Linguistics Honors Program

Honors program

The Honors Program in Linguistics requires 14 courses in all, to be completed with a GPA of at least 3.7.

The honors program shares the following 9 course requirements with the current major in Linguistics.

Four core courses

Linguistic analysis of a specific language

Foreign language requirement

  • Four foreign language courses at or above the 3rd semester level, including at least two different languages

The standard honors track for Linguistics involves the following differences from the current major.

One of the two electives for the standard major can be below the 300-level.

Two additional Linguistics courses

The Linguistics major otherwise requires one additional related course, from a wider set of options.

Three courses above the level of CAS LX 400, from:

  • CAS LX 403 Phonological Analysis

  • CAS LX 405 Prosody

  • CAS LX 422 Intermediate Syntax: Modeling Syntactic Knowledge

  • CAS LX 423 Advanced Syntax: Issues in Modern Syntactic Theory

  • CAS LX 432 Intermediate Semantics: The Grammatical Construction of Meaning

  • CAS LX 433 Intermediate Pragmatics: Meaning in Context

  • CAS LX 453 Acquisition of Phonology

  • CAS LX 454 Acquisition of Syntax

  • Other courses chosen in consultation with the student's academic advisor (from courses having a prerequisite of some linguistics course above the level of CAS LX 250).

Thus honors students will take a total of 14 courses (rather than the 12 required now for the major), including at least three advanced courses (among those listed above).

Honors thesis option

Students may substitute two semesters of honors research (CAS LX 401 and 402), culminating in an honors thesis, for two of the three 400-level LX courses. In this case, a proposal for the honors thesis must be submitted and approved by no later than February 15 of the junior year.

The thesis proposal application should be submitted to room 120, 621 Commonwealth Ave. Please also email a copy of the proposal summary and bibliography to

The final draft of the thesis is due to the faculty supervisor by March 15 of the senior year. The completed thesis must by handed in by the last day of classes.

Application to the Honors program

A student may apply to the honors program no sooner than the end of sophomore year and no later than the beginning of the spring semester of junior year. For admission into the program, students must have completed at least three of the four core courses listed above. Qualifications for admission into the honors program include a GPA of least 3.65 in all CAS courses—and of 3.7 specifically in the set of CAS LX courses—that the student has taken as of the time of application.

The Application form should be submitted in hard copy to the Department Administrator in Room 120.

Application form

Upcoming deadlines

Co-curricular Activities

Meetings of Linguistics honors students (and honor students in joint majors including Linguistics) will take place at least several times each semester. Activities may include colloquia as well as presentations, question-and-answer sessions, and panel discussions with BU faculty. In addition, we will maintain an email list of honors students, and we will inform them of other Linguistics events (both at BU and in the Boston area) that may be of interest.

Printable Brochure

A printable version of the description of the Honors Program is available.