Department of Linguistics

Linguistics: General Linguistics Major

The General Linguistics major offers a unique and individualized experience for students interested in theoretical linguistics. Click here to learn more about degree requirements.

A variety of options give students the opportunity to work closely with faculty members, either one-on-one or in small groups. In this way, students in General Linguistics get individualized attention and an opportunity for engagement much like that of graduate students at other institutions. The mechanisms for these experiences include the following:

  • Independent Study (LIN 398) - The independent study option allows students to explore an area that is not covered in depth in the regular course offerings. The student works closely with a faculty mentor.

  • Research Internship (LIN 395) - Students who register for a research internship work with a faculty member on the faculty member's current research project. The students are involved in all aspects of the research project: designing experiments, conducting experiments, analyzing data, and interpreting results.

  • Research assistantships on funded projects - When a faculty member receives grant funding (such as from the National Science Foundation), students are hired as research assistants on the project. They do the same kind of work as for LIN 395, but also play a leader role in the team of student researchers. Research assistants also sometimes participate in presentations at conferences or are co-authors on publications.

  • Work Study - Students who are eligible for Work Study can receive work study funds for participating in research projects.

  • LIN 426 (Topics in Advanced Theoretical Linguistics) - Although LIN 426 is listed in the Catalog as a course, it is actually a seminar that functions like a group independent study. It is intended for students who excelled in a 300-level course in a certain area and wish to pursue the topic in more depth.

Students who are interested in studying linguistics at the graduate level are well-prepared by the General Linguistics major. Our graduates have gone on to graduate programs in Linguistics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, McGill, and UCLA.

For students interested in pursuing a Law degree, USM offers an accelerated pathway that includes Linguistics as one of the B.A. options. 


For more information or to report problems with this page, please contact Dana McDaniel: