Undergraduate Program

General Information

The Department of Linguistics offers undergraduate majors and minors in:

  • Linguistics (major and minor)
  • Signed Language Interpreting (major)
  • American Sign Language Minor
  • Navajo (Diné) Language (minor)

Linguistics Department Undergraduate Advisors:

Dawn Nordquist
Please email for appointment: nordquis@unm.edu

Signed Language Interpreting
Erin Wilkinson
Please email for appointment: ewilkins@unm.edu

Navajo Language Program
Melvatha Chee
Please email for appointment: mchee@unm.edu

The Arts and Sciences Advisement Center can assist you in managing your degree requirements. Visit their website to make an appointment. 

The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures offers a major in Languages. For information on this program of study, please visit their website.

Major Study Requirements

B.A. in Linguistics

The B.A. major in Linguistics requires a minimum of 30 hours numbered 300 and above (18 in required courses, 12 in approved electives) and completion of a fourth semester language course (e.g., SPAN 202, NVJO 202, SIGN 310) or the equivalent. Required courses are: LING 301, 302 or 303, 304, 322, 331, 367. The remaining 12 hours come from focus area course work.

Starting in the Fall

Fall Semester ISpring Semester IFall Semester IISpring Semester II
301322331304 or 367
303304 or 367Start Focus Area CourseworkContinue with Focus Area Coursework 

Starting in the Spring

Spring Semester IFall Semester ISpring Semester IIFall Semester IISpring Semester III
301322304Start Focus Area CourseworkContinue Focus Area Coursework


Focus Areas: Choose 12 hours from one focus area, or 6 hours from two focus areas listed below.

Bilingualism, Language Acquisition & Cognition:

  • Child Language (LING 460)
  • Experimental Psycholinguistics (LING 469L)
  • Structure of ASL (SIGN 305)
  • Language and Culture in the Deaf Community (SIGN 352)

 Language Documentation & Revitalization:    

  • Language Documentation (LING 411)
  • Morphosyntax (LING 412)
  • Field Methods (LING 413)
  • Native American Languages (LING 415)
  • Typology and Universals (LING 417)

 Linguistic Diversity, Variation & Use:  

  • Language & Gender (LING 334)
  • Language & Culture (LING 359/ANTH 318)
  • Typology & Universals (LING 417)
  • Semantic Analysis (LING 425)
  • Discourse Analysis (LING 429)
  • Sociolinguistic Variation (LING 433)
  • Language Contact (LING 435)
  • Introduction to Language Change (LING 446)

Navajo Linguistics:     

  • Language and Culture (LING 359/ANTH 318)
  • Native American Languages (LING 415)
  • Navajo Verb System I (NVJO 311)
  • Navajo Verb System II (NVJO 312)
  • Navajo Linguistics (NVJO 401)

A second major in Linguistics requires 24 hours of linguistics courses at the 300/400 level: 18 required credit hours (LING 301, 302 or 303, 304, 322, 331, 367) and 6 additional credit hours selected from a focus area.

The following is the list of basic courses offered by the Linguistics Department

Information in parentheses shows how often the course is normally offered.

  • 2110 Introduction to the Study of Language. (Every semester)
  • 301 Introduction to Linguistic Analysis. (Formerly Ling 292) (Every semester)
  • 302 Phonetic Analysis. (Spring)
  • 295 Special Topics in Current Language Issues. (Occasionally)
  • 303 Introduction to Phonetics. (Fall)
  • 304/504 Phonological Analysis. Prerequisite: 301 and either 302 or 303. (Spring)
  • 322/522 Grammatical Analysis. Prerequisite: 301 or SIGN 305 or SPAN 351. (Spring)
  • 331/531 Language in Society. Prerequisite: An introductory linguistics course. (Fall)
  • 334/534 Language and Gender. (Occasionally)
  • 359/559 Language and Culture. Prerequisite: An introductory linguistics course. (Every semester)
  • 367/567 Psychology of Language. Prerequisite: 301 or Psych 265 or Sign 305. (Spring)
  • 412/512 Morphosyntax. Prerequisite: 322 (once a year)
  • 425/525 Semantic Analysis. Prerequisite: 301 or SIGN 305 or SPAN 351 (once a year)
  • 429/529 Discourse Analysis. Prerequisite: 322 (once a year)
  • 446 Introduction to Language Change. Prerequisite: 304 (once a year)

Minor Study Requirements

The minor in Linguistics requires at least 21 hours of linguistics courses numbered above 300 or above: 12 required credit hours (LING 301, 302 or 303, 304, 322) and 9 additional credit hours selected from courses in linguistics or from other departments which are approved by the department advisor. For information about the minor in Navajo, please see the page for the Navajo (Diné) Program.

Departmental Honors

Undergraduates seeking departmental honors in the Department of Linguistics should identify a research project during the junior year in consultation with an appropriate professor/mentor and should submit a proposal in the form of a letter to the department chair.

If the proposal is approved by the department chair, the student should enroll in LING 498 the first semester of the senior year and LING 499 the second semester of the senior year. These six hours of honors work are in addition to the minimum number of hours required for the major.

Shared-Credit Undergraduate/Graduate Degrees Program

Juniors or seniors majoring or minoring in Linguistics may seek admission to the Master of Arts (M.A.) in Linguistics under the Shared-Credit Undergraduate/Graduate Degrees Program. It is recommended that students seek admission to this program during their junior year. In order to apply to the program, the student follows the departmental graduate application and admission procedure and deadlines as described in the Linguistics - Graduate Program section of this Catalog. Students are provisionally admitted to the program, provided their B.A. program is successfully completed. The time-to-degree for completion of the M.A. in Linguistics is calculated beginning with the student’s senior year.

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