Linguistics Minor

In his strategic plan for the College, Dean John McGreevy states that he aims to make Arts and Letters “a more collaborate college,” by “foster[ing] an interdisciplinary approach to scholarship in the social sciences.” Linguistics, or the scientific study of human language, is perhaps the ultimate interdisciplinary enterprise. As the Linguistic Society of America explains, “It overlaps each of the human sciences including psychology, neurology, anthropology, and sociology ... At the heart of linguistics is the search for the unconscious knowledge that humans have about language and how it is that children acquire it, an understanding of the structure of language in general and of particular languages, knowledge about how languages vary, and how language influences the way in which we interact with each other and think about the world” (Linguistic Society of America).

Because of the field’s inherent interdisciplinary nature, students of linguistics master a variety of conceptual and empirical techniques that enrich all of their coursework at Notre Dame as well as their careers after graduation—no matter what trajectory they choose. “Students who [study] linguistics acquire valuable intellectual skills, such as analytical reasoning, critical thinking, argumentation, and clarity of expression. This means making insightful observations, formulating clear, testable hypotheses, generating predictions, making arguments and drawing conclusions, and communicating findings to a wider community” (Linguistic Society of America). Career opportunities include work in the computer industry, education, translation or interpretation, publishing, dictionary development, legal or medical consulting, advertising, government, and acting or actor training.


Undergraduate Linguistics Minor Requirements

Design of Minor: 5 courses plus co-requirement

  • Co-requirement (Second Language)
  • Gateway Course (1)
  • Core Course (1)
  • Electives (2)
  • Capstone Course (1)

Co-Requirement (4 Semesters or the Equivalent of a Second Language)

  • Evidence of second language learning experience equivalent to 4 semesters of a second language through classes and/or placement tests

Requirements (5 Courses / 15 Credit Hours)

  • Gateway Course: CSLC 20301: “Introduction to Linguistics” (3 hours)
  • Core Course (3 hours):
    • ANTH 20204: “Fundamentals of Linguistic Anthropology”
    • ANTH 45842: “Doing Things with Words”
    • PHL 43902: “Philosophy of Language”
    • PSY 43455/63455: “Psycholinguistics”
    • PSY 43456/63456: “Pragmatics of Language Usage”
  • Electives (6 hours):

Core courses not taken to fulfill the Core Course Requirement can be taken as an Elective

    • ANTH 30400: “Language and Culture”
    • ANTH 35370: “New Media”
    • ANTH 40141: “Language and Power”
    • CSE 40657/60657: “Natural Language Processing”
    • CSLC 20302: “Sociolinguistics of Second Language Acquisition”
    • CSLC 20304: “Digital Literacy in Language Learning”
    • CSLC 30101: “Introduction to Second Language Acquisition”
    • ENGL 40203: “Introduction to Old Norse”
    • ENGL 40211: “History of the English Language”
    • ENGL 40212: “Introduction to Old English”
    • PHIL 30313: “Formal Logic”
    • PHIL 43916: “Natural Language Semantics”
    • PSY 43251/63251: “Language Development
  • Capstone: CSLC 48000: “Independent Research Practicum” (3 hours):

Students are required to complete an independent, article-length research paper under the direction of an approved faculty member and overseen by the Director or Assistant Director of the CSLC. During the semester in which students are completing this project, they enroll in a 3-credit hour research practicum. The research practicum guides students through the writing process and requires regular updates and presentations on their individual projects. This final paper is graded and signed off on by the approved faculty member.


To learn more or to declare the Linguistics Minor, please contact Maggie Mello, Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Linguistics minor.