THE LINGUISTICS MAJOR

Linguistics Photo

The Linguistics Major

Bachelor of Arts Degree in Linguistics.

The undergraduate major in Linguistics focuses on how the human mind structures, processes, and acquires language, as well as how similar communication goals are met by diverse means in the languages of the world.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Linguistics


Honors Program

The Linguistics honors program requires students to complete the requirements for the major with a GPA of 3.5 or above and to complete LING 497 – Honors Thesis or relevant course in affiliated programs for the combined majors with a grade of B or better. Students intending to complete the honors program should register with the undergraduate advisor no later than the second semester of their junior year.

  • Linguistics Major with Honors
  • Combined Major in Linguistics and Philosophy with Honors
  • Combined Major in Linguistics and Psychology with Honors

Combined Programs

In addition to the major and minor in Linguistics, the Linguistics department offers five combined programs: Linguistics and Philosophy; Linguistics and Psychology; and Linguistics and East Asian Languages and Cultures.

  • Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Degree with a Combined Major in Linguistics and Philosophy
  • Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Degree with a Combined Major in Linguistics and Psychology
  • Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Degree with a Combined Major in Linguistics and East Asian Languages and Cultures


Courses of Instruction


Study Abroad

Undergraduate Linguistics majors and minors can participate in university-wide international study programs administered through the USC College Office of Overseas Studies. 53 semester or year-long programs are offered, and you can find Linguistics courses in 14 countries.

Learn more about undergraduate international study programs.


Career Opportunities

An undergraduate major in Linguistics provides a strong foundation and a highly respected preparation for professional schools, for careers that are either scientific or humanistic in orientation, and for graduate study in a wide range of fields. Graduate programs in Education respect a background in Linguistics, and the students wishing to pursue graduate study in English or a foreign language will find their application enhanced by a Linguistics major or minor. Schools of business, law, and medicine looking for applicants with a broad intellectual background recognize the analytical skills and scientific rigor which a major in Linguistics represents. To graduate schools and respective employers in computer science, a Linguistics background will be especially attractive. The Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics can thus be the starting point not only for careers in Linguistics, but also in a number of diverse areas, such as education, law, government, business, and computer science.


  • Chair: Andrew Simpson
  • 3601 Watt Way
  • Grace Ford Salvatori 301
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-1693