Twila M. Linville, 54, a professor of political science and history at Prince George's Community College, died of cancer Tuesday at her home in Crofton, Md.

After coming here in 1971, she taught full-time and then part-time into the present spring semester.

In the 1960s, Dr. Linville was an instructor at Kent State University and at Walsh College in Ohio. She had graduated from Kent State in 1962, and then earned a master's degree and a doctorate there. At the university, she championed civil rights and antiwar causes.

Mrs. Linville was born in Flinton, Pa., and grew up in Homer City, Pa. During the 1940 and 1950s, she lived in Florida, Oklahoma, California, Egypt and New York while her first husband, Robert K. Zimmerman, a Navy officer, was stationed there. The marriage ended in divorce.

Dr. Linville was a member of a number of professional and academic associations, including the American Historical Association and the Organization for American History.

She is survived by her husband, Dr. Lyle E. Linville, a professor of history at Prince George's Community College; two sons, Robert K. Zimmerman of Washington, Conn., and John L. Zimmerman of New Haven, Conn.; a daughter, Laurie T. Zimmerman of Baltimore; her mother, Twila A. Jones of Indiana, Pa.; four brothers, a sister and two grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to local hospice organizations, or to the St. Francis Burial and Counseling Society in Washington.