Study Program

At Leiden University you can study Comparative Indo-European Linguistics both at the BA and the MA level.

BA level

At the BA level, Leiden University offers a program in Comparative Indo-European linguistics as part of the three-year BA program Linguistics, which is taught in English. After a first, common year in which basic courses on all kinds of sub-fields of linguistics are taught (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, etc.), students can chose one of the four so-called ‘tracks’, or specializations of the BA program, one of which is Comparative Indo-European Linguistics. These tracks take up the remaining two years of the BA program and offer a specialized program in the topic of the student’s choice. Students of the Leiden BA program Linguistics that chose the Comparative Indo-European Linguistics track follow courses on methodology (historical linguistics), on the reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European itself (phonology and morphology), on several archaic Indo-European languages (Ancient Greek, Sanskrit, Hittite, Gothic and Lithuanian), on the relationship between historical linguistics and material culture (language and prehistory), etc. As such, the Leiden BA program in Comparative Indo-European Linguistics is one of the most extensive Indo-European programs in the world. Click here for more information on the Leiden BA program in Linguistics in general, and here for an overview of the Comparative Indo-European Linguistics track.

MA level

At the MA level, Leiden University offers Comparative Indo-European Linguistics in three ways. First, it is part of the one-year MA program Linguistics (taught in English), which offers a so-called ‘route’ in Comparative Indo-European Linguistics. This route in fact consists of two parallel programs. The first program is primarily intended for students with limited prior knowledge of Indo-European linguistics, but who finished, for instance, a BA program in Classics, Indology, or Slavistics. This program consists of more introductory courses into Comparative Indo-European Linguistics. The second program is primarily intended for students who already have a background in Indo-European studies, for instance because they finished a BA program in Indo-European. This program therefore consists of advanced courses that go deeper into the matter. See the prospectus for more information about these routes and individual courses.

Another Leiden MA program that incorporates Comparative Indo-European Linguistics is the two-year Research Master’s program Linguistics (also taught in English). This program does not have any pre-described specializations or routes, but offers students the freedom to follow all kinds of courses of their own interest taught at Leiden University, including courses that belong to the Comparative Indo-European Linguistics route of the one-year MA program Linguistics. In this way, students of the Research MA program can do a full, two-year MA program in Indo-European topics. See here for more information about the Research MA program Linguistics.