Linguistics and Language Development Department

BA - Linguistics

The BA-Linguistics undertakes the scientific study of nature, structure and function of language. Linguists study the origins of language, the meaning and history of words, what language tells us about the workings of the human mind, and the practical aspects of language, including intercultural communication, language learning and teaching, and language as a conveyor of information in profound human arenas, such as medicine and law. Linguistics is also a central discipline that is involved in communicating with machines using natural language (i.e., artificial intelligence and machine recognition and synthesis of speech). The program offers state-of-the-art equipment for the acoustic and perceptual study of speech. Students in the major acquire critical thinking and problem-solving skills and receive excellent preparation for advanced studies in linguistics as well as anthropology, communication, education, law, and speech hearing. Students with knowledge of more than one language have an excellent background for the study of linguistics.

Course Requirements

University Graduation Requirements47
Core Lower Division General Education30
Of the 39 units required by the university, 9 units may be satisfied by coursework outlined below. Courses that meet GE Areas A1, A2, A3 or B4 must be passed with a "C" or better to meet the requirement. Consult with major advisor for details.
Upper Division General Education9
Of the 9 units required by the university, 0 units may be satisfied by coursework outlined below. Consult with major advisor for details.
American Institutions6
Coursework shown below for the 6 units required by the university are double counted within GE. Consult with major advisor for details.
Complete one sequence from:
Asian American Studies6
AAS 033A. Asian Americans in the United States Historical and Political ProcessM63
AAS 033B. Asian Americans in the United States Historical and Political ProcessM73
U.S. History and Government6
HIST 015A. Essentials of U.S. HistoryM123
HIST 015B. Essentials of U.S. & California GovernmentM113
Can be taken as POLS 015 A/B as well.
Mexican American Studies6
MAS 010A. Mexican Americans and the Development of U.S. History and GovernmentM63
MAS 010B. Mexican Americans and the Development of U.S. History and GovernmentM73
Physical Education2
Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement0
At SJSU, students must pass both the SJSU Writing Skills Test (WST) and a 100W course. For additional information on the WST, please see Exceptions to the GWAR may be found at
A grade of C or better (C- not accepted) is required to meet graduation requirement.
Preparation for the Major0-10
Must meet one of the following criteria:
One year of college level language other than student's native language (10)
Demonstrated equivalent competence (0)
One year of college level American Sign Language (6)
For students for whom English is not the native language, one year of college level English study may fulfill this requirement.
Requirements of the Major36
GE Basic Skills requirements must be completed prior to taking courses in the major.
Core Courses21
LING 101. Introduction to Linguistics3
LING 111. Introduction to Linguistic Phonetics3
LING 112. Introduction to Syntax3
LING 113. Introduction to Phonology3
LING 114. Introduction to Semantics and Discourse3
LING 125. Introduction to Historical-Comparative Linguistics3
LING 162. Introduction to Morphology3
Electives in the Major15
LLD 100W. Writing WorkshopZ3
One lower division linguistics course taken prior to achieving upper division status may be used as part of the 36-unit Requirements in the Major.
Complete one course from:
LING 020. Nature of LanguageD13
LING 021. Language and ThinkingA33
LING 022. Language across the LifespanE3
By a careful selection of electives in the major, students can focus on special interest areas such as Natural Language and Computers or Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language (TESL/TEFL). Elective courses (up to 3 units) from other departments such as World Languages and Literatures, English, Communication Studies, Computer Science, Psychology, Philosophy, Anthropology and Communicative Disorders can also be taken with prior advisor approval.
Natural Language and Computers9
LING 115. Corpus Linguistics3
LING 124. Introduction to Speech Technology3
LING 165. Introduction to Natural Language Processing3
Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language (TESL/TEFL)9
LING 107. Patterns of English3
LING 108. Introduction to Second Language Development, Teaching, and Assessment3
LING 166. Sociolinguistics: Cross-Cultural Communication3
University Electives27-37

Total Units:120