Department of Linguistics

BA in Linguistics - Speech and Language Science Concentration

Career Options

Becoming an SLP or Audiologist and how USM Linguistics can help, click here.

The Speech and Language Science Concentration is designed for students who wish to pursue a career in speech-language pathology, audiology, or related disciplines.

For more information, click here.

For links to helpful Speech and Language Science resource links, click here.

Required Coursework

LIN 185 Language, Mind, and Society: An Introduction to Linguistics
LIN 201 Language Acquisition
LIN 211 Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism
LIN 212 Speech Science
LIN 213 Introduction to Audiology
LIN 310 Signs of Language in the Brain
LIN 311 Phonetics
LIN 312 Phonology and Morphology
LIN 313 Syntax
LIN 314 Semantics
LIN 315 Field Methods
LIN 490 Introduction to Language Research

One three-credit 400-level LIN courses (excluding courses focused on interpreting and excluding LIN 498)

Four semesters of language study (number of credits varies depending on courses)

Total number of credits: 51 credits minimum (the number varies depending on the choice of language courses)

Note on Language Component

Students pursuing the Speech and Language Science Concentration must complete four semesters of a language or languages other than their native language. Students may choose to take four semesters of the same language or to divide the four courses among two or more different languages. The language courses may be waived on a case-by-case basis for students who demonstrate the equivalent degree of competency in a language or languages. In such cases, students replace the language course credits with other linguistics courses (or possibly with linguistics-related courses in other areas). The substitutions are made in consultation with the student's advisor. 

Honors in Linguistics

Linguistics majors who do outstanding work in the major can graduate with honors in linguistics. The requirements for Honors for students in the Speech and Language Science Concentration are the following:

  • Achieve a G.P.A. of at least 3.7 in LIN courses.
  • Earn a grade of 'B' or higher in all language courses that count toward the major.
  • Submit a portfolio of linguistic activities approved by the Department. (The portfolio documents linguistic activities outside of required coursework. Examples of such activities include independent study and research internship courses, tutoring, and attendance at linguistics conferences. Students who plan to submit a portfolio should discuss the details with their advisor.
  • Complete a senior thesis (LIN 498) and earn a grade of 'A'.
Notes on General Education Requirements

In addition to completing a major, students must satisfy USM's General Education (Core Curriculum) requirements and receive a total of at least 120 credits to graduate.  Here we make notes on General Education requirements that overlap with the major in Linguistics with a Concentration in Speech and Language Science or General Education courses that we recommend for students majoring in Linguistics with this concentration.

Quantitative Reasoning: You should fulfill this requirement by taking a statistics course (MAT 120 or PSY 105).  One of the LIN requirements, LIN 490, has a statistics course as a prerequisite.

Cultural Interpretation: Second level (and higher) language courses fulfill this requirement, so the language requirement for the major (as long as it includes a course beyond the first level) will also fulfill this General Education requirement.

Science Exploration: We recommend that you fulfill this requirement with a biology course, since biology is a prerequisite for many graduate programs in speech/language pathology and audiology.

Socio-Cultural Analysis: LIN 185 meets this requirement.

Diversity: LIN 185 also meets this requirement (and can be used to fulfill both requirements).

Capstone: LIN 490 is a capstone course.

Notes on Requirements for Graduate Programs

Graduate programs in speech/language pathology and audiology have undergraduate prerequisites. Not having the prerequisites does not prevent a student from being admitted to a program (nor does having the prerequisites ensure admittance). Generally, a student starting a graduate program without the prerequisites needs to do undergraduate course work at the beginning of the graduate program. Due to the extra expense and time this takes, it is best to incorporate as many prerequisites as possible into the undergraduate curriculum. Each graduate program has its own set of prerequisites. We recommend that you investigate these for graduate programs you are interested in. Here we list some courses that are common prerequisites.

Our Speech and Language Science Concentration includes the following requirements that are often prerequisites for graduate programs: LIN 201, 211, 212, 213, 310, 311

Many graduate programs require a biology course, as noted above. Some also require physics. We recommend that you take both biology and physics.The Science Exploration course for General Education needs to include a lab, but the graduate programs do not require a lab.You could therefore take one of the science courses with a lab and the other without it.

Many graduate programs require a statistics course (which is also a prerequisite for LIN 490 and meets the Quantitative Reasoning General Education requirement -- see above).

Many graduate programs require a psychology course.

Many graduate programs require 25 hours of observation in a clinic (observing an SLP). You can do these hours on your own or as part of a one- to three-credit independent study (LIN 398).

Suggested four-year plan for Linguistics Majors, Speech and Language Science Concentration:

There are many possible paths through the major. The listings below are suggestions that may or may not be appropriate for individual students. Courses do not have to be taken in the order shown here so long as the prerequisites for each course are met before it is taken.

See the course list for course prerequisites. Note especially that students must earn at least a 'B' in LIN 185 before enrolling in LIN 311, 312, 313, 314, or 315.  Also, LIN 490 has a statistics prerequisite (PSY 105, MAT 120, or equivalent course).

Note that many of the suggested semester schedules listed here do not make up a full course load. These semesters would need to be filled out with general education courses, electives, a minor, or possibly a second major.

(Courses in italics are required by many grad schools, but not for the major)

  • Fall 1: Language 1
  • Spring 1: LIN 185, PSY 101, MAT 120 (or PSY 105), Language 2
  • Fall 2: LIN 201, LIN 211, LIN 311, LIN 313, Language 3
  • Spring 2: LIN 312, LIN 315, Language 4, Biology
  • Fall 3: LIN 213, LIN 310, LIN 313, LIN 314 
  • Spring 3: LIN 4xx (usually LIN 421 or 422)
  • Fall 4: Physics
  • Spring 4: LIN 490, LIN 498 thesis (if doing Honors)

Long-term scheduling

To help students plan their academic careers, we try to offer courses on a regular cycle. This is difficult and we cannot always offer courses when we, or our students, would most like them to appear. This listing should not be mistaken for a promise to offer any particular course in any given semester. Nevertheless, to the extent we can, we try to keep to the plan laid out below.

Offered every fall:

  • ASL 101
  • ASL 201
  • ASL 401
  • LIN 105
  • LIN 185
  • LIN 310
  • LIN 313
  • LIN 332
  • LIN 333
  • LIN 334

Offered every spring:

  • ASL 101 
  • ASL 102
  • ASL 202
  • ASL 402
  • LIN 112
  • LIN 185
  • LIN 203
  • LIN 331
  • LIN 410
  • LIN 422
  • LIN 435

Offered once a year, semester varies, sometimes summer:

  • ASL 415 or 416 or 417

Offered once every two years in fall:

  • LIN 211
  • LIN 213
  • LIN 311 
  • LIN 314

Offered once every two years in spring:

  • LIN 212
  • LIN 312
  • LIN 315
  • LIN 421
  • LIN 490

Offered every semester as independent learning options:

  • LIN 336
  • LIN 394
  • LIN 395
  • LIN 398
  • LIN 498

Offered irregularly, depending on demand:

  • LIN 405
  • LIN 425
  • LIN 426