Welcome to Linguistics!

The linguistics major at Duke is unusual in its range of theoretical approaches coupled to the study of languages of the world. The required courses for the major stress empirical methods and the global data base; the theory courses expose the student to the perspectives offered by historical and comparative linguistics, structural linguistics, generative linguistics, sociolinguistics, semiotics, discourse analysis, philosophy, cognitive linguistics and psycholinguistics. The major maintains the traditional and mainstream body of linguistic inquiry (general linguistic theory, sociolinguistics, cognitive linguistics, neurolinguistics) and, at the same time, encourages exploration of the most recent developments in language study that issue from cultural and literary theory and the biological sciences. Linguistics faculty are able to offer research independent study in a wide range of areas.

In recent years, we have been witnessing exciting advances in the intersection of computing and linguistics, as well as growing interest in these disciplines among undergraduate students at Duke. We are happy to offer an interdepartmental major (IDM) that allows students to pursue their joint interests in Computer Science and Linguistics. We expect student interests to be diverse, some interested more in computer science, while others may be more interested in theoretical linguistics, cognitive neurolinguistics, or sociolinguistics. There is no one-size-fits-all.

Linguistics is a quantitative social science, and our majors have deep knowledge of not only the field of linguistics, but also develop excellent problem-solving, pattern-recognition and critical thinking skills that are highly valued in the job and graduate school markets. Many students win top fellowships and go on to law or medical school, or other post-graduate training in a variety of fields including linguistics, media & advertising, speech pathology, neuroscience, marketing, finance and computer science.

Departmental website: https://linguisticsprogram.duke.edu/


We will reach out to students who declare linguistics to discuss advising in the major. If you have questions, you can email the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Edna Andrews.

Requirements and General Information

Learn more about major and minor requirements, and general information for new majors.