Linguistics (B.A.)

Linguistics (B.A.)

linguistics students

What is linguistics?

Linguistics is the study of language. Linguists are interested in understanding the properties common to all human languages along with language history, function and acquisition. What are the characteristics that all languages share and what makes each language distinctive? How does language vary according to region, social class, ethnicity and gender? Linguists also explore many specific aspects of individual languages, language groups and language uses. A linguistics degree cuts across the boundaries between the sciences and the humanities and is closely allied with many other fields, including anthropology, psychology, sociology, speech therapy and computer science.

Why study linguistics at UNH?

The linguistics degree program at UNH provides a solid foundation in the liberal arts while also preparing you for further studies in areas such as law, speech or hearing science, or language. It’s a great fit if you’re interested in teaching English as a Foreign Language at home or abroad. The major also matches well with a dual or double major in fields such as business administration.

Potential careers

  • Analyst
  • Editor
  • English as a Second Language teacher
  • Interpreter
  • Knowledge engineer
  • Lexicographer
  • Speech pathologist
  • Translator


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Curriculum & Requirements

Linguistics is the study of one of the most important characteristics of human beings—language. It cuts across the boundaries between the sciences and the humanities. The program is an excellent liberal arts major or preprofessional major for education, law, medicine, clergy and others. It is a particularly appropriate major for students who want to teach English as a second language. Dual majors with a foreign language, international affairs, business administration and the like are quite feasible.

Students interested in the major should consult with the program coordinator or with any professor who teaches linguistics courses. To declare a major in linguistics, a student must meet with the linguistics coordinator to design a course of study. Information is available from the Undergraduate Advising Center, 101 Hood House, and at

LING 405Introduction to Linguistics4
LING 605Intermediate Linguistic Analysis4
LING 793Phonetics and Phonology4
LING 794Syntax4
Select one course in historical linquistics or sociolinguistics from the following:4
ENGL 752
History of the English Language
ITAL 733
History and Development of the Italian Language
Sociolinguistics Survey
RUSS 733
History of Slavic Languages and Culture
SPAN 798
Topics in Hispanic Linguistics and Cultural Studies (Subtopic A)
Two years of college study (or equivalent) of one foreign language4-16
Select one of the following cognate specialties:8
One year study (or equivalent) of a second foreign language from a different language family or subfamily 1
PSYC 712
Psychology of Language 2
Select two elective courses from list below, one of which must be a 600- or 700- level LING or ENGL course 38
Discovery Program Capstone Experience:
LING 779Linguistic Field Methods4
or LING 695 Senior Honors
Total Credits44-56

Elective Courses 

ANTH 795Reading and Research (Subtopic B)1-8
ANTH 796Reading and Research (Subtopic B)1-8
CMN 572Analysis of Language and Social Interaction4
CMN 666Conversation Analysis4
ENGL 606Languages of the World4
ENGL 715Teaching English as a Second Language: Theory and Methods4
ENGL 716Curriculum, Materials and Assessment in English as a Second Language4
ENGL 719Sociolinguistics Survey4
ENGL 727Issues in Second Language Writing4
ENGL 752History of the English Language4
ENGL 790Special Topics in Linguistics4
ENGL 791English Grammar4
LLC 791Methods of Foreign Language Teaching4
ITAL 733History and Development of the Italian Language4
LING 606Languages of the World4
LING #719Sociolinguistics Survey4
LING 790Special Topics in Linguistics Theory4
LING 795Independent Study1-4
PSYC 512Psychology of Primates 14
PSYC 513Cognitive Psychology 14
PSYC 712Psychology of Language4
RUSS 733History of Slavic Languages and Culture4
SPAN 641Spanish Language Variation & Change4
SPAN 645Intro to Spanish Linguistics4
SPAN 798Topics in Hispanic Linguistics and Cultural Studies (Subtopic A)4

Other courses may be substituted, with the permission of the student's adviser and the linguistics committee, when they are pertinent to the needs of the student's program.

The required minimum overall GPA in major coursework is 2.0.

Candidates for a degree must satisfy all of the University Discovery Program requirements in addition to satisfying the requirements of each individual major program. Bachelor of arts candidates must also satisfy the foreign language proficiency requirement.

Linguistics majors may use one major-required course to satisfy one Discovery category requirement.

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