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Linguistics B.A.

The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) with a major in linguistics is designed to provide undergraduate students with a solid foundation in current theoretical research and state-of-the-art experimental research.

Majoring in Linguistics

Major Requirements

Linguistics Core

Everyone majoring in linguistics takes the Linguistics Core. This consists of:

  1. LING 240, “Language and Mind”
  2. LING 311, “Syntax 1”
  3. LING 321, “Phonology 1”
  4. Any two of the following courses:
    • LING 312, “Syntax 2”
    • LING 320, “Phonetics”
    • LING 322, “Phonology 2”
    • LING 410, “Grammar and Meaning”
    • LING 440, “Grammars and Cognition”
    • LING 444, “Child Language Acquisition”
  5. Any three upper-level linguistics electives (LING 3/4xx)

Officially, LING 420 is also an option in the "any two of" category. However, because the department does not currently offer this course, we have removed it from the list. If you are able to find this course at another college or university, and if it is accepted as an equivalent course and the credits transfer to UMD, it will count in this category.

Choose a track

Every linguistics major must choose one of the following two tracks.

Grammars and Cognition Track - This track requires 15 credits distributed as follows:

  1. PHIL 170 or 271 (“Logic”)
  2. LING 350 (cross-listed as PHIL 360) “Philosophy of Language”
  3. PSYCH 100 “Intro to Psych”
  4. Elective in LING, PSYC, HESP, PHIL or CMSC
  5. Elective in LING, PSYC, HESP, PHIL or CMSC
  6. "Electives" from other departments must be approved by your linguistics advisor.

Language Track - This track requires 15 credits distributed as follows:

  1. 15 credits of a single language (may include both basic language courses and structure or history of language X courses)

These requirements are neatly organized for you as checklists in the following documents:

  1. Linguistics Roadmap: Grammars and Cognition Track
  2. Linguistics Roadmap: Language Track

Declare a Major in Linguistics

Meet with your advisor

To declare linguistics as your major, the first thing you should do is to meet with the linguistics advisor. She will talk to you about your interests and goals and together you will fill out the "declaration of major" form and the "four-year plan" form that you will then take to your College of Arts and Humanities advising appointment. After meeting with your linguistics advisor., you will then need to meet with an ARHU advisor (who will go over general ARHU and university requirements with you) and then you will officially be a major.
 
Instructions for making an appointment with your advisor can be found above in the section titled “Advising Appointments.”
 
In preparation for the meeting with the linguistics advisor, you should:

  1. Make sure to read over this entire web guide to majoring and the FAQ page.
  2. Review the two linguistics tracks mentioned above and think about which you would like to pursue. If you need more information in order to decide, bring your questions to the advising meeting and your advisor can help you.

Completing a four-year plan

A four-year plan is a worksheet that is required by ARHU in order to declare your major. It is a way to make sure that you fit in all of the things that you want or need to do (satisfy your major requirements, satisfy CORE, double major, study abroad, take some language courses, etc.) before your desired graduation date. In other words, it's a way to make sure that you have a realistic idea of how long it will take you to graduate.
 
When you meet with your linguistics advisor, she will provide a copy of the worksheet and get you started by filling in the courses for your linguistics major (in PENCIL!). After that, you can play around with it, filling in other courses that you need or want to take, leaving a semester for study abroad if you want, etc. You will then meet with an ARHU advisor who will go over the plan with you again. Both advisors will keep a copy of the plan on file for later reference. You too should keep a copy and revise it as necessary.
 
When filling in the four-year-plan, the goal is not to choose every single course for four years. The goal is to make sure that every slot on the appropriate linguistics roadmap shows up somewhere in your four-year plan, even if you haven't picked the specific course that's going to fill that slot.

Advisory Meetings

At several points in your career as a linguistics major, Testudo will tell you that you have an "advising block" on your registration (this is based on the number of credits you have – see ARHU's page on mandatory advising for more information). When you see this (and you should check for this well before registration time every semester), you need to arrange for advising meetings with both your linguistics advisor and your ARHU advisor (if it says that your block is for "department and college advising"). In this meeting, you will take stock of where you are in the major and talk about your choices for classes in the coming semester and down the road.
 
You do not have to wait for an advising block to talk to your linguistics advisor. Any time you would like advice about courses in the coming semester or want to talk about anything else, feel free to make an appointment and come in for a chat.

You should also feel free to send an email if you have a quick question that you think can be answered easily over email.

In preparation for the meeting with the linguistics advisor, you should:

  1. Make sure to read over this entire web guide to majoring and the FAQs page.
  2. Read over the linguistics roadmaps and think about which track you would like to do (if you need more information in order to decide, bring your questions to the advising meeting and your advisor can help you).
  3. Look at what courses are offered on Testudo for the coming semester and think about what you would be interested in taking. Come to your advising meeting with a list of the classes that you are planning to take.
  4. Write down any questions that you have for your linguistics advisor and bring your questions to the meeting.

Double Majors and Degrees

What is the difference in requirements between a double major and a double degree?
In both cases, you will fulfill all of the requirements for both majors. Declaring a double major is just a matter of going through the regular process of declaring a major in each of the departments that you want to major in. You will need to choose which will be your "primary major" and which will be your "secondary major.”
 
According to the undergraduate catalog, a double degree requires 150 credits instead of the normal 120 credits for a single degree. Also, there is a restriction on how many credits may overlap between your two majors if you do a double degree, but not if you do a double major. See the undergrad catalog and/or talk to an ARHU advisor for more information.

The undergraduate advisor for the linguistics major is Tonia Bleam. The advisor for the linguistics minor is Peggy Antonisse; Antonisse can also provide advising for the major. The best way to contact your advisors is by email and their contact information is listed below. 
 
When you email your advisor to set up a meeting, make sure to include in your email a list of your available dates and times for the entire week (that is, the five weekdays following the day you send your message). If you have sent an email and haven't heard back in two days, please send another email.  
 
In order to make an appointment with your linguistics advisor, send her an email with your name, UID #, the reason for the appointment and a list of your available times during the week. Do not give just one specific time or day when you are available, because it is likely that the advisor will be unavailable at that time, which will result in more email back and forths. Please remember that your professors' time is limited and make the process as streamlined as possible
 
For more information on College of Arts and Humanities requirements, visit the ARHU advising page

Undergraduate Advisors

Peggy Antonisse

Senior Lecturer, Linguistics

1413 Marie Mount Hall
College Park MD, 20742

(301) 405-6947

Tonia Bleam

Senior Lecturer, Linguistics

1401 E Marie Mount Hall
College Park MD, 20742

(301) 405-4930

Additional Contacts

Kim Kwok

Director of Administrative Services, Linguistics

1401 Marie Mount Hall
College Park MD, 20742

(301) 405-6901