Undergraduate students are invited to pursue a Certificate or an Independent Concentration in Linguistics. Please read below for details, and please contact Yolanda Sullivan, Program Manager if you have any questions.


Spring 2018

Fall 2018



Requirements for a Certificate in Linguistics

A. LIN 201/CGS 205 Introduction to Language and Linguistics

LIN 201 is an introduction to the linguistic theory that forms the basis for most of the other courses offered by the Program in Linguistics.  It is also a prerequisite for most advanced courses in Linguistics.

B. 4 additional courses

Any LIN course, 200-level or above, counts for this category.  At least three of the four courses should bear the LIN designation or be cross-listed with Linguistics.  Linguistics related courses in other departments and programs may be counted with the approval of the director.

C. Independent work

Some substantial aspect of linguistics should be incorporated into either junior independent work or into the senior thesis.  If this is not feasible, students should contact the director to discuss alternative arrangements.  A Junior Paper is normally an essay of 20 to 30 double-spaced pages that is clearly focused on one – or several related – questions, problems or issues.  A Senior Thesis is generally about 100 pages and is an in depth examination of a particular topic.

How to Apply

Complete an application online or as a typeable PDF.


Independent Concentration

Requirements for an Independent Concentration in Linguistics

If you are interested in pursuing an independent concentration in Linguistics, you should prepare a preliminary proposal (200 word limit) which explains your initial thoughts on your Independent Concentration and the names of the two faculty members you hope would serve as your advisors. Once the document is complete, you should schedule a preliminary consultation with your residential college dean.

Finding supportive faculty members to help develop your ideas and your program will be an important step. Eventually, you will ask two faculty members to serve as your advisers and to write in support of your application. The two faculty members who sponsor your application typically serve as the advisers for your two semesters of independent work in your junior year. They may or may not be your senior thesis advisers. You have the flexibility, in consultation with your residential college dean, to identify other faculty mentors as your program evolves.

You must design a coherent program of studies, including at least eight upper-level courses and plans for junior and senior year independent work. In lieu of a departmental comprehensive examination, independent concentrators have an oral defense of their senior thesis — a discussion of the conclusions, methods and implications of the thesis research — with their two advisers. In addition, you must fulfill the University writing, foreign language and distribution requirements.

Applications for the independent concentration program are due the day you return from spring recess of your sophomore year.

For more information please see the Office of the Dean of the College website.

Meet the Concentrators

See a list of our Linguistics Concentrators.




Linguistics provides research grants to Linguistics Certificate and Independent Concentration students who conduct research or scholarly travel related to language and linguistics. Interested students are invited to submit application materials via the Student Activities Funding Engine (SAFE). The application should provide a clear description of the student’s anticipated project, as well as an outline of expenses that will be incurred.  Applications are received and reviewed on a rolling basis.

Senior Thesis Funding

The Program also offers funding to its Certificate and Independent Concentration students who conduct senior thesis research concerning language and linguistics. Interested students are invited to submit application materials via SAFE. The application should provide a clear description of the student’s anticipated project, as well as an outline of expenses that will be incurred. Applications are received and reviewed during the academic year, in early October (for students conducting research during the fall and/or winter break) and from January – March (for students conducting research over spring break and/or the upcoming summer months).


October 2, 2017 for Fall/Winter Recess 2017
March 5, 2017 for Spring Break 2018
March 30, 2017 for Summer 2018

Senior Thesis Prize

The Senior Thesis Prize in Linguistics recognizes the best senior thesis written and defended by a Linguistics Independent Concentrator.  In 2017 we awarded the prize to co-winners Dora Demszky for “StaTIC: A Dataset of Question-Driven Inference Chains” and Yiwei Luo for “The Instrument Subject Construction: A Corpus-Driven Account”.

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