The aim of this work is to propose a hybrid heuristic approach (called hGA) based on genetic algorithm (GA) and integer-programming formulation (IPF) to solve high dimensional classification problems in linguistic fuzzy rule-based classification systems. In this algorithm, each chromosome represents a rule for specified class, GA is used for producing several rules for each class, and finally IPF is used for selection of rules from a pool of rules, which are obtained by GA. The proposed algorithm is experimentally evaluated by the use of non-parametric statistical tests on seventeen classification benchmark data sets. Results of the comparative study show that hGA is able to discover accurate and concise classification rules. Published by Elsevier B.V.