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Linguistics Information | Linguistics Programs | Linguistics Courses


Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics (code LINGBA01) (120 units)

The following are department goals for students receiving the BA in linguistics:

• Students will demonstrate knowledge of the fundamental architecture of language in the domains of phonetics and phonology, morphology and syntax, and semantics and pragmatics.
• Students will demonstrate knowledge of the variety of structures by which diverse human languages realize this architecture.
• Students will demonstrate knowledge of the social functions of language and the role of language as a cultural institution.
• Students will demonstrate knowledge of language variation, including historical change and dialect variety.
• Students will demonstrate skills in studying language structure and use.
• Students will demonstrate knowledge of how people acquire first and second languages and the implications for language instruction and educational policy.
• Students will demonstrate skill in critical evaluation of language research and policy.
• Students will experience the opportunity to apply linguistic knowledge in a community setting.
• Students will be able to identify applications of linguistics and related career opportunities such as education, translation and computational linguistics.
• Students will demonstrate proficiency in English and in at least one other language.
• Students will value life-long learning in the field of linguistics.


Lower Division: (6 units) LING 101, 170
Upper Division:
1. 12 units – LING 325, 329, 420, 421.
2. 24 units – Select eight (8) courses from LING 413, 423, 425, 426, 428, 433, 470, 472, 485, 490 or PSY 438. Students may substitute up to 6 units of relevant upper-division coursework from other departments, with permission of the Linguistics advisor.

Language Requirement

Sixteen (16) units or equivalent are required. Four semesters (or their equivalent) of a language other than English, with either: (a) two semesters of an Indo-European language plus two semesters of a non-Indo-European language or (b) four semesters of any one language. Students with prior language experience can pass language requirement by examination or other evidence.

Minor in Linguistics (code LINGUM01)

A minor in Linguistics consists of a minimum of 21 units, with at least one course selected from each of five subject area categories. Although not required for the minor, foreign language courses are recommended. In selecting courses, students should be aware that some courses have prerequisites, including language proficiency.

Courses which are counted for a major may not also be counted for a minor, but students who have taken a course from any category as a part of their major may substitute an elective with approval of the Department Chair.


Select at least one course from each category:

Category I Introduction: ANTH 170, LING 363I;
Category II Phonology: CD 330, LING 420, FREN 414, GERM 303;
Category III Syntax: LING 421, FREN 411, SPAN 426;
Category IV Psycholinguistics and Neurolinguistics:
EDSP 454, LING 329, PSY 438;
Category V Language, Culture, and Society:
ANTH 412I, 413;
Electives to a program total of 21 units selected from: any course listed above, CHLS 403; LING 423, 426; PHIL 484; SPAN 427, and variable/special topics courses on linguistics subjects offered through the participating departments. These topic courses are shown on an approved list available in the participating departments.

Interdisciplinary Minor in Crosscultural Language and Academic Development Studies (code COEDUM01)

The minor comprises courses that integrate studies of culture, language, learning and the academic environment, and human development. It is an interdisciplinary program designed to support career objectives related to public education in Crosscultural Language and Academic Development. The minor consists of a minimum of 18 units selected with an advisor. Courses in the department of the student’s major may not be used.

1. One course from each of the following areas (12 units):
Culture: ANTH 421/LING 425 or EDP 432/EDEL 430
Language: EDSP 454 or LING/CD 329
Schooling: EDP/LING 485
Development: EDP 301, EDP 302, HDEV 307I, or PSY 361
2. Six additional units, selected with an advisor, from the following:
Culture: AIS 319; ASAM 319; B/ST 319; CHLS 319;
W/ST 319; ANTH 329, ANTH412I, ANTH/LING 413, ANTH 419, ANTH 421/LING 425, ANTH/WST 475, CHLS/ASAM 335I, EDP 432/EDEL 430
Language: ANTH 170; CHLS 402; EDSP 454; LING/CD 329, LING/ENGL 327, LING 325, 363I, 472, 486.
Schooling: AIS 361; ASAM 310; B/ST 420; CHLS 340; EDP 305, 476, EDSP 350.
Development: EDP 301, 302; HDEV 307I; PSY 361.


Master of Arts in Linguistics

The program for the M.A. degree in linguistics is designed both for students who wish to pursue further graduate study and those seeking a terminal degree. The program seeks to blend theoretical and applied aspects of linguistics and draws from a variety of disciplines.

The M.A. degree in Linguistics offers three options and one concentration:

1. General Linguistics Option
2. Language and Culture Option
3. Teaching English as a Second Language Option
4. Special Concentration

Graduate assistantships may be available to qualified students.


1. A bachelor's degree with a 2.75 GPA for the most recent 60 units;
2. 21 units of undergraduate coursework as follows (can be taken at CSULB):
A. Fifteen (15) units in Linguistics; the following courses or equivalent: Introductory Linguistics (LING/ANTH 170 or LING 325), Language Acquisition LING 329, Phonology LING 420, Syntax LING 421, language variation (LING, 379, 413, 425, 426, 438 or 472), and
B. Six (6) units either in linguistics or a language-related field (such as TESL, rhetoric, literature in another language, cross-cultural communication, cognition, or artificial intelligence)

Advancement to Candidacy

1. Satisfaction of the general university requirements for advancement to candidacy, including prerequisites, the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR), and GPA.
2. Completion of the foreign language requirement, either:
A. Two courses of a foreign language at the upper division level, or the equivalent, or             
B. Two courses of an Indo-European language and two courses of a non-Indo European language, or equivalent.
3. Completion of six units of course work within the program, exclusive of any classes used to meet prerequisites.
4. Approval of the candidate's graduate program by the Chair, the Associate Dean for Instructional Programs of the College of Liberal Arts, and any other individuals identified by relevant university policy.
5. Advancement must take place no later than the semester before the student graduates.


1. A minimum of 30 units of approved upper division and graduate courses for the thesis path or a minimum of 33 units of approved upper division and graduate courses of the comprehensive examination path, including
2. A minimum of 21 units at the 500 or 600 level;
3. The completion of the five course core requirement for the degree;
4. The completion of requirements of one of the options designated in the program;
5. Completion of one of two culminating experiences:
A. A thesis and its accompanying oral defense and oral examination (LING 698, 6 units).
B. The comprehensive examination and its accompanying graduate paper (LING 697, 1 unit).
6. A GPA of 3.00 on all courses included in the program.


1. Two courses from the following three: LING 620, 625, 633.
2. One course from the following: LING 540, 610, 650.
3. One course from the following: LING/PSY 539.
4. One course from the following: LING 580/ANTH 570, LING 596.
General Linguistics Option (code LINGMA02)

The option includes a 15-unit core and 12-18 units of additional selections, including general linguistics courses from the core, such that students take LING 620, 625, 633, 540, 610, 650 and LING/PSY 539. Additional courses selected with an advisor will total 33 units (including LING 698, 6 units) in the thesis pathway, or 34 units (including LING 697, 1 unit) in the comprehensive exam pathway.

Language and Culture Option (code LINGMA03)

This option includes the 15 unit core, with LING 540 strongly advised in category 2; the specialization includes: LING 533/ANTH 530, ANTH 630, LING 540, and approved selections from LING/ANTH 413, LING 423, LING 425/ANTH 421, LING 470/ANTH/W/ST 475, LING 650, ANTH 560, ANTH 597; and 697 or 698 for the culminating experience.

Teaching English as a Second Language Option (code LINGMA04)

The TESL option includes a 15 unit core, and either the Comprehensive Exam or Thesis Pathway.

Comprehensive Exam Pathway: (19 units) required: LING 486, 500, 561, 562, 593, and either Ling 460 or 575; plus 1 unit of comprehensive directed research, LING 697.
Thesis Pathway: (18 units) required: LING 486, 593, and two of the following: LING 500, 561, or 562; plus 6 units of thesis research, LING 698.
Special Concentration (code LINGMA01)

This concentration is 12-18 units. Students electing this concentration must [1] consult with the Program Director or Graduate Coordinator about their proposal; [2] submit a written justification for the course of study they wish to take, including [3] a list of the classes which are proposed to meet the objectives of this special program. Both the written justification and the course list are subject to approval. Other requirements of the program (e.g. a five course core, GPA, culminating experiences, etc.) cannot be waived or altered by use of the special concentration.

Students wanting graduate credit for certain 400-level courses must consult with the Graduate Advisor before enrolling.

Courses with an I suffix are not available for graduate credit.

Note: Graduate students are required to register for the higher (500-level) course whenever a course has a double number. Students may not repeat courses by taking them under different prefix designations, numbers or titles unless the course description specifically permits.

Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language (code ENGLCT02)

The Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) is open to students from any field who desire training for teaching English to speakers of other languages. While the program may be begun as an undergraduate, at least 18 units must be completed as a post-baccalaureate student.


Students are strongly urged to include foreign language study as a part of their undergraduate curriculum, particularly those wishing the Language Development Specialist Certificate in addition to the TESL Certificate. Students planning to teach in California schools (K-12) must also include appropriate credential requirements in their total program.


1. A baccalaureate degree with a GPA of 2.50 on the last 60 units.
2. One course in basic English linguistics.


1. Twenty-four units, including:
A. 20 taken in residence;
B. 18 taken as a graduate student;
C. 12 taken at a 500-600 level.
NOTE: Categories (a-c) combined need only equal 24 units.
2. A GPA of 3.0 on all work included in the program.
3. Fulfill the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR).
4. Eight courses, one each in eight different categories:
A. One course in basic ESL Methodology, LING 486;
B. One course in cross-cultural communication, selected from LING *425 (ANTH *421) or ED P 573;
C. One course in Language Acquisition, selected from CD 329, LING 329 or EDSP 454;
D. One course in intermediate English linguistics, selected from LING 420 or 421;
E. One course in testing and assessment, selected from CD 460 or LING 562;
F. One course in curriculum, selected from LING 500 or LING 561; 
G. One course in specialized methodology, selected from CD 560, LING *460, LING 575/ED P 578, ED P 576, LING 589/ED P 589);
H. Three units of a practicum (LING 593).

Students who have taken equivalent courses in the above categories but need units to complete certificate requirements may elect to take courses as advised.

Students wanting graduate credit for 400-level courses which have not been approved for graduate credit by the home department must consult with the Program Director or Graduate Advisor before enrolling. Courses with an “I” suffix are not available for graduate credit, but may be used for the Certificate if they were taken while the student was an undergraduate.