Hons. Bachelor of Arts in Cognitive Science of Language

General

Program Description

How do we think? How do we give expression to our thoughts? These are fundamental questions posed by linguists investigating the ways language might be organized in the mind, psychologists who study perception, computer scientists wishing to model intelligence, or curious individuals wondering about the nature of human cognition. Answers lie within the human mind-brain, and the clearest, most observable expressions of human thought are found embedded and reflected in the processes of language.

Cognitive Science and Linguistics are two disciplines that seek to understand the human mind and experience. Cognitive Science, an area of psychology, examines the mind and its processes, including emotion, thought, creativity, and language. Linguistics is the study of language in all its forms, including natural language development, organization, and use. At McMaster, they come together to form a unique undergraduate program: Cognitive Science of Language.

The program combines courses and concepts from both Humanities and Science and offers different areas of concentration: Speech & Language Pathology Preparation (SLP), Language & Social Life and Cognitive Science.

Courses in the SLP stream will ensure that students obtain the necessary prerequisites for graduate degrees in Speech and Language Pathology and include a clinical placement with a practicing Speech-Language Pathologist.

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Careers for majors in Linguistics and Cognitive Science of Language

Linguistics and the Cognitive Science of Language programs bring together the strengths of a Humanities education (critical, analytical, and problem-solving skills accompanied by strong communication skills) and the hands-on skills typical for Science (rigorous laboratory experience, programming experience, experimental and statistical skills). This cutting-edge skillset is accompanied by in-depth knowledge of language structures, their functioning, and their behavioral and neurological reflections. Such a unique package of skills lends itself to a wide variety of career opportunities, successfully explored by recent graduates.

Some examples include:

  • Speech and language pathology and audiology.
  • Teaching (teaching English as a second language, teaching, and learning of foreign languages, education, literacy).
  • Natural language processing/computing.
  • Software development for gaming, education, industry.
  • Translation/interpretation.
  • Foreign service/diplomacy.
  • Journalism.
  • Law.
  • Business.
  • Travel industry.
  • Intelligence service (CSE).
  • Psychological sciences.
  • Language preservation and linguistic fieldwork.

In short, our graduates are well prepared for a fast-changing and globalized world.

Last updated Dec 2019

About the School

McMaster University is located in the city of Hamilton, in the province of Ontario, Canada. We are one of the top 75 universities in the world (Times Higher Education World Rankings 2019), ranked 2nd ... Read More

McMaster University is located in the city of Hamilton, in the province of Ontario, Canada. We are one of the top 75 universities in the world (Times Higher Education World Rankings 2019), ranked 2nd in the world for global impact (Times Higher Education Impact ranking, based on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations), and we are the #1 research intensive university in Canada. McMaster is known for our teaching model: a student-centered, problem-based, interdisciplinary approach to learning, a model that has been adopted world-wide. Read less