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New Transfer Student Academic Advisement

3. UAlbany Degree Requirements

Departmental Advice to Transfer Students

Linguistics Major

Welcome to the Linguistics major at the University at Albany.

Linguistics is the science of language.  It examines all aspects of language use and structure in the world's many languages. The linguistics major is designed to provide students with basic understanding of the nature of human language and the principles and methods of contemporary linguistics theory.  It integrates the perspectives of the humanities, the social sciences, and the sciences as students discover the systematicity and intracacies of language structure and language use.  Students learn how to analyze all the various building blocks of language including the sounds (phonology), the units of meaning (morphology), and the word order and constituency (syntax).  In the capstone course of the major, Field Methods, students gather data themselves from a little-studied language and analyze the facts in a theoretical framework.

Majors and many minors enjoy the advantages of a small unit within a large research university; the high level of faculty involvment in undergraduate students' academic progress has led to several joint research projects and presentations at national meetings.

The MAP (Major Academic Pathway) shows how the Linguistics major might be completed in four years.  As a transfer student it is important for you to use your Degree Audit Report (DARS) to determine what you’ve already completed and what is left for you to finish at Albany.  As you do this, please consider the following information that we have found to be important to transfer students:

I. 36 Credit Requirement

Course description from the University Bulletin

A. Core Linguistics courses (16 credits)

    A LIN 220 (3 credits) "Intro to Linguistics" (No Prerequisites)
    A LIN 321 (3 credits) "Intro to Syntax" (Pre: 220)
    A LIN 322 (3 credits) "Intro to Phonology" (Pre: 220)
    A LIN 429 (4 credits) "Field Methods" (Pre: 321 or 322)

    one of:

    A LIN 421 (3 credits) "Advanced Syntax" (Pre: 321)
    A LIN 422 (3 credits) "Advanced Phonolgy" (Pre: 322)

B.*Year Foregin Language (credits vary depending on Language)
( LIN 289 credit can only be used to fulfill this requirement)

       1st semester
       2nd semester

C.Electives (10-22 credits depending on Foreign Language credit in B.
These courses may either be LIN courses, or be taken from the
"Approved Elective List" below)

300 level or above
Elective 2
Elective 3
(Elective 4)
(Elective 5)

Approved Elective List

Ant 424; Clc 125; Com 373, 465; Csi 101Y, 201Y, 310; Eng 311Y, 312Y, 411; Fre 306, 406, 450; Ger 312Y, 400; Heb 203Y; Phi 210Y,332Y, 415, 432Y; Por 402; Psy 301, 365Y, 381; Spn 305, 402, 405;one of the following: Gog 396Y, Mat 108Y, Psy 210, or Soc 221Y

II. *Language Proficiency

Students must show competency through the 4th semester level.  This can be accomplished by actually taking the 4th semester of a language (here or at another college), or showing equivalent competency through an appropriate examination.  Any credits earned in fulfilling this requirement do NOT count toward the "36 Credit Requirement." Students whose first language is not English may be exempt from this requirement (contact the Program Director).

* The languages used for "Year Foreign Language" and "Language Proficiency" must be of "radically different structures."  Any two languages which are completely unrelated historically will qualify.  Using two languages within the same language family would need to be approved by the department.  A student may also fulfill the "Year Foreign Language" requirement by taking LIN 423 "Language Area Structure."


We suggest that you take at least two or three of these introductory courses in your first semester at the University at Albany if you have not already completed them at your previous institution.

If you have already taken all of these core courses, you can begin to focus on upper level course work in the areas that interest you the most.

It is not unusual for transfer students to take two or three upper level courses in the major but you may wish to also leave room for any general education and minor courses in your first semester schedule.

The Linguistics majors are required to complete a minor.  For a list of minors and the courses required to complete them, click here.

Although Ant/Lin 220 is offered each semester (spring and fall) the upper level courses in the major change from semester to semester.

Click here to read more about the Program in Linguistic and Cognitive Science.

If you have questions based on the information that see here please contact Dr. Lee Bickmore at

1.      You are advised to complete and submit your Educational Plan as soon as possible, to maximize access to available seats

2.      Your Educational Plan will be reviewed by a member of the Anthropology faculty who may contact you by email with comments or questions.  When your proposal is approved, you will receive an email from him/her and this message will include your AVNumber . You can expect to receive this by email within two weeks after receipt of your proposal. 




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