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Northwestern University Course/Program Name
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International :01 Jan 

BA Linguistics

 Course Level
Bachelors / UG
Full Time

4 Years
 Start month

 Tuition fee

50424 USD
50424 USD

Application fee

International 75 USD
National 75 USD
Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)7
TOEFL-IBT (min)90
SAT (avg)1430
ACT (avg)31

World University Ranking

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About this course

Linguistics is the scientific study of language and its structure, including the study of language patterns, rules of sentence structure, speech sounds and transmission, how we hear words, and the different interpretations of the meanings we attach to those words. It describes how different languages build sounds and words and sentences.Language is a complex, species-specific system made up of several components (sound, sentence structure, and meaning). The study of linguistics gives us a unique window on the structure of the human mind and the mind's activity. Further, there are many real world applications of linguistics (e.g., natural language technologies). 

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Eligibility Criteria

Use Northwestern school code 1565 (SAT) or 1106 (ACT) to have your SAT Reasoning Test or ACT sent directly to us. Two SAT Subject Tests are recommended.

International applicants whose primary language is not English or whose secondary school curriculum has not been in English must submit exam results from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Use Northwestern school code 1565 to direct your TOEFL scores to us; if you are taking the IELTS, request that the scores be sent electronically to us. 

Northwestern does not accept scores from other English proficiency exams, including the TOEFL Institutional Testing Program (ITP).

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Course Modules

Courses Open to First-Year Students
First-Year Seminars
Our department offers first-year seminars that cover various topics in linguistics.

Introductory core courses
There are three 200-level courses that together serve as the introduction to the study of the core components of human language: sound, grammar and meaning.

  • LING 250 The Sound Pattern in Human Language
  • Serves as an introduction to the analysis of human language sounds.
  • LING 260 Formal Analysis of Words and Sentence
  • Covers basics of the analysis of grammatical structure of words and sentences.
  • LING 270 Meaning.

Introduces how to approach the meaning that is carried by language expressions (e.g., words, sentences, and sentences in contexts).

Undergraduate Studies in Linguistics

Requirements for a Linguistics Major
Introductory (3 units):

  • 250 Sound Patterns in Human Language
  • 260 Formal Analysis of Words and Sentences
  • 270 Meaning

9 courses at the 300-level or beyond. These 9 courses must include 3 of the following:

  • 350 Fundamentals of Laboratory Phonology
  • 360 Fundamentals of Syntax
  • 370 Fundamentals of Meaning
  • 33x any 1 methods course

Only 1 of the 9 advanced courses may be 398/399, and certain exceptions may be granted (e.g. CogSci 210) in consultation with the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

4 related courses. Decisions as to which courses count towards this requirement are generally made on a case-by-case basis. The list of courses related to linguistics on this site offers some guidance, but students must discuss their options in the context of their individual course of study with the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

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How to Apply

The following must be submitted: Common Application (additional "Why Northwestern" written response encouraged) or Coalition Application, secondary school report (includes high school transcript and counselor recommendation letter), teacher recommendation, required standardized test scores and a nonrefundable application fee of $75.

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