College of Arts & Sciences



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University offering a BA in Linguistics in Kentucky

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The Linguistics program offers a wide range of courses in the various subdisciplines of linguistics, including phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, language acquisition, and the analysis of specific languages.


Grow Your Future

A degree in linguistics gives students excellent preparation for careers in computing and technology; clinical fields relating to speech and language; international business and education; publishing; and many other professions. Linguistic majors are also prepared to continue their education in graduate studies. Possible occupations for linguistic majors include but are not limited to the following:

Career opportunities in Linguistics

  • Computational Linguistics
  • Language Educators
  • Translators
  • Publishing
  • Law
  • National Security
  • Government
  • Business
  • Editors
  • Entertainment 

Classes & Requirements

What You'll Study

Linguistics is an interdisciplinary program combining resources from English, anthropology, psychology, philosophy, computer science, and the foreign languages, to develop an understanding of the nature and implications of human language. The program provides solid foundations in phonological and grammatical analysis, as well as opportunities to investigate the social, cultural, psychological, and physical aspects of language use.


Graduation Requirements

Any student earning a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree must complete a minimum of 39 hours at the 300+ level. These hours are generally completed by the major requirements. However, keep this hour requirement in mind as you choose your course work for the requirements in the major. Students interested in earning a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree must complete a minimum of 60 hours in biological, physical, mathematical and/or computer sciences. See the complete description of College requirements for a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Sciences degrees in the Arts and Sciences section of the 2015-2016 Undergraduate Bulletin.

UK Core Requirements

  • The Nature of Inquiry in Arts and Creativity (3 hours)
  • The Nature of Inquiry in the Humanities (3 hours)
  • The Nature of Inquiry in the Social Sciences (3 hours)
  • The nature of Inquiry in the Natural, Physical and Mathematical Sciences (3 hours)
  • Composition and Communication I (3 hours)
  • Composition and Communication II (3 hours)
  • Quantitative Foundations (3 hours)
  • Statistical and Inferential Reasoning (3 hours)
  • Community, Culture and Citizenship in the USA (3 hours)
  • Global Dynamics (3 hours)

Total Credit Hours - 30

Premajor Requirements 

To complete the premajor requirements a Linguistics major must complete the third and fourth semesters of a foreign language (or the equivalent)

Total Hours - 6-8

Major Requirements 

Core Requirements

  • LIN 221 - Introduction to Linguistics I [3 hours]
  • LIN 300 - Speech Sounds [3 hours]
  • LIN 305 - Words & Sentences [3 hours]
  • LIN 495 - Linguistics Capstone [3 hours]

Other Course Work Required for the Major

To saisfy this requirement students must complete one course from each group listed below.

Group A - Phonetics and Phonology

  • LIN 500 - Phonetics [3 hours]
  • LIN 515 - Phonological Analysis [3 hours]]

Group B - Morphology, Synatx, and Semantics

  • LIN 505 - Linguistic Morphology [3 hours]
  • LIN 509 - Formal Semantics [3 hours]
  • LIN 512 - Syntactic Analysis [3 hours]

Group C - Language, Culture, and Society

  • LIN 310 - American English [3 hours]
  • LIN 311 - Appalachian English [3 hours]
  • LIN 325 - Language and Culture [3 hours]
  • LIN 331 - Language in U.S. Society [3 hours]
  • LIN 506 - Sociolinguistics [3 hours]
  • LIN 507 - Linguistic Anthropology [3 hours]
  • LIN 508 - Discourse Analysis [3 hours]

Group D - Languages in Space and Time

  • LIN 518 - Advanced History of English Language [3 hours]
  • LIN 519 - Historical Linguistics [3 hours]
  • LIN 529 - LAnguage Contact [3 hours]

Group E - Computational Linguistics

  • LIN 301 - Computation for Linguists [3 hours]
  • LIN 510 - Corpus Linguistics [3 hours]
  • LIN 511 - Computational Linguistics [3 hours]

9 Additional Hours

Students must complete an additional 9 credit hours of LIN prefix course work at the 200-level or above. Courses used to satisfy the group requirements may not be used to satisfy this requirement.

Additional Course Work

Students must complete 9 credit hours at the 200-level or above from the following prefixes. Other course prefixes may be used to satisfy this requirement with permission of the Director of Undergraduate Studies. LIN prefix courses used to satisfy other requirements in the major may not be used to satisfy the additional course work requirement. AAS, AIS, ANT, APP, BIO, CHI, CLA, COM, CS, CSD, DST, ENG, FR, GER, GRK, GWS, HIS, HJS, ICT, INT, ISC, ITA, JOU, JPN, LAS, LAT, LIN, MA, MCL, PHI, PS, PSY, RUS, SOC, SPA, STA, TSL, WRD

Linguistics | Bachelor of Arts

B.A. Major Requirements B.A. Four Year Plan

Linguistics | Bachelor of Science

B.S. Major Requirements B.S. Four Year Plan

Imagine Your Future

Interpreters and Translators

Interpreters and translators convert information from one language into another language.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics | Click the link for more info.

Median Salary


per year in 2021

Number of Jobs


in 2021

10 Year Job Outlook


new jobs (average)

Work Environment

Interpreters and translators work in settings such as schools, hospitals, courtrooms, meeting rooms, and conference centers. Part-time work is common, and work schedules may vary.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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A&S Undecided/Exploratory Studies

Understanding that over 70 percent of university students will change their declared major at least once during their college careers, the College of Arts and Sciences has developed an Exploratory Studies program for students who have yet to decide the specific field of study that most closely aligns both their personal interests and their professional career goals and objectives. The Exploratory Studies Program provides students with an extraordinarily diverse educational environment that includes coursework spanning Math and Natural Sciences, Humanities, and Social Sciences and provides students with the unique opportunity to explore multiple areas of interest during their first several semesters on campus. For more information please contact a recruiting representative at 

Enhancing Your Time at UK

While there are endless ways to create an unforgettable journey as a Wildcat, we can only think of one that gives you the chance to step outside the classroom and into exploring new parts of the world around you: participating in an Education Abroad opportunity! Whether it’s in a study, research, service, or internship program, taking your UK experience international with EA is the most hands-on way for you to expand your global perspective while making yourself a more well-rounded, marketable candidate to future employers no matter your field. As you take these first steps towards investing in your future, EA encourages you to take advantage of all the opportunities UK has to offer. Take a look at some of the many suggested opportunities UK Education Abroad & Exchanges has to complement your major! #ukyabroad


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