BA in Italian & Linguistics

The Italian & Linguistics major enables students to combine the study of human language from a variety of perspectives with the study of Italian language, literature, and culture. In their linguistics courses, students explore the formal structures of language (sound system, internal structure of words, syntactic organization, and representations of meaning) as well as language universals and variability across languages, social dimensions of language use, and historical language change. At the same time, they achieve proficiency in Italian (reading, writing, speaking, listening) and gain an appreciation and critical understanding of Italian cultural and literary traditions, practices, genres, and great works. Class projects and interactions with faculty provide frequent opportunities for making connections between the major’s two primary areas of study. Study abroad is strongly encouraged and, with careful planning, easily accommodated.

The joint major equips students with sought-after language skills and intercultural competence and provides excellent background for a range of careers including language education, testing and assessment, translation and interpretation, international business, speech therapy, voice coaching, information technology, law, nursing and medicine, child development, and social work. It also prepares students for graduate study in the areas of language, literature, linguistics, and related areas such as regional studies and cognitive science.

Requirements

The major consists of thirteen 4-credit courses, all completed with a grade of C or higher. Further information on individual courses can be found in the list of Italian course descriptions, and Linguistics course descriptions, and on the Linguistics program website.

Six courses in Italian

  • One Italian language course at the 300 level (CAS LI 303–310)
  • One Italian literature course chosen from CAS LI 350 or 351
  • Four additional Italian literature courses at or above the 300 level from among CAS LI 350, 351, 352, 450, 452, 453, 459, 553, 555, 556, 590

Six courses in linguistics

  • CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics
  • Three core courses in linguistics (may be taken in any order; all have CAS LX 250 as a prerequisite): CAS LX 502 Semantics, CAS LX 510 Phonetics, CAS LX 522 Syntax I
  • Two additional CAS LX electives at or above the 300 level

One additional elective

Either

  • in Italian — Italian literature (see above listing) or Italian culture: chosen from CAS LI 349, LI 452, LI 473, LI 480, LI 540

or

  • in linguistics — from courses in general linguistics (CAS LX courses at or above the 400 level), sociolinguistics (CAS AN 521), or other linguistics courses with advisor approval

Padua

Students may take courses to fulfill requirements of the Italian & Linguistics major in the Boston University Study Abroad program in Padua. Additional information on this program is available in the Study Abroad and Internship Programs section of this site. Students should consult with their advisor to determine which Study Abroad courses may fulfill major and minor requirements.