For information, please contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Joint major in Linguistics & Philosophy

Learning Goals

Students graduating with a major in Linguistics & Philosophy will be able to demonstrate:

  • Some mastery of the history and development of analytic philosophy and the concepts of truth, reference, objectivity, and meaning as they have figured in philosophy in the last century or so.
  • An understanding of fundamental concepts in the philosophy of language and logic.
  • Foundational knowledge in the core areas of linguistic theory, including phonetics, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics, with additional emphasis on one of the latter three subfields, and an understanding of the fundamental questions that drive modern linguistic research in these subfields.
  • 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.

Participating Faculty



Major Requirements

Linguistics and Philosophy courses satisfy a wide variety of Hub units. For information about how Linguistics courses and degree programs fit in with the brand new BU Hub, see

The joint major in Linguistics & Philosophy provides a solid foundation in both disciplines and allows students to explore theoretical issues and basic philosophical questions raised in connection with discussions of meaning, intention, and reference.

The academic program consists of 2 foundation courses (one each in Linguistics and Philosophy) plus 11 principal courses (at least 5 within each concentration).

Two foundation courses

To be taken before higher-level Philosophy courses.

Philosophy introduction, one of:

  • CAS PH 100 Intro to Philosophy

  • CAS PH 110 Great Philosophers

  • CAS PH 160 Reasoning and Argumentation

To be taken before higher-level Linguistics courses.

Linguistics introduction

Four additional Philosophy courses

  • CAS PH 310 History of Modern Philosophy

  • CAS PH 360 Symbolic Logic

  • CAS PH 422 Analytic Philosophy or  CAS PH 443 Philosophy of Mind

  • CAS PH 463 Philosophy of Language

Four additional Linguistics courses

Three additional electives

Three additional Linguistics and Philosophy courses above the 100-level, including at least one in Linguistics and one in Philosophy. Recommended courses include:


  • CAS PH 261Puzzles and Paradoxes

  • CAS PH 265 Minds & Machines

  • CAS PH 266 Mind, Brain and Self

  • CAS PH 270 Philosophy of Science

  • CAS PH 421 Frege, Moore and Russell

  • CAS PH 424 Wittgenstein

  • CAS PH 460 Epistemology

  • CAS PH 461 Computability and Logic

  • CAS PH 462 Foundations of Math

  • CAS PH 465 Philosophy of Cognitive Science

  • CAS PH 467 Mathematical Logic

  • CAS PH 468 Logic and Mathematics

  • CAS PH 486 Topics in Knowledge, Language, and Logic


Declare your major

To declare a Linguistics & Philosophy major in CAS, submit the form here: Major Declaration form,

Honors program

Follow this link for details on the Linguistics & Philosophy Honors Program, or click here for a printable description of the Linguistics & Philosophy major, including the Honors Program.

Printable Brochure

Click here for a printable description of the Linguistics & Philosophy major and Honors Program.