Requirements of the Major

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Core Courses

Linguistics majors are required to take four core courses, giving them a solid foundation in the major subfields of the discipline:

  • Ling 101: Human Language
  • Ling 310: Phonology
  • Ling 322: Morphology
  • Ling 330: Syntax

Advanced Courses

Students then deepen their study in an area of their choice with one advanced course. Students may choose any 500-level course:

  • Ling 510: Phonological Theories
  • Ling 522: Advanced Morphology
  • Ling 530: Syntactic Theories
  • Ling 571: Structure of a Language

During their senior year, students also take one undergraduate capstone course with a significant data collection and analysis component:

  • Ling 426: Linguistic Field Methods I or
  • Ling 427: Linguistic Field Methods II or
  • any other Linguistics course designated as a capstone by the faculty

Elective Courses

Four 3-credit elective courses are required, which may be chosen from linguistics content courses offered in departments across campus. Courses are available in a wide variety of core and interdisciplinary topics. Students are advised to consult with the Undergraduate Advisor to select an array of courses relevant to their individual personal and professional goals.

Language Requirement

In addition to their linguistics coursework, majors must complete the fourth semester or higher of at least one foreign language. UW-Madison offers classes in over 40 different languages during the Fall and Spring semesters, with even more opportunities for language study over the summer.

Declaring the Major

Make an appointment with the Undergraduate Advisor to declare the major. It is recommended that students declare the major as soon as possible, so they can begin receiving advising on course selection and sequencing and get plugged in to academic events and professional opportunities in our program.

See the Linguistics Guide entry for complete information about all UW-Madison, College of L&S, and Language Sciences requirements. The information provided here is a brief summary.