Linguistics is the scientific study of language, a complex human behaviour. How do we produce and comprehend language? How is language acquired? What do the languages of the world have in common? How does language vary in different social contexts? These are some of the questions investigated in linguistics courses. Linguistics is relevant to a wide range of fields including speech-language pathology, audiology, cognitive science, education, language revitalization, artificial intelligence, speech synthesis, psychology and philosophy.


Admission Information

Most student study linguistics for the first time at university, there are therefore no specific high school prerequisites for the first year Linguistics course.  Exposure to languages other than English either through high school courses or at home might help you in linguistics, but is not necessary. Since most people rarely think about the languages they speak, linguistics will be an eye-opener!

  • Apply to the Humanities admission category on the St. George campus
  • Six Grade 12 U or M courses, including English are required
  • Students outside of Ontario should have the equivalent senior high school credits



  • Linguistics (specialist, major and minor options)


First-Year Courses

  • LIN 101H1  -  Introduction to Linguistics: Sound Structure
  • LIN 102H1  -  Introduction to Linguistics: Sentence Structure and Meaning


Advice for First Year

All of the Linguistics programs require LIN 101H1 and LIN102H1.  The Linguistics specialist program requires two years of a non-Germanic, non-Romance language. It is recommended that you begin the study of this language in your first year. Linguistics naturally combines as a major or minor with many disciplines, including, but not limited to, Psychology, Philosophy, Computer Science, Cognitive Science, French, Spanish and Portuguese, Slavic languages, German and Italian.



Linguistics is an important element in the study of speech pathology. Students of linguistics are good writers, and are more sensitive to language matters.  Computational linguists, who work in such fields as natural language processing or voice recognition, are in high demand. 


Possible career options include:

Advertising Language teacher
Career development officer Lexicographer
Communication specialist Publishing
Computer programmer Overseas trade representative
Early childhood assistant Reference librarian
Educational researcher Speech Therapist
ESL teacher Technical writer
Foreign affairs advisor Translator
International student advisor


Learn more about the Faculty of Arts & Science by reading our Viewbook


First Year