University of Minnesota
Institute of Linguistics

Undergraduate Studies.

Major Requirements

  • A minimum of 34 credits is required for the major.
  • All courses must be completed with grades of C- or better.
  • An overall GPA of at least 2.0 is required for all University of Minnesota major coursework.

Required courses (minimum 19 credits)

  • LING 3001 or LING 5001 - Introduction to Linguistics (4 cr.)
  • LING 4201 - Syntax I (3 cr.)
  • LING 4302W - Phonology I (3 cr.)
  • LING 5205 - Semantics (3 cr.)
  • LING 4202 - Syntax II (3 cr.) or LING 4303 Phonology II (3 cr.)
  • LING 4901W - Senior Project (3cr.)

Elective courses (15 credits)

For your electives, you may take any course with a LING designator, but no more than 4 credits from a 1xxx-level course. Up to 6 of your elective credits may be taken in an allied discipline, if approved by the director of undergraduate studies.

Declaring your linguistics major

To declare a major in linguistics, make an appointment with Director of Undergraduate Studies Brian Reese. Your major is not formally declared until the major program form is received by your College advising office.

Planning your degree

Completing your linguistics degree requires some planning, as some of the required courses have prerequisites that require careful sequencing.


Although most elective courses do not have prerequisites apart from LING 3001, required courses should not be put off but should be taken as soon as possible. These classes provide the foundational analytic skills and practice in systematic thinking about language data that will enhance learning in any subsequent linguistics courses.

The following chart shows possible scenarios for graduation. These are only examples; other configurations are possible.

To see when courses are offered, see the Class Schedule on One Stop.

Year 1 LING 3001 LING 4201
LING 4302W
Year 2 LING 4202 or LING 4303 Elective
LING 5205 LING 4901W
Elective Elective
May Graduation
Year 1 LING 3001
Year 2 Elective LING 4201
Elective LING 4302W
Elective Elective
Year 3 LING 4202 or LING 4303 LING 4901W
LING 5205
May Graduation

Requirements for the University Honors Program

Students enrolled in the University Honors Program have different requirements for the major.                

Contact Information

Portrait: Brian Reese
Brian Reese
Director of Undergraduate Studies

S314 Elliott Hall
Spring advising hours:
Mondays 3:00pm–5:00pm
Thursdays 10:00pm–11:00pm
and by appointment

Undergraduate News

LSA 2014 Annual Meeting
Three of our Linguistics undergrads have been selected to give talks at the LSA 2014 Annual Meeting, held in Minneapolis this January.  Carolyn Spadine will be presenting “Circumstantial voice and aspect in Malagasy”, Andrew Hedding and Hannah Sande will be presenting “Geminates and weight in Amharic”, and Maria Stolen will be presenting “Fixed aspect in Amharic Conditionals” which she co-authored with Professor Claire Halpert.

Talle Family Scholarships (2013-2014)
Congratulations to our student Christopher Hammerly! Chris has been awarded a Talle Family Scholarship, which provides full tuition support for his senior year. Read more.

Selmer Birkelo Scholarship for 2013-2014
Congratulations to our undergraduate student Mary Elson! Mary was awarded the prestigious Selmer Birkelo scholarship for 2013-2014. The scholarship was awarded on the basis of academic merit, and only 18 students in CLA were awarded the scholarship for 2013-2014. The recipients receive up to $4000.

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