New Undergraduate Degree Completes Linguistics Program

The Department of Linguistics and TESOL, which already offers a master’s and doctoral degree in linguistics and an M.A. in TESOL, has added an undergraduate degree to its lineup. In August, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved a bachelor of arts degree in linguistics.

“Everyone feels that having this major completes us,” said Dr. Colleen Fitzgerald, chair of the Department of Linguistics and TESOL. “The B.A. in linguistics nicely complements our other programs, and it is a natural fit with our doctoral program, where students are looking for teaching opportunities.”

Linguistics is the scientific study of language, from sentence structure to sound structure to meaning.

Three students have already enrolled in the major, with others expressing interest. Program advisors are excited about being able to offer entry into the field of study.

“What the undergraduates get is a sort of well-rounded bases in some of the core areas in linguistics,” said Dr. Joseph Sabbagh, assistant professor and undergraduate advisor. “If one got a B.A. in the linguistics program here they would be in a good position to pursue a linguistics degree at the graduate level.”

The linguistics department has added several new courses to meet the demand of the new major, including a 3000-level class on “Treks, Travels and Typologies” (LING 3301) taught by Professor Jerry Edmondson. The major also allows room for students to simultaneously do the new undergraduate certificate in TESOL by using their major electives.

Another aspect that sets the coursework at UT Arlington apart from other schools is the focus on applying what students learn in the classroom to real-world situations.

“Our linguistics major is different from many other schools because of our service learning requirement,” Fitzgerald said. “Students take theory and apply it in real world contexts, whether it is in a classroom with adults learning English or with Native American communities revitalizing their languages.”

For more information on the program and new undergraduate major, visit or contact Sabbagh at


[SOURCE: Amanda Enriquez, COLA Communications]

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