Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Department of Linguistics & Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages


The linguistics major provides students with a firm foundation in the scientific study of language. This page provides a brief summary of the requirements. For official details, consult the Academic Programs Catalog.

The major requires a total of 32-38 credits of study in linguistics courses. These include:

1. One of the following courses:

LIN 200 Introduction to Languages
LIN 401 Introduction to Linguistics

2. All of the following courses:

LIN 424 Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology
LIN 431 Introduction to Morphology
LIN 434 Introduction to Syntax
LIN 437 Semantics and Pragmatics
LIN 499 Senior Thesis Research

3. Five of the following courses:

LIN 225 Language and Gender
LIN 291 Special Topics in Linguistics
LIN 450 Child Language Acquisition
LIN 455 Neurolinguistics
LIN 471 Sociolinguistics
LIN 463 Introduction to Cognitive Science
LIN 490 Independent Study
LIN 491 Special Topics in Linguistics

The linguistics BA also requires two cognates (secondary areas of specialization) of 12 credits each in a single discipline or thematic area. The cognate requirement is waived for students pursuing another major or minor. A two-year proficiency in a foreign language is also required.