Declaring a Major/Minor

Linguistics Undergraduate Students

Declaration and Orientation

You should formally declare your major as early as possible in your academic career. Why? Doing so will mean you get helpful advising. It will require you to plan out all the courses of the major. This means you will know you have time to meet all the necessary requirements for Linguistics or Language Studies before you graduate.

Qualification Policy:

To declare the major, a student must pass two gateway courses with a grade of C+ or better in each:

  • Gateway Course 1: LING 50 Introduction to Linguistics
  • Gateway Course 2: One from LING 53, LING 101, LING 112, LING 171

The declaration process works like this

To declare the majors:

Once you have successfully completed the two gateway courses, please meet with the department advisor or a peer advisor, to complete or update your academic plan. If you are declaring a second major, please first complete an academic planning form with the advisor for your declared major. Major Degree Checklists are useful resources, which you may want to look over prior to the declaration session. You can find them in the "Major Requirements" section for either the Language Studies or Linguistics major on this website.

To declare the major, you must attend one of the department’s Declaration and Orientation Meetings. These sessions are held in the first month of each quarter. Invitations to sign up for a declaration session are sent out by the first week of the quarter to all proposed majors through the Slug Success system. If you have completed the gateway courses, and you do not receive an invitation by Week 2, please contact the department advisor for assistance. Please sign up well in advance, as these meetings tend to fill quickly.

The campus undergraduate advising website has further helpful information about declaring a major.

To declare the minors:

  • Meet individually with the department advisor. You must first have declared your major in another department. Have that department sign off on your remaining major coursework, using the academic planning form. Please share this document with the linguistics advisor, or bring it to the meeting for the minor declaration. Please also bring or share a copy of your Petition for Major Declaration. 

Tips for Planning Your Program

Here are four tips to keep in mind when embarking on your major in Linguistics or Language Studies:

  • Meet with a Peer Advisor to create your academic plan and get questions answered about your major.
  • Determine how many language courses you need in order to fulfill your language requirement. (Linguistics majors can opt to satisfy the math/computer science requirement instead.) Begin any necessary language instruction as soon as possible.
  • Take at least one introductory linguistics course in your first year, and plan to take at least syntax and phonology in your second year. (Junior transfers: take all of these courses in your first year.) If linguistics is not for you, you should find this out early, in order to consider a change in your plans.
  • Plan to complete the bulk of your general education requirements early on. The sophomore, junior, and senior years can fill up quickly with major requirements (even more so if you are planning to study abroad). Also, as GEs are often lower-division courses, it can be frustrating to have to take them in the final quarters of your career, when you would like to take more advanced courses.

See Also