Linguistics and Cultural Studies

The study of linguistics at Seattle Pacific University focuses on the nature of language and on humans as creators and users of language. If you’re preparing to enter a professional field such as teaching, speech pathology, or linguistic research, you’ll want to consider this program.

Two items to note for this quarter:

Students who need LIN 4899, Linguistics Capstone, should sign up for LIN 4900 Independent Study for three credits. Please see Dr. Nemtchinova for details.

The upper-division Linguistics Course for this quarter is LIN 4950, Special Topics: Computational Linguistics, taught by Prof. Martin Horn.


This program in SPU’s Department of Languages, Cultures, and Linguistics explores several aspects of the study of linguistics, including:

  • Language universals and linguistic creativity
  • Systems of sound and meaning, and phrase and sentence structure
  • Linguistic diversity
  • Child and adult language acquisition and learning
  • This historical development of language families

This major or minor could be ideal if you are preparing to enter fields such as anthropology, global development, global and urban ministries, sociology, or specific languages.

You will receive a thorough grounding in general linguistic theory, as well as an opportunity for work in more specific sub-fields such as sociolinguistics or second-language acquisition.

Students in a linguistics class

Career opportunities

  • Business
  • Civil service or diplomacy
  • Communications
  • Education
  • Linguistic research
  • Missions
  • Speech pathology
  • Speech recognition and recreation
  • Teaching English as a second language

Courses and degree requirements

This major requires you to have a minimum competency through the second-year sequence of a language.

You are required to write a senior paper and present it in conjunction with the Capstone Seminar.

The Linguistics and Cultural Studies major also includes a Study Abroad requirement and, prior to graduation, an oral proficiency interview conducted by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.

Admission to the major or minor

To apply for a major or minor in Linguistics and Cultural Studies you must have a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA in all college work applicable to the BA degree and a minimum 2.5 GPA in 10 credits of coursework in the Languages, Cultures, and Linguistics Department.

In order to apply, visit the Major or Minor Application form in Banner.

Kathryn Bartholomew

Why I Teach at SPU

Kathryn Bartholomew, Professor Emeritus of Languages and Linguistics

Languages and linguistics have fascinated me from a very early age, and I rejoice in the opportunity to share my interest and delight with my SPU students in the context of a Christian comprehensive university.