May 22, 2024  
2020-2021 Academic Catalog 
2020-2021 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Linguistics, BA

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The BA-Linguistics program, offered by the Department of Linguistics and Language Development , undertakes the scientific study of the nature, structure and function of language. Linguists study the origins of language, the meaning and history of words, variation in language, what language tells us about the workings of the human mind, and the practical aspects of language, including intercultural communication, language learning and teaching, and language as a conveyor of information in profound human arenas, such as medicine and law. Linguistics is also a central discipline that is involved in communicating with machines using natural language (i.e., artificial intelligence and machine recognition and synthesis of speech). The program offers state-of-the-art equipment for the acoustic and perceptual study of speech. Students in the major acquire critical thinking and problem-solving skills and receive excellent preparation for advanced studies in linguistics as well as anthropology, communication, education, law, and speech and hearing. Students with knowledge of more than one language have an excellent background for the study of linguistics.

Summary of Degree Units

University Graduation Requirements 50
Major Preparation 0-10
Major Requirements 36
University Electives 24-34
Total 120

University Requirements for Graduation

Students must complete all residency, curriculum, unit, and GPA requirements as outlined in the Undergraduate Graduation Requirements  section of the Policies and Procedures .

Program Roadmaps

The 4-Year Roadmap is available online. Roadmaps should be used in consultation with the catalog and your advisor to identify additional requirements for completing the major (for example, course grade minimums). Associate Degrees (ADT) Pathways are also available online.

General Education/American Institution Requirements

Courses that meet General Education/American Institution requirements are noted with area designation for required area. For legend please see General Education Attributes .

University Requirements (50 units)

Core Lower Division General Education (33 units)

Of the 39 units required by the university, 6 units may be satisfied by coursework outlined below. Courses that meet GE Areas A1, A2, A3 or B4 must be passed with a “C-” or better to meet the requirement. Consult with major advisor for details.

Note: Students who have completed the ADT Transfer degree (under SB 1440) for this major will have completed all lower division GE requirements and should follow the 60 unit guarantee roadmap. Meet with an advisor prior to registering for your first semester for the 60 unit roadmap or specific questions.

Upper Division General Education (6 units)

Of the 9 units required by the university, 3 units may be satisfied by coursework outlined below. Consult with major advisor for details.

American Institutions (6 units)

The 6 units of American Institutions (US123) coursework shown below also fulfills GE Areas D2 and D3. Other courses meet the American Institutions requirement, but may not include additional GE areas. The American Studies (AMS 1A /AMS 1B ) and Humanities Honors (HUM 1A /HUM 1B , HUM 2A /HUM 2B ) programs both offer larger integrated packages that meet this requirement. Consult with major advisor for details.

Complete One Sequence From:

Physical Education (2 units)

Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (3 units)

At SJSU, students must pass both the SJSU Writing Skills Test (WST) and a 100W course. Exceptions to the GWAR may be found at Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) 

A grade of C or better (C- not accepted) is required to meet graduation requirement.

Major Preparation (0-10 units)

Must Meet One Of The Following Criteria:

For students for whom English is not the native language, one year of college level English study may fulfill this requirement.

  • One year of college level language other than student’s native language 10 unit(s)
  • Demonstrated equivalent competence 0 unit(s)
  • One year of college level American Sign Language 6 unit(s)

Major Requirements (36 units)

GE Basic Skills requirements must be completed prior to taking courses in the major.

Electives in the Major (15 units)

By a careful selection of five additional electives in the major (below), students can choose coursework toward completion of a Certificate in Computational Linguistics  or a Certificate in TESOL . Elective courses (up to 3 units) from other departments such as World Languages and Literatures, English, Communication Studies, Computer Science, Psychology, Philosophy, Anthropology and Communicative Disorders can also be taken with prior advisor approval.

Complete five courses from:

University Electives (24-34 units)

Upper Division electives may be required if 40 units are not taken as part of program.

Total Units Required (120 units)

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