Learning Outcomes

1. An understanding of the fundamental questions that drive modern linguistic research, along with foundational knowledge in the core areas of linguistic theory.
2. The ability to identify and describe with precision the empirical patterns found in sets of language data and to construct well-reasoned linguistic analyses by formulating, testing, and refining hypotheses about these patterns.
3. The ability to understand and evaluate the organization, design, and construction of hardware and software systems for computing.
4. The ability to analyze problems that require computation to answer and to design and implement appropriate problem solutions that are efficient and effective.
5. The ability to use computational tools, particularly those involving statistical and machine-learning techniques, for language-related applications.


Linguistics/CS major students must meet the following requirements:

  • Six Courses in Linguistics
    • LX 250: Introduction to Linguistics
      • LX 301: Phonetics & Phonology: Introduction to Sound Systems
      • LX 321: Syntax: Introduction to Sentential Structure
      • LX 331: Semantics and Pragmatics: Introduction to Linguistic Meaning
      • Two (2) additional LX courses at or above the 300 level
    • Seven Courses in Computer Science
      • CS 111: Introduction to Computer Science I
      • CS 112: Introduction to Computer Science II
      • CS 131: Combinatoric Structures
      • CS 132: Geometric Algorithms
      • CS 210: Computer Systems
      • CS 237: Probability in Computing
      • CS 330: Introduction to Analysis of Algorithms
    • One (1) Additional Course in Computer Science or Linguistics from the following options:
      • CS 542: Machine Learning
      • One (1) LX course at the 400 level
    • One (1) Course in Computational Linguistics or Natural Language Processing from the following:
      • LX 496: Introduction to Computational Linguistics
      • CS 505: Introduction to Natural Language Processing


    CS Advisors for the Linguistics/CS Major*

    Have a general advising inquiry? Contact us at csadvise@bu.edu and we will get back to you soon.

    *As a Linguistics & Computer Science major, you will be assigned a CS advisor (above) as well as a Linguistics advisor. Please contact the Linguistics Department for more information on how to be assigned a Linguistics advisor.

    Advising Materials

    If you are thinking about a joint major in Computer Science & Linguistics, check out our Linguistics & Computer Science Plan of Study. This can be used as a guide when preparing for advising appointments or registration. It also covers hub units that students may need to earn outside of the Linguistics/CS joint major.

    For students completing Divisional Studies/Core Curriculum: The Undergraduate Bulletin also lists the Linguistics/CS major requirements, and make sure to take a look at them before scheduling an advising appointment.

    BU Hub and the Linguistics/CS Major

    Linguistics/CS Majors must complete the BU Hub general education requirement. The BU Hub can be satisfied through a mix of major courses, the Core Curriculum, Co-curricular experiences, and coursework in other departments/minors or double majors.

    See here for more information on which BU Hub units are satisfied by the Linguistics/CS Major.