When addressing complex issues, we often rely on approaches that take advantage of a variety of relevant disciplines. The college houses the special category of “interdepartmental majors” for programs where this interdisciplinary approach is most pronounced and in which the varied disciplinary perspectives are most fully integrated. These majors are presented here separately, rather than as departmentally-based options, to reflect and underscore their sponsorship by more than one academic department and the unique features that follow from this structure.

Interdepartmental majors are administered by the academic department of the major's faculty advisor.

The Major in Economics and Mathematical Sciences

Academic Advisor: Kathleen Conway
Office: GSIA 131
Email: kconway@andrew.cmu.edu

The B.S. in Economics and Mathematical Sciences is a collaborative effort between the Department of Mathematical Sciences and the Undergraduate Economics Program. Combining advanced mathematics with advanced economic theory is the hallmark of this curriculum. The curriculum provides students with courses that complement and develop depth of understanding of economic theory, applied economics, and applied mathematics. This major offers an integrated curriculum, guiding students through a program of coursework that exploits and builds upon the synergies between mathematics and economics. This degree program equips students with the mathematical tools that are essential for success in Ph.D. programs in economics; mathematics; and key functional areas of business including finance, accounting, marketing, and information systems. Students pursuing this degree will be well prepared for the beginning of their research careers in academia, government, and industry. There are a limited number of student slots in this program; interested students may apply as early as their sophomore year.

The Major in Economics and Statistics

Academic Advisor: Samantha Nielsen
Faculty Advisors: Rebecca Nugent and Edward Kennedy
Executive Director, Undergraduate Economics Program: Carol Goldburg
Senior Academic Advisor and Program Manager, Undergraduate Economics Program: Kathleen Conway
Office: Baker Hall 132
Email: statadvising@stat.cmu.edu

The Major in Economics and Statistics provides an interdisciplinary course of study aimed at students with a strong interest in the empirical analysis of economic data. With joint curriculum from the Department of Statistics and Data Science and the Undergraduate Economics Program, the major provides students with a solid foundation in the theories and methods of both fields. Students in this major are trained to advance the understanding of economic issues through the analysis, synthesis and reporting of data using the advanced empirical research methods of statistics and econometrics. Graduates are well positioned for admission to competitive graduate programs, including those in statistics, economics and management, as well as for employment in positions requiring strong analytic and conceptual skills - especially those in economics, finance, education, and public policy.

All economics courses counting towards an economics degree must be completed with a grade of "C" or higher. 

The requirements for the B.S. in Economics and Statistics are the following:

I. Prerequisites38-39 units

1. Mathematical Foundations38-39 units


21-120Differential and Integral Calculus10

and one of the following:

21-256Multivariate Analysis9
21-259Calculus in Three Dimensions9

Note: Passing the MSC 21-120 assessment test is an acceptable alternative to completing 21-120.

Note: Taking both 21-111 and 21-112 is equivalent to 21-120. The Mathematical Foundations total is then 48-49 units. The Economics and Statistics major would then total 201-211 units.

Linear Algebra

One of the following three courses:

21-240Matrix Algebra with Applications10
21-241Matrices and Linear Transformations10
21-242Matrix Theory10

Note: 21-241 and 21-242 are intended only for students with a very strong mathematical background.

II. Foundations18-36 units

2. Economics Foundations18 units
73-102Principles of Microeconomics9
73-103Principles of Macroeconomics9
3. Statistical Foundations9-18 units

Sequence 1 (For students beginning their freshman or sophomore year)


Choose one of the following courses:

36-200Reasoning with Data9
36/70-207Probability and Statistics for Business Applications9
36-220Engineering Statistics and Quality Control9
36-247Statistics for Lab Sciences9

*Or extra data analysis course in Statistics

Note: Students who enter the program with 36-225 or 36-226 should discuss options with an advisor.  Any 36-300 or 36-400 level course in Data Analysis that does not satisfy any other requirement for the Economics and Statistics Major may be counted as a Statistical Elective.


Choose one of the following courses:

36-202Statistics & Data Science Methods **9
36-208Regression Analysis9
36-290Introduction to Statistical Research Methodology9
36-309Experimental Design for Behavioral & Social Sciences9

*Or extra data analysis course in Statistics

**Must take prior to 36-401

Sequence 2 (For students beginning later in their college career)

Choose one of the following courses:

36-303Sampling, Survey and Society9
36-311Statistical Analysis of Networks9
36-315Statistical Graphics and Visualization9
36-461Special Topics: Statistical Methods in Epidemiology9
36-462Special Topics: Data Mining9
36-463Special Topics: Multilevel and Hierarchical Models9
36-464Special Topics: Applied Multivariate Methods9
36-466Special Topics: Statistical Methods in Finance9
36-467Special Topics: Data over Space & Time9
36-490Undergraduate Research9

Special Topics rotate and new ones are regularly added.

III. Disciplinary Core126 units

1. Economics Core45 units
73-230Intermediate Microeconomics9
73-240Intermediate Macroeconomics9
73-270Strategic Professional Communication for Economists9
73-265Economics and Data Science9
73-274Econometrics I9
73-374Econometrics II9
2. Statistics Core36 units
36-225Introduction to Probability Theory *#9

 and one of the following two courses:

36-226Introduction to Statistical Inference *9
36-326Mathematical Statistics (Honors) *9

and both of the following two courses:

36-401Modern Regression *9
36-402Advanced Methods for Data Analysis9

 *In order to be a major in good standing, a grade of C or better is required in 36-225 (or equivalents), 36-226 or 36-326 and 36-401.  Otherwise you will not be allowed to continue in the major.

#It is possible to substitute 36-217 or 21-325 for 36-225. (36-225 is the standard introduction to probability, 36-217 is tailored for engineers and computer scientists, and 21-325 is a rigorous Probability Theory course offered by the Department of Mathematics.)

3. Computing9 units
36-350Statistical Computing *9

*In rare circumstances, a higher level Statistical Computing course, approved by your Statistics advisor, may be used as a substitute.

4. Advanced Electives36 units

Students must take two advanced Economics elective courses (numbered 73-300 through 73-495, excluding 73-374 ) and two advanced Statistics elective courses (numbered 36-303, 36-31136-315, or 36-46x through 36-495).

Students pursuing a degree in Economics and Statistics also have the option of earning a concentration area by completing a set of interconnected electives. While a concentration area is not required for this degree, this is an additional option that allows students to pursue courses that are aligned with a particular career path. The two electives that are already required for this degree could count towards your concentration area, please make sure to consult an advisor when choosing these courses.

Total number of units for the major191-201 units
Total number of units for the degree360 units

Professional Development

Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of professional development opportunities and/or coursework. One option is 73-210 Economics Colloquim I, a fall-only course that provides information about careers in Economics, job search strategies, and research opportunities. The Department of Statistics and Data Science also offers a series of workshops pertaining to resume preparation, graduate school applications, careers in the field, among other topics. Students should also take advantage of the Career and Professional Development Center. 

Additional Major in Economics and Statistics

Students who elect Economics and Statistics as a second or third major must fulfill all Economics and Statistics degree requirements. Majors in many other programs would naturally complement an Economics and Statistics Major, including Tepper's undergraduate business program, Social and Decision Sciences, Policy and Management, and Psychology.

With respect to double-counting courses, it is departmental policy that students must have at least six courses (three Economics and three Statistics) that do not count for their primary major. If students do not have at least six, they typically take additional advanced electives.

Students are advised to begin planning their curriculum (with appropriate advisors) as soon as possible. This is particularly true if the other major has a complex set of requirements and prerequisites or when many of the other major's requirements overlap with the requirements for a Major in Economics and Statistics.

Many departments require Statistics courses as part of their Major or Minor programs. Students seeking transfer credit for those requirements from substitute courses (at Carnegie Mellon or elsewhere) should seek permission from their advisor in the department setting the requirement. The final authority in such decisions rests there. The Department of Statistics and Data Science does not provide approval or permission for substitution or waiver of another department's requirements.

If a waiver or substitution is made in the home department, it is not automatically approved in the Department of Statistics and Data Science. In many of these cases, the student will need to take additional courses to satisfy the Economics and Statistics major requirements. Students should discuss this with a Statistics advisor when deciding whether to add an additional major in Economics and Statistics.

Sample Program

The following sample program illustrates one way to satisfy the requirements of the Economics and Statistics Major.  Keep in mind that the program is flexible and can support other possible schedules (see footnotes below the schedule).

21-120 Differential and Integral Calculus36-202 Statistics & Data Science Methods36-225 Introduction to Probability Theory21-240 Matrix Algebra with Applications
36-200 Reasoning with Data21-256 Multivariate Analysis73-230 Intermediate Microeconomics36-226 Introduction to Statistical Inference
73-102 Principles of Microeconomics73-103 Principles of Macroeconomics73-210 Economics Colloquim I *not required73-240 Intermediate Macroeconomics
73-060 Economics: BaseCamp *not required-----73-274 Econometrics I
----------73-265 Economics and Data Science-----

36-350 Statistical Computing36-402 Advanced Methods for Data AnalysisStatistics ElectiveEconomics Elective
36-401 Modern Regression73-270 Strategic Professional Communication for EconomistsEconomics ElectiveStatistics Elective
73-374 Econometrics II---------------

*In each semester, ----- represents other courses (not related to the major) which are needed in order to complete the 360 units that the degree requires.

Prospective PhD students might add 21-127 fall of sophomore year, replace 21-240 with 21-241, add 21-260 in spring of junior year and 21-355 in fall of senior year.

Additional Major in Environmental Policy

Faculty Advisor: Professor Abigail E. Owen; aeowen@cmu.edu, Wean Hall 3709, 412-268-2953
Academic Advisor: Dr. Andrew Ramey; aramey@andrew.cmu.edu, Baker Hall 240, 412-268-7906  

The additional major in Environmental Policy focuses on human - environment interactions from a multitude of disciplinary perspectives.  The curriculum draws on the expertise of faculty across several Carnegie Mellon colleges in order to provide students with the interdisciplinary background and skills necessary to understand environmental problems and the means to mitigate them. It emphasizes three general areas: (1) natural science and technology; (2) social sciences; and (3) the humanities.  The flexible curriculum features training in research methods; a set of core courses on fundamental environmental issues including energy, pollution, and biological diversity; and a project course experience geared toward policy formulation. The total units required are 121.

Note that some courses carry prerequisites and/or reserve seats for primary majors.  Students interested in pursuing the additional major must meet beforehand with the Faculty Advisor and their home unit academic advisor in order to evaluate the feasibility of completing the additional major and to map out a course of study.  Double counting follows guidelines set by the Dietrich College. Students are encouraged to be alert to new course offerings; every effort will be made to find equivalent courses that meet student interest when done in consultation with the Faculty Advisor.

Prerequisites (55–57 units)

Complete ALL of the following courses:
21-111Differential Calculus-(or equivalent)10
36-200Reasoning with Data
Students entering CMU prior to 2018 may substitute 36-201 for 36-200.
36-202Statistics & Data Science Methods9

Complete THREE of the following courses:
03-121Modern Biology9
03-124Modern Biology Laboratory-(03-121 is corequisite)9
09-103Atoms, Molecules and Chemical Change9
09-105Introduction to Modern Chemistry I10
09-106Modern Chemistry II10
Disciplinary Perspectives: Complete TWO of the following courses (18 units)
09-510Chemistry and Sustainability9
76-319Environmental Rhetoric9
79-374Greening the Red, White, & Blue: Critical Issues American Environmental History9
99-236Introduction to Environmental Ideas9
Thematic Electives: Complete TWO of the following courses (18 units)
12-100Introduction to Civil and Environmental Engineering12
19-101Introduction to Engineering and Public Policy12
19-424Energy and the Environment9
60-203Concept Studio: EcoArt10
76-395Science Writing9
79-283Hungry World: Food and Famine in Global Perspective9
79-315Thirsty Planet: The Politics of Water in Global Perspective9
79-336Oil & Water: Middle East Perspectives6
79-372Cities, Technology, and the Environment
79-394Exploring History through Geography6
80-348Health, Development, and Human Rights9
88-223Decision Analysis12
88-302Behavioral Decision Making9
88-412Energy, Climate Change, and Economic Growth in the 21st Century9
90-765Cities, Technology and the Environment
90-798Environmental Policy & Planning12
90-808Energy Policy6
(90-xxx Heinz College courses open only to seniors) 
Research and Analytical Methods: Complete TWO of the following courses (18 units)
36-309Experimental Design for Behavioral & Social Sciences9
79-380Hostile Environments: The Politics of Pollution in Global Perspective9
79-381Energy and Empire: How Fossil Fuels Changed the World9
88-251Empirical Research Methods9
88-252Causal Inference in the Field: Using Data to Study Crime, Love, Sports & More9
Project Course: Complete ONE of the following courses (12 units)
19-451EPP Projects
(pre-approved topics)
19-452EPP Projects
(pre-approved topics)

The Major in Ethics, History, and Public Policy

Alex John London, Director
Office: Baker Hall 150A
Email: ajlondon@andrew.cmu.edu


The B.A./B.S. in Ethics, History, and Public Policy is an interdepartmental major offered jointly by the Departments of History and Philosophy. It prepares students for leadership positions by providing them with a rigorous, interdisciplinary humanistic and social-scientific education. It also serves as an excellent springboard for graduate study in a wide variety of disciplines such as law, public policy, ethics, and advocacy.  The program focuses equally on the historical understanding of how modern-day problems have evolved, and the importance of developing clear criteria for ethical decision-making. The capstone project course provides students with the opportunity to engage with real-world public policy challenges using the methods, theories, and knowledge that they have gained through the major. Offered jointly by the departments of History and Philosophy, the B.A./B.S. in EHPP encourages specialization, internship experiences, and research in a wide range of policy areas.


Students graduating with a primary major in Ethics, History, and Public Policy may elect to receive either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science Degree (additional requirements apply; see below). Basic requirements include 120 units encompassing 9 units in Economics, 36 units in History, 36 units in Philosophy, 27 units of elective courses, and a 12-unit senior capstone course. This program may also be taken as an additional (e.g., second) major.  All courses toward the major must be taken for a letter grade, and 79-200 and 79-300 must be passed with a grade of "C" or better. Students can double count any course for the major with another major or minor, with the exception of Social and Political History, for which a student can double count a maximum of two courses.

I. Economics Requirement9 units
73-102Principles of Microeconomics9
II. History Core36 units

Choose one 9-unit course from each category below:

Policy History (9 units)
79-300History of American Public Policy9
U.S. History (9 units)
79-240Development of American Culture9
79-24920th & 21st Century U.S. History9
Non-U.S. History (9 units)
79-202Flesh and Spirit: Early Modern Europe, 1400-17509
79-203Social and Political Change in 20th Century Central and Eastern Europe9
79-20520th & 21st Century Europe9
79-207Development of European Culture9
79-222Between Revolutions: The Development of Modern Latin America9
79-223Mexico: From the Aztec Empire to the Drug War9
79-226African History: Earliest Times to 17809
79-227Modern Africa: The Slave Trade to the End of Apartheid9
79-229Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1880-19489
79-230Arab-Israeli Conflict Since 19489
79-237Comparative Slavery9
79-261The Last Emperors: Chinese History and Society, 1600-19009
79-262Modern China: From the Birth of Mao ... to Now9
79-264Tibet and China: History and Propaganda6
79-265Russian History: From the First to the Last Tsar9
79-266Russian History: From Communism to Capitalism9
79-307Religion and Politics in the Middle East9
Historical Methods and Approaches (9 units)
79-200Introduction to Historical Research & Writing9
III. Philosophy Core36 units

Choose one 9-unit course from each category below. No more than 9 units at the 100 level may be counted toward this requirement.

Ethics (9 units)
80-130Introduction to Ethics9
80-330Ethical Theory9
Political Philosophy (9 units)
80-135Introduction to Political Philosophy9
80-335Social and Political Philosophy9
Foundations of Social Science (9 units)
80-221Philosophy of Social Science9
80-321Causation, Law, and Social Policy9
80-324Philosophy of Economics9
Applied Philosophy (9 units)
80-136Social Structure, Public Policy & Ethics9
80-244Environmental Ethics9
80-245Medical Ethics9
80-249AI, Society, and Humanity9
80-336Philosophy of Law9
80-348Health, Development, and Human Rights9
80-447Global Justice9
IV. Senior Capstone Project Course12 units
79-449EHPP Project Course
80-449EHPP Project Course12

The Ethics, History and Public Policy Project Course is required for the Ethics, History and Public Policy major and is taken in the fall semester of the senior year. In this capstone course, Ethics, History and Public Policy majors carry out a collaborative research project that examines a compelling current policy issue that can be illuminated with historical research and philosophical and policy analysis. The students develop an original research report based on both archival and contemporary policy analysis and they present their results to a client organization in the community.

V. Elective Courses27 units

Choose any three courses from any category or categories shown below.  Substitution of elective courses that cohere with a student's interest or concentration may be allowed after consultation with and approval from the Director.

Engineering and Public Policy (some courses have prerequisites; see EPP catalog listing)
19-424Energy and the Environment9
70-311Organizational Behavior9
70-321Negotiation and Conflict Resolution9
70-332Business, Society and Ethics9
70-364Business Law9
70-365International Trade and International Law9
70-430International Management9
Economics (some courses have prerequisities; see Economics catalog listing)
73-352Public Economics9
73-358Economics of the Environment and Natural Resources9
73-359Benefit-Cost Analysis9
73-365Firms, Market Structures, and Strategy9
73-372International Money and Finance9
73-408Law and Economics9
73-476American Economic History9
76-492Rhetoric of Public Policy9
Courses from the EHPP History Core (above) may be taken as electives only if they are not being used to fulfill the core requirement. Double counting is not permitted.
79-217The War in Vietnam6
79-221Development and Democracy in Latin America9
79-231American Foreign Policy: 1945-Present9
79-233The United States and the Middle East since 19459
79-242African American History: Reconstruction to the Present9
79-250Running for President: Campaigns & Elections in History of American Presidency9
79-267The Soviet Union in World War II: Military, Political, and Social History9
79-288Bananas, Baseball, and Borders: Latin America and the United States9
79-298Mobile Phones & Social Media in Development & Human Rights: A Critical Appraisal6
79-299From Newton to the Nuclear Bomb: History of Science, 1750-19509
79-301History of Surveillance: From the Plantation to Edward Snowden6
79-302Killer Robots: The Ethics, Law, and Politics of Lethal Autonomous Weapons System6
79-303Pittsburgh and the Transformation of Modern Urban America6
79-305Moneyball Nation: Data in American Life9
79-310Modern U. S. Business History: 1870 to the Present9
79-315Thirsty Planet: The Politics of Water in Global Perspective9
79-320Women, Politics, and Protest9
79-322Stalin and the Great Terror9
79-325U.S. Gay and Lesbian History6
79-331Body Politics: Women and Health in America9
79-335Drug Use and Drug Policy9
79-336Oil & Water: Middle East Perspectives6
79-338History of Education in America9
79-339Juvenile Delinquency & Film: From Soul of Youth (1920) to West Side Story (1961)6
79-340Juvenile Delinquency & Film: From "Juvenile Court" (1973) to "The Wire"(2002-08)6
79-342Introduction to Science and Technology Studies9
79-343Education, Democracy, and Civil Rights9
79-349The Holocaust in Historical Perspective9
79-370Disasters in American History (2):Epidemics & Fires6
79-371African American Urban History9
79-374Greening the Red, White, & Blue: Critical Issues American Environmental History9
79-381Energy and Empire: How Fossil Fuels Changed the World9
Courses from the EHPP Philosophy Core (above) may be taken as electives only if they are not being used to fulfill the core requirement. Double counting is not permitted.
80-256Modern Moral Philosophy9
80-305Choices, Decisions, and Games9
80-405Game Theory9
Institute for Politics and Strategy
84-310International Political Economy9
84-380Grand Strategy in the United States9
84-393Legislative Decision Making: US Congress6
84-402Judicial Politics and Behavior9
Social and Decision Sciences
88-223Decision Analysis12
88-281Topics in Law: 1st Amendment9
88-387Social Norms and Economics9
88-444Public Policy and Regulation9
VI. Bachelor of Science Option

Students may elect to earn a Bachelor of Science rather than a Bachelor of Arts degree by completing two courses from the list below, or by petitioning the Director of EHPP to accept equivalent courses as substitutions.

21-257Models and Methods for Optimization9
36-202Statistics & Data Science Methods9
or 36-208 Regression Analysis
or 70-208 Regression Analysis
36-303Sampling, Survey and Society9
36-309Experimental Design for Behavioral & Social Sciences9
80-305Choices, Decisions, and Games9
84-265Political Science Research Methods9
88-251Empirical Research Methods9

Additional Major

The B.A./B.S. in Ethics, History, and Public Policy may be scheduled as an additional major in consultation with the Director of Ethics, History, and Public Policy, Professor Alex John London, ajlondon@andrew.cmu.edu.

Ethics, History, and Public Policy Sample Curriculum

Junior YearSenior Year
Core requirement in Economics Core requirement in History or PhilosophyCapstone CourseEHPP Elective Course
Core requirement in History or PhilosophyCore requirement in History or PhilosophyEHPP Elective CourseSecond Course (open)
Core requirement in History or PhilosophyCore requirement in History or PhilosophyEHPP Elective CourseThird Course (open)
Core requirement in History or PhilosophyCore requirement in History or PhilosophyFourth Course (open)Fourth Course (open)
Core requirement in History or PhilosophyFifth Course (open)Fifth Course (open)Fifth Course (open)

The above sample program is presented as a two-year (junior-senior year) plan for completing EHPP major requirements. Its purpose is to show that this program can be completed in as few as two years; not that it must be. Students may enter the EHPP major, and begin major course requirements, as early as the start of the sophomore year, or even in the first year. Students should consult their advisor when planning their program.

The Major in Information Systems

Faculty Program Director: Randy S. Weinberg
Office: Porter Hall 224C, rweinberg@cmu.edu
Program Advisor: Carol Young
Office: Porter Hall 222F, caroly@cmu.edu
Faculty: C.F. Larry Heimann, Jeria Quesenberry, Raja Sooriamrthi

Information Systems (IS) is a unique and innovative undergraduate interdisciplinary program, drawing on a wide range of exciting college and university strengths. IS is an internationally recognized undergraduate major for students who want to design and implement effective solutions to meet organizational and management needs for information and decision support. IS majors learn how elements of organizations, technology, economics, social aspects and human interaction work together to create effective computer-based information systems to affect real outcomes. Graduates of the Program are ideally situated to take a leading role in managing and shaping our information-based future.

For full program information, go to The Major in Information Systems.

The Major in Linguistics

Tom Werner, Director
Office: Baker Hall 155F
Email: twerner@andrew.cmu.edu


Linguistics is the study of human language, and it encompasses a broad spectrum of research questions, approaches and methodologies. Some linguists are concerned with the cognitive aspects of language learning, production and comprehension; some are concerned with language as a social and cultural phenomenon; others engage in the analysis of linguistic form and meaning, some from a functional and others from a formal perspective. There are also computational approaches to linguistics with both applied and theoretical goals.

The major in Linguistics reflects the multidisciplinary character of the field and of the Linguistics faculty here at Carnegie Mellon, offering a program which provides students with the fundamental tools of linguistic analysis while maintaining a focus on the human context in which language is learned and used. The major is available as either a primary major or an additional major. It is an ideal choice for students with a general interest in their own or other languages, and combines well thematically with studies in any of the departments represented in the major.


The Linguistics major requires a total of 12 courses, which includes 2 semesters of language study. In addition, primary majors in Linguistics are required to write a Senior Thesis in their final year. At least three courses (not including specific language courses) must be at the 300-level or higher. All courses counted towards the major must be taken for a letter grade and passed with a grade of "C" or above. Students may double count any course for the major simultaneously with another major or minor.

Introductory course

80-180Nature of Language9

Fundamental Skills

Take one course from each of the following core subject areas:

80-282Phonetics and Phonology I9
80-280Linguistic Analysis9
80-285Natural Language Syntax9
80-381Meaning in Language9
80-383Language in Use9
76-385Introduction to Discourse Analysis9
or 76-484 Discourse Analysis


Take one course from each of the following breadth subject areas:

Area 1: Language Learning and Language Cognition
76-420The Cognition of Reading and Writing: Introduction to a Social/Cognitive Process9
80-281Language and Thought9
82-280Learning About Language Learning9
82-383Second Language Acquisition: Theories and Research9
82-388Understanding Second Language Fluency9
82-585Topics in Second Language Acquisition9
85-354Infant Language Development9
85-421Language and Thought9
Area 2: Discourse, Society and Culture
76-385Introduction to Discourse Analysis9
or 76-484 Discourse Analysis
76-386Language & Culture9
80-283It Matters How You Say It9
82-273Introduction to Japanese Language and Culture9
82-283Language Diversity & Cultural Identity9
82-333Introduction to Chinese Language and CultureVar.
80-383Language in Use9
82-388Understanding Second Language Fluency9


Take four additional electives. These can be additional courses from the Fundamental Skills courses or Breadth courses listed above, or any other course which is approved by the Director as a linguistics elective. Listed below are the additional electives taught on a regular basis. Additional appropriate courses are offered irregularly or on a one-off basis. The Director will provide students with a list of possible electives each semester, and will assist students in selecting electives which are consistent with their goals and interests.

76-378Literacy: Educational Theory and Community Practice9
76-451Language and Globalization9
80-284Invented Languages9
80-286Words and Word Formation: Introduction to Morphology9
80-287Historical and Comparative Linguistics9
80-380Philosophy of Language9
80-382Phonetics and Phonology II9
80-384Linguistics of Turkic Languages9
80-385Linguistics of Germanic Languages9
82-373Structure of the Japanese Language9
11-411Natural Language Processing12
11-492Speech Processing12
11-716Graduate Seminar on Dialog Processing6
11-721Grammars and Lexicons12
11-722Grammar Formalisms12
11-761Language and Statistics12
11-762Language and Statistics II12

Language Requirement

Students must successfully complete two semesters of consecutive language courses. (Note that students may not 'test out' of this requirement. However, language courses taken at other institutions or as part of a study abroad program will typically substitute for a semester of language study.)

Senior Thesis [primary majors only]

Primary majors must complete a senior thesis (a workload equivalent to a 12-unit course) during their senior year. Topics must be approved by an advisor, who will work with the student and guide the thesis project. Students are responsible for identifying their topic and securing their thesis advisor. Students should work with the director of the major to begin the process of identifying their thesis topic and advisor during the fall of their senior year at the latest. Students will be required to submit a written proposal of their thesis project, signed by their thesis faculty advisor, before the end of the second week of classes in which the thesis is being completed.


  • All 11-xxx courses have significant Computer Science prerequisites. Interested students should check with the course instructor before registering.

The Major in Psychology and Biological Sciences

This unified major is intended to reflect the interdisciplinary nature of our current research in the fields of psychology and biology, as well as the national trend in some professions to seek individuals broadly trained in both the social and natural sciences. Students entering from the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences will earn a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Biological Sciences. Students entering from the Mellon College of Sciences receive a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences and Psychology. Students entering from the Science and Humanities Scholars (SHS) program can complete the SHS educational core and choose either departmental order for their diploma.

Pre-Major Requirements

The unified major specifies particular pre-major requirements in the areas of mathematical sciences and statistics, natural science, and computational reasoning. Particular courses are specified in these areas because they are prerequisites for courses required in the major and therefore they are the most efficient way to complete the general education requirements for either Dietrich College or SHS. All other general education categories can be filled in any way that satisfies the requirements of the student’s college or of the SHS program.

The major in Psychology and Biological Sciences is offered only as a B.S. degree. Full curriculum requirements can be viewed under the Department of Psychology section of the Catalog.

Student-Defined Major Program

Joseph E. Devine, Director; Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies
Office: Baker Hall 154F
Email: jd0x@andrew.cmu.edu

For Dietrich College students whose educational goals cannot be as adequately served by the curricula of existing majors, the college offers the opportunity to self-define a major. The procedure for establishing such a major centers on a written proposal, submitted to the Dietrich College Dean's Office. This proposal consists of two parts:

Major Description and Rationale

A description of the components of the proposed program of study; a presentation of the objectives of the program of study, how it represents a coherent and (given available faculty, courses, and other resources) viable course of study, and the reason(s) why these objectives cannot be accomplished within one or more of the college's existing majors.


Presentation of a complete outline of all courses that will comprise the requirements for the major. These courses should be categorized in two ways: first, according to that component of the major program to which each belongs (e.g., mathematical prerequisites; research methods; theoretical perspectives; etc.); and second, a semester-by-semester outline that indicates when each course is to be taken (or, for any already taken, when taken and grade received). In addition to courses taken at Carnegie Mellon, the major's curriculum may include courses taken (or to be taken) at other schools, related projects or internships, or programs of study abroad. The minimum requirements for graduation is, as with all majors in the college, 360 units of credit and completion of the Dietrich College general education program.

Proposals and curricula are evaluated for clarity of focus, coherence and depth in related areas, and viability. Proposals should generally be developed no later than the sophomore year, and approved majors begin their program generally no later than the junior year.

The student-defined option is also possible to propose as an additional major or minor. These options extend to undergraduates from all Carnegie Mellon colleges.