Double-majoring and minoring
If you want to add a second major or a minor, please meet with the undergraduate advisor to check if you have enough units left. Below are some suggestions for minors and double-majors that work well with a Linguistics major.
Minors and double-majors that overlap with Linguistics coursework
- Anthropology: If you take upper-level courses that are cross-listed between Linguistics and Anthropology, it’s possible to add a minor with as few as three extra courses.
- Rhetoric and composition: Some LING courses can count toward this minor.
- Languages: See the Catalog for specific requirements for each language major and minor. Up to 6 units of upper-level linguistics-related coursework from language departments may be able to count as Linguistics electives.
Minors that help with linguistics-related careers
CSULB offers many practical minors and certificates. Here are some that could combine in interesting ways with a Linguistics major.
- Entrepreneurship could help you create a language-related product or business.
- Marketing: A linguist in marketing might work on creating brand names, or other language-related aspects of advertising. Or they might market language-related products.
- Public Policy could be useful if you want to work in or with government on language policy issues.
- Certificate in Technical and Professional Communication is good background for publishing or technical writing.
- Web and Technology Literacy, Computer Science Applications, and Management Information Systems all build useful computer skills.
- Forensic Studies or Criminal Justice could be useful for linguists planning to go to law school.
- Film and Electronic Arts could be useful for creating language-instruction videos, for example.
Bear in mind that even a business with a language-related focus (such as translation, or language-learning software) is likely to employ more marketers, managers, sysadmins, accountants, etc. than actual linguists. A person who combines business skills with a knowledge of linguistics may be a more attractive hire for such a business than a person with a background in only one or the other.
Is it worth staying longer in school to double-major or minor?
When deciding whether to add a major or minor, there are two questions to consider: what do you stand to gain, and what do you stand to lose?
A minor or second major can be intellectually satisfying, and some will help with certain specific career goals. For example, if you want to be a Spanish translator, adding a Spanish major or minor is a very good idea.
However, most employers don’t care about minors or double majors unless they’re directly career-relevant. They’d be more impressed by an M.A. or a professional certificate.
When adding degree goals, sometimes students overlook the opportunity cost: the benefits they could have gained through a different choice.
For example, suppose a student decides to spend an extra year in college to finish a second major. The opportunity cost of this decision is whatever else they might have done that year, such as enter the job market or go to graduate school. In a year, you can complete a graduate TESOL certificate, or a Master’s preparatory program in Speech Therapy, or a certification program in translation or public school teaching.
In short, only choose a double major or minor after lining up all the alternatives, and deciding that this is the best path for you. Don’t get overly excited about simply having a second subject mentioned on your transcript.