Explore the world of language and words with the English - linguistics emphasis bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
Rooted in fascinating, active discussion, the English - linguistics major will allow you to explore questions and make discoveries. What makes a language a language? How do words work in your brain — and society? Why are there multiple words for the same thing? And how has the English language changed over time, and how might it change in the future? The field of linguistics attempts to answer these questions and so many more.
Coursework throughout the major will help you to develop strong observational, analytical, interpersonal and problem-solving skills. You'll learn to approach language scientifically and transform the way you think about sounds, words, sentences and meaning. A variety of electives and course topics allow you to study the areas that interest you and best align with your career goals.
Because of our emphasis on research and data-driven hypothesis testing, you will graduate with the ability to collect data, to analyze data with attention to detail and to think critically. These highly marketable skills serve as an excellent foundation for a wide range of careers in fields like education, law, software development and nonprofit work. No matter your chosen path, a degree in English - linguistics will equip you with the knowledge, skills and experiences necessary for a challenging and rewarding career.
Expert faculty and a welcoming community. While pursuing your bachelor's degree at UW-Eau Claire, you will get to know your professors and classmates by name. Working as a team, you will discover linguistic patterns in an engaging, collaborative and interactive classroom environment. Small classes allow for personalized learning and the formation of meaningful, lasting connections.
Fascinating research opportunities. Endless undergraduate research opportunities are available to students at UWEC. You may assist a faculty member with data collection and analysis, conduct your own research project, or present your research findings at local and national conferences. Recent linguistics research projects have included documentation of endangered languages like Walloon and Hokkien; using geographic information systems to investigate language perceptions in the Upper Midwest; and analyzing word forms and sentence structures in hip-hop lyrics, the poetry of Anne Bradstreet and the manifestos of serial killers.
Academic apprenticeships. The opportunity to work as an academic apprentice provides real-world experience while allowing you to explore different career paths. Throughout the apprenticeship, you will assist a professor in teaching the Introductory English Linguistics course. This may require you to facilitate class discussions, assist teams with group work, answer questions, provide input for class activities and assignments and teach part of a class session.
Cultural immersion and study abroad experiences. Partaking in cultural and global experiences is highly encouraged at UWEC. Linguistics majors regularly choose to take their education a step further by studying abroad in places like Japan, France, Italy, South Korea and Australia. Cultural immersion programs have allowed students to better understand the world around them, while directly immersing them in new and different cultures. Past programs have explored transnationalism in Jamaica; cultural practices of the Hmong in Fresno, California; and the Civil Rights Pilgrimage in Alabama.
Helpful student organizations. Joining a student organization builds your skillset — and resume. You may mentor current and potential students, organize events or give back to the community. You'll also meet students who, like you, are interested in English and all that it offers.
English - linguistics emphasis program details
- Program length: four years
- Offered: in person
- Campus: Eau Claire
- This major requires a minor or certificate.
- Students majoring in this program may choose either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) degree.
- English Ambassadors
- English Festival
- None of the Above (NOTA)
- Sigma Tau Delta
Graduates of our linguistics major are able to take their degrees in numerous directions. From developing educational materials to working in government, to editing journals, to assisting with adult literacy — the possibilities are endless!
English - linguistics career paths
- Language-related software development
- Information sciences
- Library sciences
- International relations
- Market research
- Editing and publishing
- Speech pathology
- Translating and interpreting
- Language teaching
Courses throughout the linguistics emphasis program will help you to develop strong problem-solving skills as you investigate language in a variety of ways. You may analyze the structure of a conversation, research the changes in the meaning of English words or conduct a critical analysis of literature. Valuable experience drafting hypotheses and analyzing data will help you to understand how language functions as a communication system — as well as a social institution — which will enhance your employability, expand your career options and set you up for success in graduate studies in a variety of fields.
What classes do English - linguistics emphasis majors take?
Your classes may cover topics like:
- English linguistics
- Morphology (the study of the structure of words and word origins)
- Syntax (the study of the structure of phrases and sentences)
- Internet English
- American dialects
- Literature, culture, and film
Learn more about the English - linguistics emphasis major in the UWEC course catalog.
Thinking about a bachelor’s degree in English? Here are other programs you may be interested in exploring.
- Communication Sciences and Disorders
- English - Creative Writing Emphasis
- English - Critical Studies in Literatures, Cultures, and Film Emphasis
- English - Rhetorics of Science, Technology, and Culture Emphasis
- Interdisciplinary Linguistics
- Teaching - English and Language Arts
- Teaching English as a Foreign Language
- Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages