Students explore the basic concepts of linguistics and language analysis methods, and discover the role of language in society.  They are introduced to articulatory phonetics, sounds of languages in the world, mechanisms of production of speech sounds, and ear training for discriminating speech sounds. They analyze parts of speech, constituent phrases, sentence structure, representations, ambiguity, and applications of current theory.

Points of Pride

  • The Purdue Linguistics Association is a place for students with an interest in linguistics to come together socially and for discussion.
  • Linguistic Talks are held most Wednesedays during lunch.


  • Speech user interface designer
  • Editor
  • Curriculum developer
  • Spanish lexicographer
  • Management consulting
  • Many other positions in domestic and international business/management, not necessarily related to linguistics but able to capitalize on students’ broad-based liberal arts skill set and extra language skill developed in this major
  • Graduate or professional school

Plan of Study

Students must earn a grade of "C" or higher in the major, and must have a minimum GPA of B- (2.67/4.00) in the major overall in order to graduate with a Linguistics major.

A. Introduction to Linguistics (3)

LING 20100 Introduction to Linguistics, or equivalent (ENGL/SLHS 22700; LC 26100) (Individual and Society)

B. General Linguistics (9)

LING 31100 Fundamentals of Phonology and Morphology, or equivalent (ENGL 32900; LC 31600)
LING 31500 Elements of Phonetics, or equivalent (LC 37100; SLHS 30600)
LING 32100 Foundations of Syntax and Semantics

C. Linguistics of Particular Languages (a 30100 language skills level course in a pre-requisite or co-requisite) (6)
ONE of the following 2-course language structure sequences

(FR 36100 or 56100) AND (FR 36200 or 56200)
(GER 36100 or 56100) AND (GER 36200 or 56200)
(JPNS 36100 or  56100) AND (JPNS 36300)
(RUSS 36100 or 56100) AND (RUSS 36200 or 56200)
(SPAN 36100 or 56100) AND (SPAN 36200 or 56200)
Or another 2 course sequence in language structure approved by Academic Advisor.

D. Language Courses providing Typological Diversity* (6)
TWO courses from any one of the following sequences or in another less commonly taught language (a language that has substantially different typological properties from those usually taught)

ARAB 10100, 10200, 20100, 20200
ASL 10100, 10200, 20100, 20200
CHNS 10100, 10200, 20100, 20200
GREK 10100, 10200, 20100, 20200
HEBR 10100, 10200, 20100, 20200
HEBR 12100, 12200, 22100, 22200
JPNS 10100, 10200, 20100, 20200
LATN 10100, 10200, 20100, 20200
LC 10100, 10200, 20100, 20200
RUSS 10100, 10200, 20100, 20200

* This language must be different from the language used to satisfy the School Core requirement in OTHER LANGUAGES. 

E. Electives in Linguistics (9)
courses chosen as specified, and subject to the Note below.**)

** Any Linguistics course(s) may be used except the courses used to satisfy requirements in A, B, or C. Only one research practicum or independent study course may be used.

Program Course Requirements (57-58 credits): (See PDF for full list here)

ONE of the following:

ENGL 10600 First Year Composition
ENGL 10800 Accelerated First Year Composition

COM 1140 Fundamentals of Speech Communication
Other Language (12) (Proficiency through level IV in one language)
West Heritage
United States Tradition
Other Cultures
Aesthetic Awareness
Racial and Ethnic Diversity
Gender Issues
Social Ethics
Individual and Society
Global Perspective
Natural Sciences
Natural Sciences Lab

Electives (20-21 credits)

University Core Requirements

Courses selected above must meet the following University Core Requirements:

Human Cultures Humanities
Human Cultures Behavioral/Social Science
Information Literacy
Science Selective
Science Selective
Science Technology Society Selective
Written Communication
Oral Communication
Quantitative Reasoning

For more information, visit

Print Plan of Study


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