This page offers information about the major offered by the Linguistics section of our department. We also offer a Minor Program in Linguistics and a HASS Concentration in Linguistics.

The Department of Linguistics and Philosophy currently offers two undergraduate programs leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science. Program 1 is offered by the Philosophy section of the department. The Linguistics Track of Program 2 is offered by the Linguistics section.

Program 2, also known as the Program in Language and Mind, aims to provide students with a working knowledge of a variety of issues that currently occupy the intersection of philosophy, linguistics, and cognitive science. Central among these topics are the nature of language, of those mental representations that we call “knowledge” and “belief,” and of the innate basis for the acquisition of certain types of knowledge (especially linguistic knowledge). Students have the option of pursuing either a philosophy track or a linguistics track. Both require a core set of subjects drawn from both fields and are designed to teach students the central facts and issues in the study of language and the representation of knowledge. Each track requires, in addition, a set of subjects drawn primarily from its discipline and is designed to prepare students for graduate study either in philosophy/cognitive science or in linguistics. A coherent program of three restricted electives (drawn from one or two of the following three areas: linguistics, philosophy, or a related area) rounds out the major.

Required subject common to both tracks

One of the following two subjects:

  • 24.900 Introduction to Linguistics (CI-H)
  • 24.9000 How Language Works
note: 24.900 and 24.9000 are equivalent subjects; credit cannot be received for both.

Required Subjects for Linguistics Track

  • 24.901 Language and Its Structure I: Phonology
  • 24.902 Language and Its Structure II: Syntax
  • 24.903 Language and Its Structure III: Semantics and Pragmatics
  • 24.918 Workshop in Linguistic Research (CI-M)

One of the following three Linguistic Analysis subjects: 

  • 24.909 Field Methods in Linguistics (LAB, CI-M)
  • 24.910 Advanced Topics in Linguistic Analysis (CI-M)
  • 24.914 Language Variation and Change (CI-M)

One of the following three Philosophy subjects: 

  • 24.09 Minds and Machines (CI-H)
  • 24.241 Logic I
  • 24.251 Introduction to Philosophy of Language

One of the following four Experimental Results subjects: 

  • 24.904 Language Acquisition
  • 24.905J Psycholinguistics
  • 24.906J The Linguistic Study of Bilingualism (CI-H)
  • 24.915 Linguistic Phonetics

Restricted electives for Linguistics track

A coherent program of three additional subjects from linguistics, philosophy, or a related area.

Contact Information

Professor Donca Steriade
Undergraduate Officer
steriade@mit.edu