The Department of Linguistics offers programs in the systematic study of how language works. Linguists work on sound systems (phonetics and phonology), on the relation between form and meaning (morphology, syntax, and semantics), and on how languages change over time.

In an introductory linguistics course, you study language systems by analyzing data from languages of contrasting structure. You can expect to work on English, but also on languages like Cantonese, local First Nations languages, Latin, or Haitian Creole.

A Major, Minor, and Honours is offered in Linguistics in addition to a Major or Honours in Speech Sciences with a Minor in Linguistics.

Click here for program requirements (UBC Calendar)


The Linguistics major can be declared on the Student Services Centre (SSC) when you have second-year standing. The Linguistics minor can be declared on the SSC when you have third-year standing.

Admission to the honours programs for Linguistics requires an application. If you have any questions regarding applications, please contact the department.


Department of Linguistics
Totem Field Studios
2613 West Mall
Tel: 604-822-0415

Speech and Linguistics Students Association


Podcasts, policy, and the president: interdisciplinary course returns to teach the power of language

An interdisciplinary course looking at the power of language is on offer again this year.

Caleb Lee: Linguistics and Learning

Linguistics alumnus Caleb Lee (BA ‘06) has a message for UBC students who are uncertain about their career path: pursue the things you love to do, and everything will end up coming together.

Clarissa Forbes and Michael Schwan: Preserving Language through Research

Linguistics students Clarissa Forbes and Michael Schwan spent much of 2012 working on the documentation and linguistic analysis of Gitxsan, an aboriginal language spoken in the northern interior of British Columbia. Over the course of 8 months, they were given the opportunity to work directly with Gitxsan speakers to help document the language. Through elicitation sessions, in which they recorded stories told in Gitxsan, as well as other grammatical exercises, they were able to gather new knowledge about this endangered language.

Dr. Eric Vatikiotis-Bateson: Speaking Clearly

Students who know Professor Eric Vatikiotis-Bateson know he loves talking. But it’s not just hot air — he’s a linguist who’s long been fascinated by the links between language and communicative behaviour, and he says he’s thrilled to be probing those links within the research community at UBC.