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BA in Linguistics

Degree Program Description

The study of linguistics offers students a liberal education and a window into the fascinating human linguistic capacity. Students can obtain a BA in linguistics, and many students double-major in linguistics and another field. The BA prepares students for graduate study in linguistics and related fields. It also develops analytical and verbal skills that are valuable in a wide variety of professional careers.

Major Program Requirements

In addition to University, general education, and College of Arts and Science requirements, students must also meet the following major program requirements. All major requirements in the College of Arts and Science must be completed with grades of C- or higher unless otherwise indicated. 

Major core requirements (minimum)22
I. Required areas/courses
Introduction to Linguistics3
Select one of the following:
Human Language
Languages of Africa
Language Structure - At least one in-depth structure course such as:3
Structure of American English
Structure of Modern French
Structure of Modern Spanish
Syntax (a structure course prerequisite)
Select one of the following:
Elementary Logic
Language, Meaning, and Reality
Advanced Logic
II. Electives
At least one additional course from any part of the linguistics curriculum, including but not limited to those listed above and below3
Language variation
Languages of the World
Regional and Social Dialects of American English
Spanish Across the Continents
Language and Society: Spanish in the U.S.
Language and Culture
Culture as Communication
Gender, Language and Communication
Historical Linguistics and Language Change
Introduction to Old English
Historical Linguistics
History of the English Language
History of the French Language
History of the Spanish Language
American Phonetics
Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech Mechanism
Speech Acoustics
Spanish Phonetics
III. Capstone Course4
Field Methods in Linguistics


Topics courses such as LINGST 2001, LINGST 3001 and LINGST 4001 may also satisfy core requirements. Substitutions may be approved for courses in one of the required areas if no courses are available in that area during a student's senior year.

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Semester Plan

Below is a sample plan of study, semester by semester. A student's actual plan may vary based on course choices where options are available. 

First Year
LINGST 10603Second Language II5
ENGLSH 10003MATH 11003
Social Science (MO State Law)3Behavioral Science3
Second Language I5A&S Diversity3
 14 14
Second Year
LINGST 2700 or PHIL 27003Linguistics Elective3
Behavioral Science3Minor3
Second Language III3Humanities/Fine Arts (Writing Intensive)3
Social Science3Science with a Lab5
Writing Intensive 1000+3General Elective3
 15 17
Third Year
LINGST 4600, 4720, or 47213LINGST 46303
Humanities/Fine Arts3Humanities/Fine Arts3
General Elective3General Elective3
 15 15
Fourth Year
LINGST 46403LINGST 48704
Social Science3Humanities/Fine Arts3
General Elective3General Elective3
General Elective3General Elective3
 15 16
Total Credits: 121

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Degree Audit

The degree audit is an automated report reflecting a student’s academic progress toward the completion of a degree. 

MU students can request a degree audit by logging in to myDegreePlanner. Students may also access myDegreePlanner via myZou, in the Student Center, click on the Academic Progress Tile, then select Request Degree Audit. The audit automatically pulls in the student’s MU course work, transfer courses and courses in progress. This is available to current students, admitted students, and those who last attended less than three terms ago.

Past MU students can request a degree audit by contacting the Academic Advising Unit of the division in which they were last enrolled at MU. For contact information, go to https://advising.missouri.edu/contact/.

Prospective students, can access a preliminary MU degree audit via https://www.transferology.com. Information on the college credits already earned will have to be manually entered before it can be evaluated against current degree requirements.

For additional details on degree audits, go to https://registrar.missouri.edu/degrees-audits/degree-audits/.

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Major and Career Exploration

The University of Missouri has many resources to assist you in exploring majors and career possibilities. For guidance, visit the Majors and Careers website or view specific resources below.

  • If you are considering a change of major or are exploring multiple majors, schedule an appointment with an advisor in the Discovery Center by calling (573)884-9700 or through MU Connect Discovery Center service in you success network.

  • If you have decided on a major, visit an academic advisor in the School or College that you are interested in to discuss the process of declaring the major

  • If you would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career Center. No Appointment is necessary to explore career options with one of our staff members.

For additional major and career exploration resources, visit Major & Career Exploration in the catalog.

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