The Linguistics Program at Macalester offers students the possibility to complete either a major or minor in Linguistics. The requirements for each concentration are described in detail below. Students with a major or minor in linguistics are also encouraged to participate in the Honors Program when appropriate.

The Major

Students majoring in linguistics must follow one of two tracks. The cultural track emphasizes the study of the social aspects of language and individual languages, while the cognitive track approaches linguistics from a logical and psychological standpoint. Both tracks require students to take Linguistics 100 (Introduction to Linguistics), 104 (The Sounds of Language), 200 (English Syntax), and 205 (Phonology), as well as a capstone course sequence. Otherwise, the two tracks have different requirements.

The Cultural Track

In addition to Linguistics 100, 104, 200, and 205, students following the cultural track will take:

  • Language courses: three courses beyond the college-wide four semester requirement.
  • Two department-approved courses from other disciplines, including Philosophy, Japanese, Hispanic Studies, Political Science, Humanities and Media and Cultural Studies, Sociology, Russian Studies, and International Studies.
  • Two of the following courses: Linguistics 103 (Advertising and Propaganda), Linguistics 201 (Historical Linguistics), Linguistics 202 (Origins and Evolution of Language), and Linguistics 301 (Language and Alienation).
  • the capstone sequence, consisting of Linguistics 300 (Linguistic Analysis) and Linguistics 400 (Field Methods in Linguistics).

A student’s major concentration plan must also satisfy Macalester’s general requirements for graduation. The Senior Capstone requirement is satisfied by taking Linguistics 400, Field Methods in Linguistics.

The Minor

A minor in linguistics consists of any six courses from the department.