Linguistics, B.A.

School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Program Overview

As a linguistics major, you will learn how to understand and analyze language through an interdisciplinary approach. You’ll gain a solid grounding in contemporary linguistics, beginning with an overall understanding of the nature and structure of language, and then move on to the core areas: phonology (the sounds of language), morphology (the structure of words), syntax (the structure of phrases and sentences), and semantics (the structure of meaning).

Linguistics, B.A.

Where You'll Go

Linguistics majors often pursue graduate study in linguistics and closely related areas. Linguistics graduates also go on to careers in foreign service, international business, translation and interpreting, lexicography, teaching, information technology, technical writing, and publishing. With this degree, you’ll be well equipped for further training in many fields, including anthropology, international affairs, law, journalism, communication, education, foreign languages, philosophy, psychology, and many others.

Major Details

The program information listed here reflects the approved curriculum for the 2023–24 academic year per the Brooklyn College Bulletin. Bulletins from past academic years can be found here.

Major Requirements (32–36 Credits)

Students must complete parts 1 through 5.

  1. Linguistics 2001.
  2. Three of the following: Linguistics 3019, 3020, 3021, 3022, 3024, 4000. At least two of the three must be from 3019–3022.
  3. Two of the following: Anthropology 1300, 3301; English 3520; Linguistics 3023, 3026, 3028, 3029, 3030; Philosophy 3203 or 3204, 3530; Psychology 3540, 3541; Communication Arts, Sciences, and Disorders 1113, 2231; Spanish 3390; any unused courses from part 2 above plus any prerequisites of the courses.
  4. Two of the following: Anthropology 2320, 3310, 3360; Computer Science 2210, 3110, 3130, 3410; English 3196, 3522, 3523; Philosophy 3123, 3220, 3420, 3422; Puerto Rican and Latino Studies 4410, 4420; Psychology 2600, 3400, 3530, 3580; Communication Arts, Sciences, and Disorders 1178, 1179; Spanish 3320, 3360; one course in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures numbered 2021 or above, or Greek 4031 or above, or Latin 4131 or above, or Hebrew 3111 or above, or the equivalent; any unused courses from parts 2 and 3 above; plus any prerequisites of the courses. Appropriate courses may be substituted for a total of not more than two courses in areas 3 and/or 4 with permission of the linguistics program director.
  5. Linguistics 4001W, a capstone seminar to be taken in the senior year.

Note: When a student chooses to double major in linguistics and another major, up to three courses in parts 3 and 4 that are applicable toward the requirements of the student’s other major may also be applied toward the requirements of the major in linguistics.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • A theoretical foundation in general linguistics (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics)
  • An opportunity to acquire knowledge in related fields such as historical linguistics, linguistic anthropology, philosophy of language, psycholinguistics, second language acquisition, sociolinguistics, and computational linguistics
  • The research skills needed to systematically collect and critically analyze linguistic data in order to evaluate hypotheses about the structure, use, and acquisition of language
  • The communication skills to communicate the results of their linguistic investigations in oral and written forms
  • A data-based understanding of the positive value of the diversity and dynamic nature of human languages in the United States and throughout the world

Degree Maps

View all past degree maps.


Jonathan Nissenbaum, Program Director

1420 Ingersoll Hall
P: 718.951.5928

Or contact:

Office of Undergraduate Admissions

222 West Quad Center
2900 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11210

To make an appointment with an undergraduate admissions counselor, visit:

Virtual Admissions Counselor Appointments

Internships and Employers

Through job fairs, the internship database, and internship panels, the Magner Career Center gives students in the linguistics B.A. program access to career opportunities at a wide variety of employers, including:

  • Geneva Worldwide
  • New York City Department of Education
  • New York City Teaching Fellows
  • New York State Unified Court System

Learn More

Brooklyn. All in.

Brooklyn. All in.