FAQ

Becoming a Linguistics Major/Minor

Q: I’m interested in Linguistics, but I’m not sure where to start.
A: Consider these courses: Introduction to the Study of Language (01:615:101) offers a great introduction to Linguistics and the scientific study of language. Introduction to Linguistic Theory (01:615:201) is more theoretically oriented, and serves as a prerequisite for taking further 300-level courses as part of the major.
We also encourage you to check out the Linguistic Society of America's FAQ "Why major in Linguistics (and what does a linguist do)?"

Q: I have taken Introduction to the Study of Language (01:615:101) and/or Introduction to Linguistic Theory (01:615:201) and I really would like to major/minor in Linguistics. How can I do this?
A: Please visit our Major or Minor page.

Q: What courses do I need to take in order to major or minor in Linguistics?
A: Please visit our Major or Minor page.

Enrolling in Linguistics Courses

Q: I would like to register for a course, but it's already full/closed. How can I get into the course? (How do I get an SPN?)
A:
To enroll in a course that is full, you MUST contact the UPD (include your name and RU ID). You should NOT contact the instructor directly. The UPD must agree to issue you a Special Permission Number (SPN). Note that it is NOT always possible to add you to the course! You should provide a clear and valid reason for being able to enroll in a course that is at capacity.

Q:
 I’m taking a non-Linguistics course that I think might count for the major or minor. How can I find out if it does count towards the major or minor?
A: Check out our Approved Courses from Outside Linguistics page and see if your course is on there. If the course is not on the list but you think it has significant linguistic content, please write to the Undergraduate Program Director with full details about the course (including the department, course name and number, and any other information you might have access to, and your RUID) to see if it can be counted as an outside elective in category (D) of the major/minor.

Fulfilling the Capstone Requirement/Writing a Thesis

Q: I need to fulfull my capstone requirement. What are my options?
A: You can fulfill this requirement by writing an honors thesis under the direction of a faculty member or take the advanced undergraduate seminar. The benefits of the former are that you are engaged in hands-on independent research, which leads to a solely-authored thesis, and that you have a change to attain Highest Honors (above and beyond your GPA). The benefit of the latter is that you get resaerch experience working in a small group on a pre-determined topic.

Q: I am considering writing a senior thesis. What are my options?
A: The first step is finding an advisor, which typically involves identifying a Professor whose class you have taken, or the Director of the labotratory in which you are a Research Assistant. This should be planned by the spring of your Junior year. You must declare your intention by May 15 of your junior year. There are GPA requirements for writing a thesis. Please contact the UPD (include your name and RU ID) if you are considering this option.

Getting Involved

Q: How can I get involved with Linguistics outside of the classroom and gain research experience?
A: Check out our research labs page for more information on research opportunities. Considering joining one of the undergraduate Linguistics clubs: the Undergraduate Linguistics Club or the Speech and Hearing Club. The News & Events page lists upcoming talks and colloquia that you can attend.