The linguistics major program gives students a thorough understanding of linguistic theory, analysis, and language structure.

As you progress through the program, you will build a foundation in advanced linguistic topics including phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics, along with their intersections with language acquisition, language variation and change, language documentation, and computational linguistics.


The major in linguistics requires 42 credits in linguistics and related areas, subject to the following requirements:

Language Requirement: The Department of Linguistics language requirement for a Major in Linguistics is different from the general language requirement of the Faculty of Arts. Students who satisfy the Faculty requirement by completing a Grade 12 course in a language other than English may satisfy the Linguistics Language Requirement either by taking an additional 6 credits in the same language or by taking 12 credits in a different language at UBC. The language courses taken toward the Linguistics Language Requirement do not count towards the 42-credit total required for the Linguistics Major.

In addition, students may satisfy the Linguistics Language Requirement by demonstrating competence in a language other than those listed under the Faculty of Arts Language Requirement. In such cases, the student should contact the Undergraduate Advisor in the Department of Linguistics.

Once you have completed the Linguistics Language Requirement, please contact to update your Degree Navigator Report.

Recommended Lower-Level Courses:

  • LING 100, 101, 209, and 222
  • STAT 203

*Note: 100-level LING courses do not count toward Honours, Major, or Minor programs in Linguistics. “Recommended” courses are additional courses that may help you better understand and succeed in the required courses for the program. There’s no necessity that you complete any or all of them; they are simply ones that you may find helpful, especially if your own background is somewhat weaker in those areas.

Required Courses:

  • both LING 200 and 201; and
  • all of LING 300, 311, 313, 327 and 333; and
  • LING 447; and
  • an additional 18 credits of courses numbered 300 or higher (possibly including additional sections of LING 447). These 18 credits must all be LING courses, except for a maximum of 6 credits which can be taken from upper-level courses in related areas. See this list for pre-approved courses from other departments. Courses from outside Linguistics that are not listed on that page must be approved by the Linguistics Undergraduate Advisor.


Note: undergraduate students may enrol in graduate-level courses if they meet the requirements; see the UBC calendar and the graduate school for more information. Such courses can count toward upper-level credit requirements (i.e., as courses numbered 300 or higher).


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