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Major in Linguistics

Required Gateway and Capstone Courses 

  • 1-unit Gateway course, 196, to be taken in winter of junior year.
  • 2-3 unit Capstone course, 197A, to be taken in winter of senior year.

Core Courses

Students must take at least one course each from two of the following three areas below:

  • Phonetics and Phonology: 105/205A, 110
  • Morphology and Syntax: 120, 121A, 121B, 222A
  • Semantics and Pragmatics: 130A/230A, 130B, 230B, 232A

Breadth Courses

Students must take at least one course each from two of the following four areas:

  • Historical Linguistics and Language Change: 160, 260A, 260B
  • Sociolinguistics: 150, 156, 157/257, 250
  • Psycholinguistics: 35, 140, 145
  • Computational Linguistics: 180/280, 188/288, 278, 284

Depth Courses

  • At least two 200-level Linguistics courses, taken for 3-4 units each. 
  • If the courses are cross-listed at the 100 and 200 levels, please enroll at the 200 level, if you wish the course to count for this requirement.  

Other Course Requirements

(**Please note:  Unit requirement has changed as of Autumn 2016-17.  If you declared before Autumn 2016-17, you may follow the old requirements.)

  • A minimum of 55 units of course work; at least 28 of these units must be in Linguistics. 
  • Remaining units may be in Linguistics or in related fields, with approval from the Director of Undergraduate Studies
  • Of the 55 units required for the major, no more than 12 may be below the 100-level and a maximum of 3 courses, totaling no more than 8 units, may be taken on a credit/no credit basis(CR/NC). 
  • All required courses must be taken for a letter grade of C- or better, and no more than 8 units towards the 55 units of course work may be taken on a credit/no credit basis (CR/NC). 
  • Of the courses that fulfill the 55 units, one should be Linguistics 196, taken in autumn of the junior year.  
  • Courses that fullfill the Writing in the Major (WIM) requirement: Linguist 121B, 130A. 
  • Note, any course taken between Spring 2020 and Summer 2021 in which the student received a final grade of "S" or "CR" counts toward undergraduate degree requirements that otherwise require a letter grade.

Language Requirement

  • Majors must have competence in at least one language other than English. 
  • Fulfilled by completion of six quarters of study of a language or the equivalent, at Stanford or at a community college, or by certification of proficiency through the Language Center (see University requirements).  
  • Majors may petition to be exempted from the language requirement if they have grown up speaking a language other than English, can use it for everyday purposes, and for linguistic analysis. 
  • Language course units do not count towards the major. 

Course Planning Guide

The Course Planning Guide will help you plan the requirements for the Linguistics major. It should be completed at the first meeting with the Director of Undergraduate Studies and updated annually.

Additionally, please review Sample Program Scenarios to see typical course plans. 

Coterminal Master's

The coterminal degree program allows students to receive the B.A. and M.A. degrees in Linguistics simultaneously.