Linguistics Track

The Linguistics Track has two options:

  • Basic (12 half-courses; 1 language requirement; no thesis)
  • Honors (14 half-courses (2 additional thesis-writing tutorials); 2 language requirements; thesis)

Required non-tutorial courses (9 half-courses)

  • One of the introductory courses:
    • Linguistics 83: Language, Structure, and Cognition
    • Linguistics 101: The Science of Language: An Introduction
  • Linguistics 102: Sentence Structure
  • Linguistics 105: Sounds of Language
  • Linguistics 106: Knowledge of Meaning
  • One of:
    • Linguistics 107: Introduction to Indo-European
    • Linguistics 108: Introduction to Historical Linguistics
  • 4 additional half-courses
    (at least 1 of which must be in linguistics)
    Courses in Linguistics include any course in the Linguistics Department, or a course on a Linguistics topic in another department. For the other three courses, any course in Linguistics or in the Supplement to the Related Field Requirement (available upon request from the Department) will do. Alternatives outside of this domain must be approved by the Head Tutor.

Required tutorials (3 half-courses)

Sophomore: Linguistics 97r (1 term)

Two consecutive six-week small-group tutorials
[Letter Grade]

Junior: Linguistics 98a (fall), and Linguistics 98b (spring)

Ling 98a: Two consecutive six-week small-group tutorials
Ling 98b: One-term individual tutorial with a faculty member
*For non-honors candidates, possible to replace with Linguistics 97r
[Letter Grade]

Honors Track tutorials (2 half-courses)

Senior: Linguistics 99a (fall), and Linguistics 99b (spring)

Required for Honors candidates and focused on the research and writing of the senior Honors thesis.
Group tutorial led by the head tutor with the participation of Honors candidates’ thesis advisers.


Language Requirements

Basic concentrators must demonstrate knowledge of one foreign language by the end of the junior year. This can be done in the following ways:

  • by being a native speaker of the language
  • by obtaining at least a B grade in a full-year, second year language course
  • by passing a Harvard College language placement exam
  • in some cases, by passing a special departmental reading exam

Honors concentrators must demonstrate a knowledge of an additional foreign language by the end of the junior year, either by the appropriate coursework (as described above) or by a placement exam.

Note: Native speakers of a foreign language are normally not allowed to take courses of basic instruction in that language. Any such courses taken by a native speaker will not be counted toward the departmental language or related field requirements.



Required for Honors concentrators.



  • Courses taken Pass/Fail may not be counted for concentration credit.
  • Language courses taken in addition to those used to fulfill the language requirement may be counted towards the concentration (for courses in the related field)
  • Study Abroad: Courses taken abroad that are directly related to Linguistics count towards the relevant requirements. Please discuss your courses with the head tutor.