Apr 17, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Linguistics, Speech and Language Science Concentration, B.A.

The Speech and Language Science Concentration is designed for students who wish to pursue a career in speech-language pathology, audiology, or related disciplines. The concentration provides students with the background needed to enter graduate programs in speech-language pathology, such as the one at the University of Maine, or others elsewhere in the Northeast or across the U.S. This curriculum also has been useful as a springboard for applications to graduate school for students who have already completed a B.A. in another field, who combine this curriculum with a major in another discipline, or who simply augment their earlier training with a few courses prior to applying for graduate school.

Program Requirements

Total number of credits required for the major: 55

Note on Language Component

Students pursuing the Speech and Language Science Concentration must complete four semesters of a language or languages other than English. Students may choose to take four semesters of the same language or to divide the four courses among two or more different languages. Language courses may be waived on a case-by-case basis for students who demonstrate the equivalent degree of competency in a language or languages. In such cases, students replace the language course credits with other linguistics courses (or possibly with linguistics-related courses in other areas). Substitutions are made in consultation with the student’s advisor.

Note on grade requirement for LIN 185 - Language, Mind, and Society: An Introduction to Linguistics

Students must receive a grade of B or higher in LIN 185  before enrolling in certain upper-level LIN courses, including LIN 312 - Phonology and Morphology  and LIN 313 - Syntax . LIN 185  may be repeated at most one time. Students for whom American Sign Language is their first language may consult with the department about alternative pathways for satisfying this requirement.

Honors for Speech and Language Concentration

Linguistics majors who do outstanding work in the major can graduate with honors in linguistics. Requirements for Honors for students majoring in the Speech and Language Science Concentration are the following:

  • Achieve a GPA of at least 3.7 in LIN courses.
  • Earn a grade of B or higher in all language courses that count toward the major.
  • Submit a portfolio of linguistic activities approved by the Department. The portfolio documents linguistic activities outside of required coursework. Examples of such activities include independent study and research internship courses, tutoring, and attendance at linguistics conferences. Students who plan to submit a portfolio should discuss the details with their advisor.
  • Complete LIN 498 - Thesis  with a grade of A.

Notes on Core Curriculum Requirements

In addition to completing a major, students must satisfy USM’s Core Curriculum requirements and earn a total of at least 120 credits to graduate. The following information outlines core requirements that overlap with the major in Linguistics with a Concentration in Speech and Language Science or core courses recommended for students majoring in this concentration.

Quantitative Reasoning: Students should fulfill this requirement by taking a statistics course (MAT 120 - Introduction to Statistics  or PSY 201 - Statistics in Psychology ). One of the LIN requirements, LIN 490 - Introduction to Language Research , has a statistics course as a prerequisite.

Cultural Interpretation: All 101, 102, 201, and 202 language courses fulfill this requirement; therefore, the language requirement for the major also fulfills this core requirement.

Socio-Cultural Analysis: LIN 185 - Language, Mind, and Society: An Introduction to Linguistics  meets this requirement.

Science Exploration: The department recommends that this requirement be fulfilled with a biology course, because biology is a prerequisite for many graduate programs in speech/language pathology and audiology. Note that LIN 185 - Language, Mind, and Society: An Introduction to Linguistics  meets this requirement if LIN 186 - Introduction to Linguistics: Lab  (the one-credit lab associated with LIN 185 ) is taken as well.

Culture, Power, and Equity: LIN 185 - Language, Mind, and Society: An Introduction to Linguistics  meets this requirement.

Writing, Reading, and Inquiry 3: LIN 317 - Two Languages, One Mind: Introduction to Second Language Acquisition and Bilingualism  meets this requirement.

Capstone: LIN 490 Introduction to Language Research is a capstone course.

Several linguistics or language courses that are not required for the major fulfill core requirements:

International: LIN 112 - The Birth of a Language , FRE 202 - Intermediate French II , GER 202 - Intermediate German II , ITA 202 - Intermediate Italian II , SPA 202 - Intermediate Spanish II  

Ethical Inquiry, Social Responsibility, and Citizenship: LIN 410 - Ethical Decision Making in ASL/English Interpreting  (Note: Students who have not taken ASL or interpreting courses can request permission from the Department to take this course, if they demonstrate experience in an area involving ethical reasoning.)

Engaged Learning: ASL 201 - Intermediate American Sign Language I , ASL 202 - Intermediate American Sign Language II ASL 398 - Independent Study , ASL 401 - Advanced American Sign Language I , ASL 402 - Advanced American Sign Language II FRE 398 - Independent Study GER 398 - Independent Study SPA 398 - Independent Study , LIN 130 - Language Revitalization and Reclamation Methodologies , LIN 394 - Teaching Internship , LIN 395 - Research Internship , LIN 398 - Independent Study , LIN 498 - Thesis  

Notes on Requirements for Graduate Programs

Graduate programs in speech/language pathology and audiology have undergraduate prerequisites. Not having the prerequisites does not prevent a student from being admitted to a program, nor does having the prerequisites ensure admittance. Generally, a student starting a graduate program without prerequisites needs to do undergraduate course work at the beginning of the graduate program. Due to the extra expense and time this course work takes, it is best to incorporate as many prerequisites as possible into the undergraduate curriculum. Each graduate program has its own set of prerequisites. The department recommends that students investigate these prerequisites for graduate programs in which they are interested.

The Speech and Language Science Concentration includes the following requirements that are often prerequisites for graduate programs: LIN 211 - Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech and Hearing Mechanism , LIN 212 - Speech Science , LIN 213 - Introduction to Audiology LIN 309 - Language Acquisition LIN 310 - Signs of Language in the Brain , LIN 311 - Phonetics .

Many graduate programs require a biology course, as noted above. Some also require physics. The department recommends that students take both biology and physics. The Science Exploration course for the Core Curriculum needs to include a lab, but graduate programs do not require a lab. Students could therefore take one science course with a lab and the other course without a lab.

Many graduate programs require a statistics course, which is also a prerequisite for LIN 490 - Introduction to Language Research  and meets the Quantitative Reasoning requirement, as noted above.

Many graduate programs require a psychology course.

Many graduate programs require 25 hours of observation in a clinic observing a Speech Language Pathologist. Students can complete these hours on their own or as part of a one- to three-credit independent study (LIN 398 ).

USM Core Requirements

The USM Core Curriculum is a coherent, integrative, and rigorous liberal education that enables our graduates to be world-minded, intentional, life-long learners and captures your general education degree requirements. 

Please Note: Core requirements may be part of your major and/or minor, and Core may have been fulfilled with transfer credit. Please consult your MaineStreet Degree Progress Report (DPR) and review your degree progress with your Advisor.  For additional information, access the USM Core webpage.