Linguistics Concentration (B.A.)

Linguistics Minor

Why concentrate in linguistics?

The highlight of the linguistics concentration is a summer of rigorous courses at an SIL program, the academic sister of Wycliffe Bible Translators. At SIL, you’ll not only study under professors who have been immersed in non-western languages: you’ll eat meals, play volleybal,l and participate in skit night with them. 

Along with an SIL program in either North Dakota or British Columbia, Canada, consider a summer or semester abroad.  Students have traveled to Israel, Bolivia, and Cameroon.

For those of you interested in graduate studies, these are some schools where our alums have been accepted: Georgetown University, University of North Dakota, and Trinity-Western University, British Columbia.

Linguistics concentration requirements

The linguistics concentration prepares students to pursue graduate work in linguistics, as well as careers in fields such as intercultural studies, translation, anthropology, and comparative studies. In the linguistics concentration, students sharpen their critical thinking, reading, and writing skills as they examine core areas of linguistic studies (e.g., phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, theory of second language acquisition, and sociolinguistics). Students will complete one summer of course work either at CanIL at Trinity Western University (Canada) (CanIL-TWU) or SIL International at the University of North Dakota (SIL-UND). Electives allow students to pursue the subfields that most interest them. The senior capstone course in linguistics enables students to apply their knowledge as they participate in primary research.

Call or email us:

Lynae Wingate

Office Coordinator


What students are saying:

"The professors bring not only extensive real-world experience, but also live out their faith, caring deeply about the students, encouraging and mentoring them in their own journeys."


In addition, as a Bible translator, I appreciated not only the ease at which I was able to combine biblical, Greek, ICS, and linguistics classes, but also the close working relationship UNW has with SIL-UND, which made for a smooth, jump-started transition into my career with Wycliffe Bible Translators."

Catherine, alum who concentrated in linguistics

Degree Requirements

The degree is granted upon completion of 125 credits as specified on pages 42–43 (40 credits must be in 3000- or 4000-level courses).

Required Courses28 credits

  • ENG3125 – Advanced English Grammar: Syntax – 4 credits
  • ESL3215 – Language, School and Society – 4 credits
  • ESL3315 – Theory of Second Language Acquisition – 4 credits
  • LIN2226 – Introduction to Linguistics – 4 credits
  • LIN4425 – Linguistic Research Methods – 2 credits
  • LIN4856 – Senior Capstone in Linguistics [WCE, OCE] – 2 credits

Summer courses to be taken at either:


  • SIL4500 – Articulatory Phonetics – 2 credits
  • SIL4520 – Syntax and Morphology I – 3 credits

Select one course from the following at SIL-UND:

  • SIL4510 – Phonology I – 3 credits
  • SIL4800 – Learner-Directed Second Language Acquisition – 3 credits
  • SIL5100 – Semantics and Pragmatics – 3 credits


  • CIL4310 – Articulatory Phonetics – 3 credits
    • (1 credits of this 3 credits CIL4310 course will apply towards general electives)
  • CIL4330 – Phonological Analysis – 3 credits
  • CIL4360 – Grammatical Analysis – 5 credits
    • (2 credits of this 5 credits CIL4360 course will apply towards general electives)

Selectives8 credits

  • GEO1015 – World Geography – 4 credits
  • ICS2015 – World Religions – 4 credits
  • LIN4996 – Linguistics Professional Experience – 1-4 credits

Upper level courses with LIN or LIT prefixes.

Study abroad credits as approved by the department.

Other language courses beyond language requirement. Remaining credits from CIL4310 or CIL4360 cannot be applied.

Foreign Language16 credits

Two years of college-level foreign language courses (must achieve end-of-second-year foreign language competency).

Linguistics Minor

Required Courses20 credits

  • LIN2226 – Introduction to Linguistics – 4 credits

Select 16 additional credits from LIN-prefix topics in Linguistics; ANT2045; ENG3125; ESL3215, 3315; LIN2227; LIT3145; may select a maximum of 8edits from SIL-UND, including SIL4500, 4520; choice of one from SIL4510, 4800, 5100; or may select a maximum of 11edits from CanIL-TWU: CIL4310, CIL4330, CIL4360.

Prerequisite to graduate with a linguistics minor: competency through first year of foreign language.


  • Literature course in core curriculum must include LIT3145.
  • Social Science course in core curriculum: ANT2045.