Program Description

Linguistics studies human language, seeking to define its nature, to establish its relationship to human thought, to discover what distinguishes human language from other forms of communication (human and nonhuman), to understand how children develop a language and acquire additional ones, to understand the ways in which languages may differ from one another, and to describe how human beings use language in context to engage in all the other “human” activities.

Presently, the Linguistics major is, for the most part, an upper division major. Eight linguistics courses are available for GE credit at the 200- and 300-levels. Students are encouraged to complete their GE work and to pursue study in languages other than their native language in preparation for their work in Linguistics. Entering freshmen who are interested in Linguistics should consult with the undergraduate advisor in the College of Humanities (COH) Student Services Center/EOP. Call (818) 677-4784 for an appointment.

Program Requirements

1. Required Courses (27 units)

LING 300 Approaches to Linguistic Analysis (3)
LING 402 Phonetics and Phonology (3)
LING 403 Morphology (3)
LING 404 Syntax (3)
LING 408 Semantics and Pragmatics (3)
LING 417 Language Development and Acquisition (3)

Select one of the following:

LING 200 (How) Language Matters (3)
LING 230 Forbidden Language: Swearing and Taboo Language (3)
LING 250 Language(s) in California (3)

Select one of the following:

LING 310 Language and the Law (3)
LING 325 Language, Gender, and Identity (3)

Select one of the following:

LING 309 Language and Social Interaction (3)
LING 427 Languages in Contact (3)
LING 441 Sociolinguistics (3)
LING 447 Bilingualism in the U.S. (3)

2. Electives (12 units)

Choose four elective courses. At least two courses must be selected from Group A. The remaining two courses may be selected from Group A or Group B.

(Note: A course counted as required cannot double count as an elective.)

Group A

LING 200 (How) Language Matters (3)
LING 230 Forbidden Language: Swearing and Taboo Language (3)
LING 240 Language and Music (3)
LING 250 Language(s) in California (3)
LING 309 Language and Social Interaction (3)
LING 310 Language and the Law (3)
LING 325 Language, Gender, and Identity (3)
LING 330 Fundamentals for TESL (3)
LING 331 Grammar for Teaching English as a Second Language (3)
LING 407 Language Varieties (3)
LING 411 Introduction to Historical Linguistics (3)
LING 427 Languages in Contact (3)
LING 430 A Linguistic Introduction to Cognitive Science (3)
LING 447 Bilingualism in the U.S. (3)
LING 455 Computational Linguistics (3)
LING 495A-Z Selected Topics in Linguistics (3)

Group B

AFRS 395 Bilingualism in the African-American Community (3)
ANTH 310 Language in Culture: Anthropological Linguistics (3)
CHS 333 Language and Society: Chicanas/os and Other Language Minority Children (3)
CHS 433 Language Acquisition of the Chicana/o and ESL Speakers (3)
CHS 482 Language of the Barrio (3)
CD 442 Speech Science (3)
CD 462 Language Disorders I (3)
COMP 310 Automata, Languages and Computation (3)
COMP 333 Concepts of Programming Languages (3)
COMP 410 Logic Programming (3)
COMP 569 Artificial Intelligence (3)
COMS 350 Nonverbal Communication (3)
COMS 356 Intercultural Communication (3)
COMS 450 Communication Research Methodology (3)
DEAF 484 Structure of American Sign Language (3)*
DEAF 485 Issues in American Sign Language (3)*
ENGL 400 History of the English Language (3)
ENGL 405 Language Differences and Language Change (3)
LING 303 Human Language: Defining Our Biological Identity (3)
PHIL 445 Philosophy of Language (3)
PSY 367 Cognitive Psychology (3)
SPAN 400 Structure of the Spanish Language (3)
SPAN 401 Language and Culture (3)
SPAN 425 Spanish Phonetics (3)
SPAN 497 Comparative Structure of Spanish and English (3)

*Taught in ASL.

3. Studies in a Language Other Than English (6 units)

Undergraduate majors are required to complete two progressive semesters (or the equivalent of two 3-unit progressive semesters) of one language other than English. Students with prior language experience can pass all or part of the language requirement by examination or other evidence at the discretion of the department.

4. General Education (48 units)

Undergraduate students must complete 48 units of General Education as described in this Catalog, including 3 units of coursework meeting the Ethnic Studies (ES) graduation requirement.

If taken, LING 303 satisfies B5 Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning; LING 310 satisfies B5 Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning or E Lifelong Learning; LING 240 satisfies C1 Arts; LING 200 satisfies C2 Humanities; LING 230 and/or LING 309 satisfies 3-6 units of D1 Social Sciences; ANTH 310, CHS 333, COMS 356, LING 250 and/or LING 325 satisfies 3-6 units of F Comparative Cultural Studies. COMS 356 also fulfills the Information Competence requirement.

Total Units in the Major: 39

Foreign Language Units: 6

General Education Units: 48

Additional Units: 27

Total Units Required for the B.A. Degree: 120


Department of Linguistics/TESL
Chair: Anna Joaquin
Associate Chair: Stephanie Kim
Sierra Tower (ST) 805
(818) 677-3453

Program Learning Outcomes

Students receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics will be able to:

  1. Express what linguists mean by “knowing a human language” by demonstrating knowledge of such core fields as phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics.
  2. Verbalize what is involved in the acquisition and development of language and discuss its biological and social foundations.
  3. Describe key concepts from such fields as pragmatics and discourse analysis, and relate them to language data.
  4. Verbalize how sociocultural diversity manifests itself in language using methods and concepts from the field of sociolinguistics.
  5. Read, evaluate and write effectively about linguistic topics, theoretical and applied.

ADT/STAR Act Degree Road Maps

Students who have graduated with a verified Associate Degree for Transfer and have been admitted to a CSUN program that has been deemed similar will be able to complete the baccalaureate degree within 60 semester units. For additional information, see ADT/STAR Act Degree Road Maps.

Linguistics - AA-T in Global Studies (2023-Present)

Linguistics - AA-T in Social Justice Studies (2023-Present)

Previous Years