Consider a Minor in Linguistics

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What's linguistics?

Linguistics is the science of human language—the scientific study of our ability to communicate with other human beings.  

Linguistics enriches the English major's understanding of and appreciation for English and other languages, not just by acquainting them with the rules of English, but also by revealing popular myths which often lead to ill-informed personal or policy judgments.

Study of linguistics can be useful as preparation for a variety of occupations: teaching language arts, English, or other languages; working in journalism or editing and publishing; engagement with literature in teaching, criticism or authorship; and a variety of applications in computer-mediated uses of language.  For more information about linguistics in the English Department, contact Professor Alicia Moretti, Director of the Linguistics Minor Program.


Who might enjoy a linguistics minor?

Students of

  • anthropology
  • communication
  • computer science
  • education
  • English
  • ethnic studies
  • foreign language
  • human development
  • journalism
  • liberal studies
  • philosophy
  • psychology
  • social sciences
  • women's studies

Linguists find careers in

  • teaching
  • public relations
  • publishing
  • technical writing
  • communications technology
  • computer programming
  • speech pathology
  • composition teaching
  • computerized translation
  • language teaching
  • software development
  • developing teaching materials
  • artificial intelligence
  • academic teaching and research
  • teaching English as a second language (around the world!)
  • psychological and clinical research
  • developing alphabets and literacy programs

What courses do I take?


  • ENGL 290 Introduction to Linguistics
  • ENGL 391 Topics in Applied Linguistics
  • ENGL 395 History of the English Language

Choose 4 electives from:

  • ENGL 390 The Linguistic Structure of Modern English
  • COMS 316 Intercultural Communication
  • ENGL 495 Topics in Applied Language Study (variable content course)
  • ENGL 497 Theories of Language Learning and Teaching
  • (All courses are 4 units)

Plan your schedule carefully. Some of these courses are offered only once per year. You must complete minor requirements before or at the same time as major requirements.

  • You must maintain at least a C average in minor courses.
  • At least 2/3 of minor courses must be taken for a grade. 
  • At least 1/2 of minor courses must be taken at Cal Poly, not transferred.

How do I sign up?






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