Students majoring in cognitive and linguistic sciences must take a minimum of nine units for the major, including four core units, one from each of the categories below, and a minimum of four electives in a concentration. It is recommended, but not required that the ninth course be in a different concentration. In addition to the courses eligible for the major, which are listed below, NEUR 100 can count as a ninth course in the major. Students may consult the MIT catalog for additional offerings in the major, but students are encouraged to take courses for the major at Wellesley College.

Core Requirements

Students must fulfill the following four core requirements:

  1. One course in linguistics: Consult individual concentrations for requirement
  2. One course in Formal Systems: Consult individual concentrations for requirement
  3. PHIL 215
  4. CLSC 300


In designing a concentration, students need to demonstrate the intellectual coherence of their choices. Therefore, concentrations must be designed in close collaboration with the director. In cases where the student’s chosen concentration is in a discipline other than that of the director, a second advisor in the student’s field of concentration must also be arranged. Students must take at least one 300-level course in their concentration. Courses numbered 350/360/370 do not count towards this 300-level requirement.


Students concentrating in linguistics must elect at least four courses beyond the formal systems requirement from the following list. Three of these courses must be linguistics courses, including one 300-level course: LING 238, 240, 244, 245, 248, 312, 315, 319 or 322; CHIN 231/331, CS 235, EDUC 308 or 310; FREN 211 or 308; PHIL 207, 216, or 349; PSYC 216 or 316. KOR 206 or 256 may be taken after consultation with the student’s linguistics advisor.

Linguistics Requirement: LING 114 or MIT 24.9

Formal System Requirement for linguistics: LING 240 or 244 or appropriate equivalent MIT course

Students will also be expected to demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language above the College’s foreign language requirement (at an intermediate level or above).


Students concentrating in psychology must take PSYC 205 and one of 304R or 314R. In addition, students must elect at least two courses from the following list: PSYC 214, 215, 217, 218, 219, 301, 305, 316, 318, 319, 328, 345 (when the topic for 345 is approved by the student’s psychology advisor).

Linguistics Requirement: PSYC 216

Formal System Requirement for Psychology: One of CS 111, CS 112, LING 240, LING 244, or PHIL 216


Students concentrating in philosophy must elect at least four of any of the following courses: PHIL 207, 208, [209], 216, 217, 221, 313, [340], or 349. PHIL 345 may be taken after consultation with the student’s philosophy advisor.

Linguistics Requirement: LING 114 or PSYC 216

Formal System Requirement for Philosophy: PHIL 216

Computer Science

Students concentrating in computer science must take CS 230 and 232. In addition, students must elect at least two courses from the following list: CS 220, 231, 235, 251, [303], 310, [331], 332, or 349 (when the topic for CS 349 is approved by the student’s computer science advisor).

Formal System Requirement for Computer Science: CS 111


The only route to honors in the major is writing a thesis and passing an oral examination. To be admitted to the thesis program, a student must
have a grade point average of at least 3.5 in all work in the major field above the 100-level; the department may petition on her behalf if her GPA in the major is between 3.0 and 3.5. See Academic Distinctions.