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Explore the English - linguistics emphasis bachelor's degree program at UW-Eau Claire

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. 

Kao Lee Lor, Mai see Xiong and Dr. Lynsey Wolter (front to back) are part of a research project that will provide audiologists with new tools to assess the hearing of patients who speak Hmong.

Using passions to make a difference

Linguistics major Kao Lee Lor is using her passions for research, language and helping others to make a difference. Kao Lee, part of a UWEC student-faculty research team, recently helped compile the first White Hmong word lists for audiology testing. This test will eventually help speech-language pathologists better evaluate the hearing of their patients who speak Hmong.

“Because language is used daily, most people probably don't think about how essential it is to our own identity, and, when we lose that ability to understand or convey our thoughts and ideas, how detrimental that can be," Kao Lee explained.

“Through this project, I've learned a lot and it's helped me grow as a student and as a future linguist. It has provided me with a new way of thinking about language — especially how I think about my own native language and all the complexities that come with it. It has made my college experience much more meaningful.”

English - linguistics emphasis degree scholarships

Through the generosity of alumni and other friends, UW-Eau Claire is able to offer a number of scholarships to students pursuing a degree in English. In fact, linguistics emphasis majors are strong candidates for most English department scholarships, including the John W. Morris Scholarship. This scholarship awards up to $3,500 to an English student who demonstrates a broad range of interests in English and beyond.

Learn more about additional scholarships and resources available to you by checking out our scholarships page.

Financial aid at UW-Eau Claire

Working to make your college education affordable is very important to us. We are here to walk you through the financial aid process and make applying for aid and paying your bill as easy as possible. 
To get this process started, please contact our staff at Blugold Central — our one-stop shop for tuition and financial aid. They will help you learn how to pay for your education and minimize debt, freeing you up to focus on academics and your English degree.  
Learn more about our financial aid process at UWEC

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Quick facts

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.
Student organizations
  • English Ambassadors
  • English Festival
  • None of the Above (NOTA)
  • Sigma Tau Delta

English - linguistics emphasis bachelor’s degree program highlights

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. 

What jobs can you get with an English - linguistics emphasis degree from UWEC?

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

English - linguistics emphasis bachelor’s degree program curriculum

Curriculum throughout the linguistics emphasis program will help you to develop strong problem-solving skills as you investigate language in a variety of ways. Courses may have you conduct a critical analysis of literature, study computer-aided analysis of texts or decipher medieval English. 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.

Classes for English - linguistics emphasis majors may include:

Learn more about the English - linguistics emphasis major in the UWEC course catalog.

Related programs at UW-Eau Claire

Thinking about a bachelor’s degree in English? Here are other programs you may be interested in exploring.

Department information

Learn more about the English department

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