The departments of Computer Science and Linguistics at the University of Illinois offer a degree that allows students to pursue a career in computer science and linguistics. The CS + Linguistics program which started in 2014 ushers in a new level of partnership between the College of Engineering (ENG) and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) and offers an innovative approach to education in both fields. CS + Linguistics allows students to enroll in a new program of study that provides a strong background in computer science as well as a rigorous training in liberal arts and sciences. 

Center for Academic Resources in Engineering (CARE) at Grainger Engineering Library
Center for Academic Resources in Engineering (CARE) at Grainger Engineering Library

Recognizing the diversity of applications and disciplines as well as the challenges faced in the 21st century, the CS + Linguistics program at the University of Illinois is positioned to offer students unique opportunities for an interdisciplinary education. It prepares them for careers in emerging industries and offers a solid foundation for admission to graduate school. The CS + Linguistics degree provides grounding in both theory and in practice, ensuring that the students’ education meets and exceeds industry standards.

The CS + LINGUISTICS program brings together students and faculty interested in different aspects of the computer – natural language relationship – i.e., studying the cognitive aspects of natural languages; endowing computers with human-like behavior and understanding of spoken and written natural language; and designing user-friendly computer programs and interfaces using natural language communication.

Students will be exposed to the tools of both disciplines — formal methods, philosophical analysis, computer programming, and empirical research — with the aim of acquiring the appropriate skills required by the field. Graduates will be successful in landing jobs in various areas, including natural language software design and applications, teaching and research, law, medicine, and public service. The innovative aspect of the program is its focus on relating computers to language, technology, and society where the combination has potential for great impact.

CS+Linguistics Degree Requirements

Note: Campus has fully approved the revision to the BSLAS in Computer Science and Linguistics (for both Computer Science and Linguistics components). This change is effective beginning Fall 2016. Per LAS policy all undergraduate curricular revisions are effective the fall semester following full approval. Students matriculating prior to that fall semester have the option of staying in the old program. Students matriculating in that fall semester must follow the new program. Please let us know if you have any questions (see contact information on this page).

Hours Linguistics Requirements
Minimum of 24 hours Linguistics Coursework
  An additional 24 hours of coursework in Linguistics. Coursework must be chosen in consultation with and approved by the Linguistics advisor. Must include at least 12 hours at the 300- or 400-level.
12 Required linguistics courses
3 LING 100 – Intro to Language Sciences
3 LING 301 – Elements of Syntax
3 LING 307 – Elements of Semantics and Pragmatics
3 LING 406 – Intro to Computational Linguistics
9 Advanced special courses (Pick three of the following) *:
3 LING 413 – Corpus Linguistics
3 LING 415 / TRST 415 – Machine Translation: History and Applications
3 LING 490 – Computational Morphology
3 LING 490 – Computational Semantics
3 LING 448 - Introductory Machine Learning -OR- CS 446 – Machine Learning -OR- CS 441 – Applied Machine Learning
3 LING 446 – Fundamentals for Speech Signal Processing and Analysis
3 Linguistics breadth courses (Pick one of the following):

Any LING-rubric course 200-level and up (with the exception of ESL and language courses)
Note: Students can take any linguistics 500-level course with the consent of the instructor (students are strongly advised to consider these courses during their Junior and Senior years, though).

Twelve hours of 300- and 400-level courses in the major must be taken on this campus.

*Students who have taken LING 406 also have the option to enroll in a LING 500-level course in Computational Linguistics (like LING 506) which can count as advanced special course credit (as part of the Advanced special courses section).

All LAS foreign language requirements must be satisfied.