BA programs: "English - Linguistics"

All you need to know about BA in Linguistics: BA program "English - Linguistics" in Bar-Ilan University

Undergraduate coordinator: Prof. Yael Greenberg (

The BA program in our department is designed to give students a solid background in the core areas of phonology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics, as well as in more applied areas such as psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics. Studies in the department take place in English, but this is not the only language being studied in our linguistics BA programs; the approach in the department is that of general linguistics which aims to study human language and the human linguistic capacity. Learning linguistics BA in our department provides students with the tools for analyzing any human language - English, Hebrew, Arabic, Russian or any other language.

Applicants for BA in linguistics should have a Psychometric score of at least 550; a score of 120 on the English Psychometric or an or Amiram exam; and a Bagrut grade which includes 5 points in English. Alternatively, applicants for BA in linguistics programs with a Bagrut grade over 100 which includes 5 points in English with a grade of 85 or above and with an Amiram grade of 120 or above may apply without a psychometric grade. You can use the online calculator to evaluate your chances of acceptance into the linguistics BA program.  Applicants for BA in linguistics studies whose scores are only slightly below these levels might still be accepted on the basis of a departmental entrance exam. Foreign applicants should also consult the information on the Bar-Ilan International school website.

If you have any questions related to the BA in linguistics, you may contact the department office or the undergraduate coordinator, Prof. Yael Greenberg:

Tracks for Linguistics BA Studies

Students have a wide choice in our BA program, where they can choose whether to combine studies in linguistics BA with other studies. For certain combinations we offer a specialized program; for other combinations, you may choose the unplanned double major. The available tracks are:

  1. Expanded major in "English - Linguistics" (without studies in other departments).  Requirements
  2. The following planned double majors:
    1. BA in Linguistics with English literature, for students interested in doing all their studies within the department of English Literature & Lingusitics.  Requirements 
    2. BA in Linguistics with Brain Science, for students who want to focus on language processing and brain research.  Requirements
    3. BA in Linguistics with French Requirements
    4. BA in Linguistics with Hebrew Language  Requirements
  3. Unplanned double major: equal specialization in linguistics and another area of studies (in any other department which offers a double major).  Requirements
  4. "Major at your own pace" - New option for students whose jobs or other commitments leave them with less free time for taking classes. The requirements are the same as in the regular major, but they are taken over a five-year period, with fewer courses required each year.  Requirements

Additionally, the direct MA program allows highly qualified undergraduate students to complete an M.A. without a thesis within four years of beginning their undergraduate studies or an M.A. with a thesis within five years.

The documents listed above also give you a sense of what each year of study is like:

  1. First year: foundation courses, which mostly follows a pre-determined timetable
  2. Second year: advanced and elective courses in a number of areas, with some flexibility in course selection (mostly in the second semester)
  3. Third year and beyond: advanced courses and seminars of your choice

Courses during linguistics BA studies:

The following table summarizes which and how many linguistics courses are required in the different tracks:

Course (credits per course) Expanded major Double major
Double major
(with Literature)
expanded major
(with Literature)
184: Introduction to linguistics (3) + + + +
286: Phonetics and phonology (3) + + + +
287: Syntax (3) + + + +
289: Semantics (3) + + + +
517: Research methods (2-3*) + + + +
522: Psycholinguistics (3) + + + +
584/586/587/589/591: Advanced courses in formal linguistics (2) 2 out of 3 1 out of 3 1 out of 3 2 out of 3
Seminars (2) 3 2 2 2
Electives/Seminars (2) 7 2 1 2
Total credits in linguistics courses 42 28 26 30-32

(The planned double majors of Linguistics BA with Brain Sciences / French / Hebrew Language are not listed in this table).

Please note that:

  • Only linguistics BA courses are listed in the table above, not courses in literature or courses outside the department.
  • The number of courses listed in the row for 584/586/587/589/591 is the minimum requirement; Linguistics BA students may take more than this number, and the additional courses would count as electives. Also note that expanded major students need to take courses in at least 2 different fields of linguistics from this group (see the requirements files linked above).
  • The number listed in the row 'Electives/Seminars' should normally be the number of electives (500-level courses) taken; in special cases, seminars may be taken instead. This requires the approval of either the linguistics coordinator or the chair of the department, who will consider every case individually in terms of the student's prior studies and current timetable. Students taking a seminar instead of an elective are required to write a seminar paper, but they should discuss the exact requirements with the course instructor.
  • Course 517 counts as 3 credits in years when it is accompanied by a tutorial, otherwise it is a 2 credit course.
  • A few electives are 1-credit courses; two such courses count the same as a single 2-credit elective.

 Key to course numbers

100/200 introductory courses Required introductory courses, mostly for 1st year students
400 seminars Advanced elective seminars for 2nd year students and above
500 advanced/elective courses Courses for 2nd/3rd year students (may be open to 1st year students as well)
800/900/9000 graduate seminars Seminars for MA and PhD students that are open to qualified advanced BA students

For more information about courses, see the yearly pages under the "Courses" menu.

BA in linguistics - Questions and advising

If you have any questions related to the BA in linguistics, you may contact the department office or the undergraduate coordinator, Prof. Yael Greenberg:

*** In particular, even though registration for courses of BA in linguistics is done independently through the internet, you are encouraged to contact us with any questions related to the choice of courses and planning your own timetable.