Undergraduate Degree & Course Catalog

Linguistics BA - Japanese Language and Linguistics Concentration

(HEGIS: 15.05 LINGUISTICS, CIP: 16.0102 Linguistics)


609 Baldy Hall
North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260-1030
Ph: 716-645-2177
F: 716-645-3825
W: www.linguistics.buffalo.edu
Jean-Pierre Koenig
Jeff Good
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Mitsuaki Shimojo
Director of Japanese Program

Why study Linguistics BA - Japanese Language and Linguistics Concentration at UB?

This concentration offers a unique program which combines studies in linguistics and advanced-level studies in Japanese and is intended for students who wish to pursue the study of linguistics as well as achieve advanced-level proficiency and gain linguistic understanding of the specialization language. Majors in this concentration develop appreciation of general properties of language and the specialization language and develop competence in linguistic analysis in the specialization language.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of all requirements, the students are expected to acquire advanced-level proficiency in Japanese in the four skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing, and cultural knowledge and understanding desired for the target level of proficiency. Also, the students will have the following knowledge in linguistics.

  • Core concepts: Students will comprehend the core concepts of linguistics, as well as the basic literature that assumes such concepts
  • Critical thinking: Students will master the ability to construct arguments for choosing between alternative analyses of linguistic phenomena and to identify relevant data bearing on the analyses
  • Problem solving: Students will be able to analyze linguistic data and to construct descriptions of particular linguistic phenomena in Japanese.
  • Communication skills: Students will attain the skills necessary to prepare written and oral presentations on linguistic topics

The Learning Environment

Class size is limited for language courses in order to promote each student’s participation and interaction with the instructors as well as other students. The use of the target language is essential in class. Independent studies may be arranged for advanced levels to meet specific needs of students. The Linguistics part of the program offers a variety of courses types from large lecture classes to small seminars. Many of the more advanced undergraduate courses are combined with graduate offerings, allowing undergraduates to get early exposure to graduate-style coursework. The senior capstone course offers an independent study for students to work on a senior project under the guidance of a faculty advisor.

About Our Facilities

The Department of Linguistics is housed in Baldy Hall, and has several dedicated classrooms and meeting spaces. The department also holds classes in centrally scheduled space throughout the campus, which includes traditional classrooms and lecture halls that can accommodate our the program’s different class structures. Members of the faculty also maintain their own research labs to support work in areas such as phonetics and computational linguistics.

About Our Faculty

The faculty of the Linguistics department includes internationally known and respected scholars whose research specializations include phonetics, phonology, syntax, semantics, typology, psycholinguistics, computational linguistics, sociolinguistics, and historical linguistics. Faculty work on a variety of languages including German, Japanese, and Korean as well as languages of the Americas, Africa, and the Pacific.

Faculty List Directory

Please visit our department website for additional information about our faculty.

Career Outlook

Students completing a B.A. in Linguistics most often continue in graduate programs, either in linguistics, teaching English as a second language, or cognitive science. Our students have also gone on to law school, and medical school, and have done graduate work in library sciences. Students who have not pursued graduate work have found employment teaching English overseas and this concentration is particularly relevant for employment in Japan. Our students have also been employed in the fields of publishing, literacy development, marketing, public service organizations, and language technology.

Academic Advising

Academic advising is provided by the Director of Undergraduate Studies in Linguistics and the Director of Japanese Program. Other support services are provided by the Assistant to the Chair and Undergraduate Secretary of the Department of Linguistics.

Academic Advising Contact Information

This concentration is advised by two faculty directors: Dr. Jeff Good, the Director of Undergraduate Studies of Linguistics and Dr. Mitsuaki Shimojo, the Director of Japanese Program. Their office hours are regularly posted outside their respective offices, Room 613 and Room 640, Baldy Hall. The most effective way to reach them outside of office hours is by email at jcgood@buffalo.edu and shimojo@buffalo.edu

Scholarships and Financial Support

Students in this program may qualify for scholarships and financial support from a number of sources, including:

  • UB Financial Aid, including Scholarships
  • Nationally Competitive Fellowships and Scholarships
  • UB College of Arts and Sciences Scholarships and Awards

Academic Opportunities

The Japanese Program offers optional tutorial sessions assisted by Japanese international students. These sessions provide opportunities for students of Japanese to study with Japanese tutors and practice language skills.

Experiential Learning

The Linguistics department offers a teaching internship, where interns are placed in the Buffalo public schools as teacher's aides or tutors; venues include Spanish-English bilingual schools, urban elementary schools, and international schools. Interns can also work with Literacy Volunteers, or as ESL tutors in the Linguistics department.

Study Abroad

Study abroad in Japan is strongly recommended to complete the program. Concentration language courses may be taken through the study abroad program up to 15 credit hours. See UB Study Abroad Programs for program information.

Extracurricular Activities

Japanese Student Association offers a variety of activities related to Japan and Japanese culture. 

See the UB Student Association.

Honors and Awards

Each year the department presents the Wolfgang Wölck Award to a graduating senior with outstanding academic accomplishments and service to the department. The department also regularly nominates students for the CAS Dean's Outstanding Senior Award.

Becoming a(n) Linguistics BA - Japanese Language and Linguistics Concentration Student

Becoming a University at Buffalo Student

Admission to UB is highly competitive. For the 2016 incoming freshman class, UB reported an average ACT score of 24-30 and an average SAT (CR+M) score of 1100-1300. 90 percent of admitted students are in the top 50 percent of their class.

Admission to UB is based on a holistic review. We consider high school average, class rank, SAT (critical reading and math) or ACT scores, and strength of the high school academic record. A personal essay, recommendations, documented creative talent, demonstrated leadership, community service and special circumstances are also considered.

The following is not required for admission, but is suggested as adequate preparation for university-level coursework:

  • Four years of English (with a substantial writing component)
  • Four years of social studies
  • Three years of college-preparatory science
  • Three years of a second language
  • Three years of college-preparatory mathematics

Visit Undergraduate Admissions to learn more.

Current UB Students Applying to the Program

Students are required to apply to the director of undergraduate studies and the director of the concentration language program for acceptance into the major. Students may apply to the major at any time, and are encouraged to discuss their academic plans with the director as early as possible. Students who have not completed the prerequisite courses may be accepted into the major on a provisional basis, pending successful completion of LIN 205 and LIN 207, and JPN 202.

Suggested Introductory Courses

LIN 205 Introduction to Linguistic Analysis
LIN 207 Language, Society and the Individual
JPN 101-102 First-Year Japanese
JPN 201-202 Second-Year Japanese

Completing the Linguistics BA - Japanese Language and Linguistics Concentration Program

Academic Requirements

Minimum GPA of 2.0 overall.
Minimum GPA of 2.5 in the prerequisite courses.

Academic Advice

Students with prior Japanese language proficiency should consult with the program director to arrange an appropriate program.

Transfer Credit Policy

Due to the fact that relatively few students arrive at UB having taken a significant number of linguistics or Japanese courses, the Department of Linguistics does not have specific transfer credit policies. The possibility of transfer credits can be discussed on a case-by-case basis with the program directors.

Prerequisite Courses

LIN 205 Introduction to Linguistic Analysis
LIN 207 Language, Society, and the Individual
Proficiency corresponding to the completion of a second year-second semester course in Japanese (JPN 202), demonstrated by coursework or testing.

Required Courses

LIN 205 Introduction to Linguistic Analysis
LIN 207 Language, Society, and the Individual
LIN 301 Structure of English: Sound System
LIN 302 Structure of English: Lexicon and Grammar
JPN 411 Introduction to Japanese Linguistics
JPN 494 Senior Capstone Course

One 300/400-level course in linguistics (3 credits, such as the following):

LIN 311 Variation in English
LIN 315 Language in its Social Setting
LIN 356 An Introduction to Contemporary Theories of Metaphor
LIN 405 Bilingualism and Language Contact
LIN 410 Morphology
LIN 421 Linguistic Anthropology
LIN 431 Phonetics
LIN 439 Historical Linguistics
LIN 493 Sociolinguistics

Five 300/400-level courses in specialization language (minimum of 15 credits, such as the following):

JPN 301 Third Year First Semester Japanese
JPN 302 Third Year Second Semester Japanese
JPN 361 Technical Japanese
JPN 362 Technical Japanese II
JPN 401 Fourth Year First Semester Japanese
JPN 402 Fourth Year Second Semester Japanese
JPN 451 Teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language
JPN 499 Japanese Independent Study

UB Seminar courses cannot count towards major requirements. 

Total Credit Hours Required

Credits Required for Major 36
Additional Credits Required for UB Curriculum  41
Additional Credits Required for Electives 43
Total Credits Required for Degree 120

Curricular Plan / Degree Map

View the curricular plan for the Linguistics BA - Japanese Language and Linguistics Concentration (PDF) which is a recommended sequence of courses to help achieve this degree in four years.


609 Baldy Hall
North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260-1030
Ph: 716-645-2177
F: 716-645-3825
W: www.linguistics.buffalo.edu
Jean-Pierre Koenig
Jeff Good
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Mitsuaki Shimojo
Director of Japanese Program
Published: May 01, 2017 11:02:07 AM