University of Missouri

223 Tate Hall :: Columbia MO 65211-1500 :: phone: 573-882-8590 :: email: or


The study of linguistics offers students a liberal education and a window into the fascinating human linguistic capacity. Students can obtain BAs with a major or minor in linguistics, and many students double-major in linguistics and another field. The BA prepares students for graduate study in linguistics and related fields. It also develops analytical and verbal skills that are valuable in a wide variety of professional careers. Graduation Plan (in pdf).

The BA in Linguistics

For more information:

Professor Matthew Gordon, Chair
223 Tate Hall

Major core requirements: 21 credit hours. All courses are 3 credit hours unless otherwise indicated.

I. Required areas/courses

Introduction to Linguistics.

LINGST 1060 Human Language

Language Structure. At least one in-depth structure course such as:

LINGST 4600 Structure of American English
LINGST 4721 Structure of Modern Spanish
LINGST 4720 Structure of Modern French


LINGST 4630 Phonology (Typically offered Spring semesters)


LINGST 4640 Syntax (Typically Fall semesters; a structure course is prerequisite)

Semantics. One of the following:

LINGST 2700 Elementary Logic
LINGST 4110 Advanced Logic (2700 is prerequisite)
LINGST 4100 Philosophy of Language (2700, 4640 or instructor’s permission required)

II. Electives. Choose at least one additional 3-4 credit course from any part of the linguistics curriculum, including but not limited to those listed above and below.

Language Variation.

LINGST 4620 Regional and Social Dialects of American English
LINGST 4722 Spanish Across Continents
LINGST 4723 Language and Society: Spanish in the US

Language and Culture.

LINGST 3470 Culture as Communication
LINGST 4412 Gender, Language, and Communication

Historical Linguistics and Language Change.

LINGST 4610 History of the English Language
LINGST 4200 Introduction to Old English


LINGST 3010 American Phonetics
LINGST 3721 Spanish Phonetics
LINGST 3220 French Phonetics
LINGST 3210/3220 Anatomy & Physiology of the Speech Mechanism/Speech Acoustics
3210 and 3220 must be taken concurrently and together total 3 credit hours

Language and the mind.

LINGST 4810 Psycholinguistics
LINGST 2820 Intro to Cognitive Science

III. Capstone requirement.

Capstone course.

LINGST 4870 Field Methods in Linguistics (Typically offered in Spring semesters)


Topics courses such as LINGST 2001, 3001 and 4001 may also satisfy course requirements by arrangement with the chair. Substitutions may be approved for courses in one of the required areas if no courses are available in that area during a student's senior year.

Department Honors

A program leading to a BA with honors is also available.


Undergraduate Minor in Linguistics

Consistent with general guidelines for a minor, the minor in linguistics consists of at least 15 credits. These may be selected from any part of the linguistics curriculum.

Graduate Minor in Linguistics

A graduate minor field in linguistics is available to graduate students. It is comprised of 12 hours, two courses of which are required and two are to be selected from a list of upper level linguistics classes:


LINGST 7630: Phonology(3).
LINGST 7640: Syntax(3)

Sample list from which two additional courses will be selected (appropriate substitutes may be accepted at the discretion of the chair):

LINGST 7420: Historical Linguistics (3)
LINGST 7415: Language and Discourse (3)
LINGST 7600: Structure of American English (3)
LINGST 7610: History of the English Language (3)
LINGST 7620: Regional and Social Dialects of American English (3)
LINGST 7400: Language and Culture (3)
LINGST 7870: Field Methods in Linguistics (4)

Graduate degrees in linguistics are not offered. MA and PhD degree programs with emphasis in linguistics and language are available in some cooperating departments (anthropology, communication, English, Romance Languages, philosophy).

The linguistics area program is staffed by faculty from various departments. Supporting course work may include foreign languages, literature, psychology, philosophy, English, education, speech, anthropology or South Asian studies.

Financial aid, when available, is arranged through the participating departments.



Graduation Plan
(form in pdf)

Linguistics Minor
(form in pdf)

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