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Department of English

Language Studies Concentration

Language Studies is a rich, interdisciplinary concentration in which students learn to interrogate texts of all sorts. This program of study combines four disciplines: composition studies, rhetoric, linguistics, and technical communication. Students learn how people make choices about the texts they produce and those they consume. In language studies, we value text in the broadest sense of the word—any language produced for any given audience, purpose, or activity. At the end of their program of study, students will be accomplished critical thinkers, readers, and writers.

English Department faculty teaching in the area of Language Studies include Nora Bacon, Frank Bramlett, Tracy Bridgeford, Maggie Christensen, Tammie Kennedy, Joan Latchaw, and Owen Mordaunt. Contact information can be found at our faculty page.


Why Language Studies

37–39 Credits Total

A common question students ask when getting ready to graduate is “Do I go immediately into the workplace or do I apply for graduate school?”  The Language Studies curriculum prepares students for both options. We encourage both academic and workplace goals. Students graduating today need to be flexible, adaptable, and creative problem-solvers to succeed in the global communications network of the 21st century. The interdisciplinary nature of language studies enhances and broadens the academic and workplace environments open to you after graduation.

The Language Studies concentration requires workplace experience through its internship requirement, an extraordinarily valuable experience that often leads to full-time employment. Students considering graduate school or law school will be well-prepared to think critically about scholarship, research methodology, and digital literacies and to analyze audiences and texts. Broad study in the nature of argument, the writing process, language variation, and communities of practice is foundational for advanced degrees in language studies.

Language Studies Courses

2420 Critical Approaches to Language Studies

3610 Introduction to Linguistics
3980 Technical Writing

4610 Introduction to Linguistics
4620 History of English
4650 Structure of English
4670 Sociolinguistics
4690 Topics in Linguistics
4730 Rhetoric
4750 Composition Theory and Pedagogy
4810 Digital Literacies
4830 Technical Communication
4850 Information Design
4870 Technical Editing
4880 Community Service Writing
4960 Special Topics in Language and Literature 3**
4890 Capstone in Technical Communication
4XXX Rhetoric of the Sentence

Core Requirements

15–18 Credits

These courses provide a foundation for higher-level courses in language studies or another concentration. Most higher-level courses will require at least 2420 as a prerequisite.

2420 Critical Approaches to To Language Studies
3610 Introduction to Linguistics
2XXX or 3XXX American Literature Course (includes 2410)
2XXX or 3XXX British Literature Course (includes 2410)
3XXX or 4XXX Creative Nonfiction
4800 Internship

Elective Requirements

21 Credits

These elective requirements make up the bulk of required credits, allowing you to explore all language studies course offerings or concentrate on a specific area.

5 additional Language Studies courses
2 electives from any discipline in English Studies