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College of Liberal Arts

Aerial shot of student on CSULB campus

Department Chair: Malcolm A. Finney

Department Office: Psychology (PSY) 114
Telephone / FAX: (562) 985-5792 / (562) 985-2593

Faculty: Rebekha J. Abbuhl, John J. Attinasi, Michael J. Fender, Malcolm A. Finney, Nancy Hall, Robert M. Hertz, Alexandra M. Jaffe, Lorraine E. Kumpf, Barbara LeMaster, Xiaoping Liang, Carol D. Lord, Sara W. Smith


Undergraduate: Lorraine E. Kumpf

Graduate: Xiaoping Liang

CLAD: John J. Attinasi

Administrative Coordinator: Phyllis L. Simon

Career Possibilities

English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher • Bilingual Education Teacher • Intelligence Specialist • Researcher • Teacher • Linguist • Foreign Service Officer • Peace Corps Worker • Librarian • Interpreter • Immigration Officer • Lawyer • Customs Inspector • Import-Export Agent • Philologist • Writer • Editor • Sales Representative • Consultant (Some of these, and other careers, require additional education or experience. For more information, see Various entry-level positions in business and industry are available for graduates regardless of academic discipline.


Linguistics is the science of language. Linguistics majors study the nature of language, the similarities and differences among languages, the physical mechanisms of human languages (both spoken and signed), acquisition of languages, and socialization through languages. Areas include anthropological linguistics, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, and applied linguistics, including teaching English as a second or foreign language.

The Department of Linguistics at CSULB offers an undergraduate major and minor in Linguistics, an Interdisciplinary CLAD Minor, a Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL), and the MA with four Options: TESL, General, Special, and Language and Culture.

Students desiring general information should contact the department office. Advisors are available for individual appointments during the Fall and Spring semesters to assist students with information about degree requirements and about graduate study.