Majors and Minors


The major in linguistics at Cleveland State introduces students to the scientific description and analysis of language as a human phenomenon. Linguists are interested in the nature and structure of human language. Through the study and analysis of the diversity of human languages, linguists seek to answer some important questions:

  • What distinguishes human language from other forms of communication?
  • What features are shared by human languages?
  • How are languages related to each other through time and space?
  • How can we learn about human cognition through the study of human language?

Linguistics at Cleveland State draws upon strengths in several disciplines throughout the University, including Anthropology, Communication, Education, English, French, Modern Languages, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, and Speech and Hearing.


The study of linguistics provides students with strong analytical skills that can be employed in a variety of careers. Linguistics is a science in that claims about analysis can be objectively tested by bringing in further data to prove or disprove those claims. Linguistics develops logical thinking skills and ways to “formalize” one’s claims, and because of that the major in linguistics is often used as a preparation for the study of law. Advertising, communication, journalism, and editorial work are also career paths that are open to linguistics students. Many students who decide to major in linguistics often pursue graduate work in linguistics or in a closely associated field, such as anthropology, literature, or foreign language study. Linguistics students often become interested in opportunities to teach English in other countries, and an undergraduate degree in linguistics can open the door for such a career. Students who are interested in teaching English as a second language, either overseas or in the educational system in this country, should contact the Dr. Maria Angelova in College of Education and Human Services, TESOL Program at (216) 523-7115.


Click here to see the current academic year's Undergraduate Catalog requirements for the Linguistics major .

NOTE: For official requirements, determine your catalog rights, and go to the undergraduate catalog that matches those rights. (The following requirements are ONLY for students whose FIRST semester at CSU is Fall 2011 or Spring 2012. For students who started BEFORE the 2011-2012 school year AND who have been enrolled during at least one of the past three semesters, including summer, please see your undergraduate catalog).

A number of lesser-studied languages are available for study in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, and these language classes can also be used to fulfill part of the core requirement for the linguistics major. Some of the languages that have been taught include Old English, Norse, Sanskrit, Hittite, and Mayan hieroglyphic writing.

For more information, contact:
CLASS Advising Office
Cleveland State University
2121 Euclid Avenue, CB 279
Cleveland, OH 44115-2214
Phone: 216.523.7365

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