Learning Goals

Department Learning Goals and Policies

Students will be able to reason about language scientifically; demonstrate knowledge of cross-linguistic variability and universal patterns in language; evaluate a range of views on the nature, origin, and/or structure of language; and identify what someone knows when they know a language.

Majors and minors who complete the core courses in Linguistics will demonstrate technical mastery over the tools of linguistic analysis in syntax, phonology, semantics and pragmatics and apply linguistic theory in these areas. They will be able to investigate and analyze linguistic data; demonstrate strong problem-solving skills; extend their understanding of theoretical linguistics into other domains of linguistic research; apply the techniques of linguistics to new topics; and access current research in the field.


If your course syllabus has referred you to this webpage, the following policies apply to your course. Students in linguistics courses are responsible for reading these policies and abiding by them.

Specific policies may be amended or altered by a course lecturer in an individual course’s syllabus.

Rutgers Code of Student Conduct
All students are required to abide by Rutgers Student Code of Conduct.

Policy on Religiously Observant Students
It is University policy (University Regulation on Attendance, Book 2, 2.4.7B, formerly 60.14f) to excuse without penalty students who are absent from class because of religious observances, and to allow the make-up of work missed because of such absence. Examinations and special required out-of-class activities shall ordinarily not be scheduled on those days when religiously observant students refrain from participating in secular activities. Absences for reasons of religious obligation shall not be counted for purposes of reporting.
In the printed schedule of classes, students are advised that they should provide timely notification to instructors about necessary absences, and that they are responsible for making up the work or exams according to an agreed-upon schedule.
The published schedule of classes contains a reminder for students who are unable to participate in secular activities because of a religious observance to notify their instructor as early in the semester as possible. Reasonable common sense, judgment, and the pursuit of mutual goodwill should result in the positive resolution of scheduling conflicts.

Students with Disabilities
Full disability policies and procedures at the website for the Office of Disability Services.
Students with disabilities requesting accommodations must follow the procedures outlined here.

Attendance Policy
In accordance with Rutgers University regulations, attendance is expected at all regularly scheduled meetings of this course. 
Students who miss an occasional class for unverifiable illness or personal circumstances do not require written documentation or verification from the dean.  In these circumstances, use the Self-Reporting Absence Application to indicate the date and reason for your absence. An email will be automatically sent to the course instructor. It is the responsibility of the student to notify instructors in a timely manner of any absences. It is up to the instructor to determine if accommodations are warranted to allow students to make up work that counts toward their semester grade.
Students missing more than an occasional class due to serious illness or serious personal circumstances should contact the Dean of Students to authenticate their absences. Faculty notified of authenticated absences should make reasonable accommodations to allow students to make up work that counts toward their semester grade.
It is the policy of the Rutgers University not to cancel classes on religious holidays. In the case of inclement weather, the President of the University may cancel classes.

Academic Integrity
All students must read and follow Rutgers’ policies on Academic Integrity.

Students must not collaborate on any assessed work (e.g. homework assignments, examinations) unless specifically directed to do so by the course instructor. Homework assignments and exams must be done independently. ‘Collaboration’ includes:

  • Working together to determine an answer to an assignment/exam answer
  • Discussing and comparing assignment/exam answers before the due date
  • Reviewing another student’s assignment/exam answers before the due date

Collaboration is a violation of the Academic Integrity policy.  All instances of plagiarism will be reported to the Office of Student Conduct.

The Bylaws of the Department of Linguistics direct that any concern must first be directed to the Course Instructor/Lecturer. (The concern should be shared in a timely manner, and that individual should be given an opportunity to address the concern.)

  • If the concern is still not resolved, it will be referred to the Undergraduate Program Director.
  • If the concern is still not resolved, it will be referred to the Chair of the Department of Linguistics.
  • If the concern is still not resolved, it will be referred to the Dean.

Sakai Policy
Many linguistics courses use Sakai - an online course management system.
You must be enrolled in and know how to use Sakai (See information on the Sakai help pages). Skills you must know include:

  • How to submit assignments on Sakai, using both the "Assignments" and "DropBox" systems
  • How to complete online tests

Linguistics lecturers do not offer help with using Sakai. You should consult the Sakai documentation or help desk instead.

E-mail and Contact Information Policy
As a linguistics student, you will receive e-mail and Sakai announcements from your lecturers, the Undergraduate Program Director, the Chair of the department, and linguistics department staff. In many cases, e-mail is the sole method of communication about important information.

As a linguistics student, you agree to:

  1. Have a functional Rutgers e-mail address.
  2. Check your Rutgers e-mail regularly (at least three times a week during term time).
  3. Read e-mail messages from linguistics lecturers and staff.
  4. Respond to requests for information promptly.
  5. Ensure that e-mail from linguistics lecturers and staff is not automatically discarded or blocked.
  6. Receive announcements made on the "Ling Students" Sakai site.

To meet 1-6 above, make sure:

  • Your e-mail account never becomes too full to receive messages
  • The linguistics department is aware of your correct e-mail address
  • University records have your correct e-mail address
  • Your account does not block e-mail from the linguistics department or from Sakai websites

It is your responsibility to make sure that you do not miss important announcements via e-mail. Instructors are not obliged to answer questions that have already been addressed in e-mails or on the sakai site.

For more information on Undergraduate Education, please visit the Office of Undergraduate Education.