Linguistics and Cultural Studies

Programs offered
  • Linguistics and Cultural Studies (major and minor)

Katya Nemtchinova, PhD, Contact
Languages, Cultures, and Linguistics Faculty

The study of linguistics focuses on the nature of language itself and on human beings as creators and users of language. This program in SPU’s Department of Languages, Cultures, and Linguistics explores systems of sound and meaning; phrase and sentence structure; linguistic diversity; both first- and second-language acquisition; and language change over time.

Both the major and the minor may be of interest and use to students pursuing studies in a variety of fields including anthropology, global development, global and urban ministries, sociology, and specific languages.

In this program you can prepare yourself to enter a professional field such as translation, teaching, or linguistic research.

Find out more about this department’s mission, vision, and learning outcomes.

Linguistics and Cultural Studies (BA)


The Linguistics and Cultural Studies major features a thorough grounding in general linguistic theory, as well as provides you with an opportunity for work in some more specific subfields (e.g., sociolinguistics, second-language acquisition).

  • A minimum 53 credits are required for this major, including 38 upper-division credits.
  • It is required that you have a minimum competency through the second-year sequence of a language.
  • You must complete all non-credited and language proficiency requirements found here, and on the Languages, Cultures, and Linguistics website.
  • This major also offers Cultural Studies courses in a minimum of three different cultures.
  • A senior paper is required and is to be presented in conjunction with the Capstone Seminar.
  • The study abroad requirement may be fulfilled through the Study Abroad programs, including European Quarter, or an approved alternative program.
  • Majors in Linguistics and Cultural Studies are required to complete an Oral Proficiency Interview conducted by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages prior to graduation.

Linguistics and Cultural Studies minor



You can choose from one of three areas of emphasis in the anthropology minor, including Linguistic Anthropology.

  • A minimum 30 credits are required for each of these minors, including 15 upper-division credits.
  • 10 credits of elective courses are required. 

entering and completing the major or minor

In order to earn a degree, you must complete at least one academic major. SPU encourages students to explore various academic paths, so if you change your mind about a major or minor, or want to include an additional program, you are able to do so, as outlined below.

Note that the University encourages you to enter your chosen major(s) and minor(s) by the start of your junior year. Students who transfer as juniors and seniors should enter a major within their first two quarters at SPU.

  • If this is your first quarter at SPU and you identified the Linguistics and Cultural Studies major as your first choice on your application for admission to the University, you have gained entry to the major. To change or add a major or minor, follow these instructions.
  • If you are an SPU student with an SPU cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better, follow these instructions to enter a major or minor in this department.
  • Students on academic probation (with an SPU cumulative GPA below 2.0) will not be permitted to enter a new major or minor until they regain good academic standing.
  • The University requires a grade of C- or better in all classes that apply to a major or minor; however, programs may require higher minimum grades in specific courses. You may repeat an SPU course only once for a higher grade.
  • To advance in this program, meet with your faculty advisor regularly to discuss your grades, course progression, and other indicators of satisfactory academic progress. If your grades or other factors indicate that you may not be able to successfully complete the major or minor, your faculty advisor can work with you to explore options, which may include choosing a different major or minor.
  • You must complete the major or minor requirements that are in effect in the SPU Undergraduate Catalog for the year you enter the major or minor.

Students sitting outside

Languages, Cultures, and Linguistics

Visit the Languages, Cultures, and Linguistics Department, and see how a degree from this department can help you achieve your goals and make a difference in the world.

Time Schedule: Linguistics and Cultural Studies

Course planning

Suggested course sequences help you complete your degree in a timely manner.

Take off on a study abroad

Take advantage of intercultural opportunities by joining a study abroad program.