theoretically take 6 credits of each.)
    3. Cognate and Transfer Courses.  Subject to the limits above, approved cognate courses offered by another program or department and/or approved transfer credits from another institution may count towards the major. Each term, the Linguistics Department posts a list of cognates on its website that are pre-evaluated for the major. Students may also request that courses not on this list (including transfer credit) count towards the major. These requests must be individually evaluated by the Linguistics Director of Undergraduate Studies, who will generally follow the guidelines linked here.
    4. LING 209 or LING 210: One of these courses, but not both, may count toward the major.

 

Other Department Policies

Double Major. Because the study of language is quite often interdisciplinary, a major in Linguistics can be designed to integrate very well with other academic fields. As a result, it is very common for Linguistics majors to also major in a second field. An LSA double major requires satisfying all of the requirements for the major of both programs. However, neither LSA nor the Department of Linguistics imposes any limit on "double-counting" courses between majors, allowing students to double-major with substantially fewer than 60 total major credits. (Check with an advisor in the second major, though, to confirm their policy on jointly counted courses.)

Residency

Study Abroad / Transfer Credit
Current students interested in pursuing a study-abroad program or taking any courses at another institution must first meet with the Linguistics Director of Undergraduate Studies to have their courses pre-evaluated for Linguistics major credit.  Upon completion of these courses, students must meet again with the Director of Undergraduate Studies to provide material from the course (such as the syllabus, lecture notes, and graded homework, papers, and exams).

Although new transfer students cannot seek pre-evaluation for transfer courses, they should bring as much of this material as possible to the Director of Undergraduate Studies when seeking Linguistics major credit.

Distribution Policy

No course used to fulfill a major requirement may be used toward the LSA Distribution Requirement. In addition, courses in the LING subject area may not be used toward the Distribution Requirement.

Honors

The Honors major in Linguistics requires completion of the requirements for the major and, in addition, a senior Honors project leading to an Honors thesis. The thesis must be written under the supervision of a faculty member of the Department of Linguistics and with permission of a department advisor. Students may elect LING 495 and 496 when writing the Honors thesis (but are not required to do so). Finally, LSA requires students in an Honors major to maintain a GPA of 3.4 or higher overall (not just in Linguistics).

Linguistics (Major) (Winter 2018 - Summer 2021)

Effective Winter 2018

Advising

Advising appointments can be made here or by contacting linguistics@umich.edu

Prerequisites

None; LING 111, 209, 210 or 212 are recommended.

 

Requirements

Minimum Credits: 30

The Linguistics major requires a total of 30 credits at the 300 level or higher, subject to the constraints below.

Required Core Courses (12 credits). All majors are required to take the following four courses in the Linguistics Department. The coursework in LING 313, 315, and 316 should be completed as soon as possible, to ensure that all students gain a solid understanding of Linguistics before electing further courses, especially 497.

  1. LING 313: Sound Patterns. This course explores two fundamental aspects of the sounds of the world’s languages: speech sounds as physical entities (phonetics) and speech sounds as linguistic units (phonology).
  2. LING 315: Introduction to Syntax. This course examines the rule systems whereby words are organized into phrases and phrases into sentences in natural languages.
  3. LING 316: Aspects of Meaning. This course introduces students to the study of meaning in language.
  4. LING 497: Capstone Seminar. This seminar brings previous coursework, particularly the other required courses, to bear on a specific topic that may vary by term. LING 313, 315, and 316 are prerequisites for 497, but may be taken concurrently with permission of instructor.

    In extraordinary circumstances, with permission of the Director of Undergraduate Studies, an advanced course in the area of phonetics/phonology, semantics, or syntax could satisfy the LING 313, 315, or 316 requirement.

Electives (18 credits). Beyond the four core courses, majors are encouraged to fill out their program of 30 total credits, in consultation with a Linguistics advisor, using courses from the categories below.

  1. Regular Linguistics Classroom Courses (at least 6 additional credits).  Majors must complete at least 18 total credits of traditional classroom courses offered by the Department of Linguistics. (The core courses account for 12 of these 18 credits.) Note that cross-listed courses count towards this category whether or not students enroll under the LING number, but meet-together courses only count when registered under the LING number.
  2. Any remaining credits (up to 12) may be met using the following flexible categories:
    1. Independent Study Courses (at most 6 credits).  At most 6 credits of independent study or independent reading courses may count towards the major.  For more details, see our guidelines on independent studies.
    2. Experiential Practice Courses (at most 6 credits).  At most 6 credits of experiential practice courses may count towards the major. (Note that this is calculated separately from the limit on independent studies; a student might theoretically take 6 credits of each.)
    3. Cognate and Transfer Courses.  Subject to the limits above, approved cognate courses offered by another program or department and/or approved transfer credits from another institution may count towards the major. Each term, the Linguistics Department posts a list of cognates on its website that are pre-evaluated for the major. Students may also request that courses not on this list (including transfer credit) count towards the major. These requests must be individually evaluated by the Linguistics Director of Undergraduate Studies, who will generally follow the guidelines linked here.

 

Other Department Policies

Double Major. Because the study of language is quite often interdisciplinary, a major in Linguistics can be designed to integrate very well with other academic fields. As a result, it is very common for Linguistics majors to also major in a second field. An LSA double major requires satisfying all of the requirements for the major of both programs. However, neither LSA nor the Department of Linguistics imposes any limit on "double-counting" courses between majors, allowing students to double-major with substantially fewer than 60 total major credits. (Check with an advisor in the second major, though, to confirm their policy on jointly counted courses.)

Residency

Study Abroad / Transfer Credit
Current students interested in pursuing a study-abroad program or taking any courses at another institution must first meet with the Linguistics Director of Undergraduate Studies to have their courses pre-evaluated for Linguistics major credit.  Upon completion of these courses, students must meet again with the Director of Undergraduate Studies to provide material from the course (such as the syllabus, lecture notes, and graded homework, papers, and exams).

Although new transfer students cannot seek pre-evaluation for transfer courses, they should bring as much of this material as possible to the Director of Undergraduate Studies when seeking Linguistics major credit.

Distribution Policy

No course used to fulfill a major requirement may be used toward the LSA Distribution Requirement. In addition, courses in the LING subject area may not be used toward the Distribution Requirement.

Honors

The Honors major in Linguistics requires completion of the requirements for the major and, in addition, a senior Honors project leading to an Honors thesis. The thesis must be written under the supervision of a faculty member of the Department of Linguistics and with permission of a department advisor. Students may elect LING 495 and 496 when writing the Honors thesis (but are not required to do so). Finally, LSA requires students in an Honors major to maintain a GPA of 3.4 or higher overall (not just in Linguistics).

Linguistics (Major) (Winter 2017 - Fall 2017)

Effective Winter 2017

Advising

Advising appointments can be made here or by contacting linguistics@umich.edu

Prerequisites

None; LING 111, 209, 210 or 212 are recommended.

 

Requirements

Minimum Credits: 30

The Linguistics major requires a total of 30 credits at the 300 level or higher, subject to the constraints below.

Required Core Courses (12 credits). All majors are required to take the following four courses in the Linguistics Department. The coursework in LING 313, 315, and 316 should be completed as soon as possible, to ensure that all students gain a solid understanding of Linguistics before electing further courses, especially 497.

  1. LING 313: Sound Patterns. This course explores two fundamental aspects of the sounds of the world’s languages: speech sounds as physical entities (phonetics) and speech sounds as linguistic units (phonology).
  2. LING 315: Introduction to Syntax. This course examines the rule systems whereby words are organized into phrases and phrases into sentences in natural languages.
  3. LING 316: Aspects of Meaning. This course introduces students to the study of meaning in language.
  4. LING 497: Capstone Seminar. This seminar brings previous coursework, particularly the other required courses, to bear on a specific topic that may vary by term. LING 313, 315, and 316 are prerequisites for 497, but may be taken concurrently.

    In extraordinary circumstances, with permission of the Director of Undergraduate Studies, an advanced course in the area of phonetics/phonology, semantics, or syntax could satisfy the LING 313, 315, or 316 requirement.

Electives (18 credits). Beyond the four core courses, majors are encouraged to fill out their program of 30 total credits, in consultation with a Linguistics advisor, using courses from the categories below.

  1. Regular Linguistics Classroom Courses (at least 6 additional credits).  Majors must complete at least 18 total credits of traditional classroom courses offered by the Department of Linguistics. (The core courses account for 12 of these 18 credits.) Note that cross-listed courses count towards this category whether or not students enroll under the LING number, but meet-together courses only count when registered under the LING number.
  2. Any remaining credits (up to 12) may be met using the following flexible categories:
    1. Independent Study Courses (at most 6 credits).  At most 6 credits of independent study or independent reading courses may count towards the major.  For more details, see our guidelines on independent studies.
    2. Experiential Practice Courses (at most 6 credits).  At most 6 credits of experiential practice courses may count towards the major. (Note that this is calculated separately from the limit on independent studies; a student might theoretically take 6 credits of each.)
    3. Cognate and Transfer Courses.  Subject to the limits above, approved cognate courses offered by another program or department and/or approved transfer credits from another institution may count towards the major. Each term, the Linguistics Department posts a list of cognates on its website that are pre-approved for the major. Students may also request that courses not on this list (including transfer credit) count towards the major. These requests must be individually approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies, who will generally follow the guidelines linked here.

 

Other Department Policies

Double Major. Because the study of language is quite often interdisciplinary, a major in Linguistics can be designed to integrate very well with other academic fields. As a result, it is very common for Linguistics majors to also major in a second field. An LSA double major requires satisfying all of the requirements for the major of both programs. However, neither LSA nor the Department of Linguistics imposes any limit on "double-counting" courses between majors, allowing students to double-major with substantially fewer than 60 total major credits. (Check with an advisor in the second major, though, to confirm their policy on jointly counted courses.)

Distribution Policy

No course used to fulfill a major requirement may be used toward the LSA Distribution Requirement. In addition, courses in the LING subject area may not be used toward the Distribution Requirement.

Honors

The Honors major in Linguistics requires completion of the requirements for the major and, in addition, a senior Honors project leading to an Honors thesis. The thesis must be written under the supervision of a faculty member of the Department of Linguistics and with permission of a department advisor. Students may elect LING 495 and 496 when writing the Honors thesis (but are not required to do so). Finally, LSA requires students in an Honors major to maintain a GPA of 3.4 or higher overall (not just in Linguistics).