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linguistics major chances??

griffonrgriffonr Registered User Posts: 185 Junior Member
edited March 2010 in Columbia University
Hispanic male attending public school in NY, did not grow up speaking spanish
GPA: 94% UW (school doesn't weight), ranked 20/240 (top 9%)
SAT - 2150 740 CR, 670 M, 740 W
SAT II - 770 world history, 750 US history, 700 spanish, 680 spanish w/ listening
APs -
5 World History, 5 US History, 5 European History, 5 English Language, 2 Biology
Currently taking: AP Government (B+), AP Macroeconomics(A+), AP Spanish(A+), AP French(A+), AP English Lit(A-), AP Calc AB(C+), Physics(B), and Psychology(A+)

Studied abroad twice in Spain over the past 2 summers, taking courses in Spanish language and community service in a homestay with a local family.

President of National Honor Society and my high school's JSA chapter, officer in Multicultural Group
Member of Foreign Language Society, Spanish Club, French Club, and Rotary Interact (international community service organization), Student Govt

Listed several other ECs on app...collected signatures for darfur, played a varsity sport etc

Essays - i received very good feedback, they were about teaching myself french and starting to teach myself russian, and also dealt with my experiences abroad and the international focus of columbia and new york.

Recommendations: I assume they were very good as well.


So what are my chances at columbia with these credentials? Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Post edited by griffonr on

Replies to: linguistics major chances??

  • griffonrgriffonr Registered User Posts: 185 Junior Member
    bump, anything?
  • griffonrgriffonr Registered User Posts: 185 Junior Member
    any feedback at all? just a little will help
  • calmomcalmom Registered User Posts: 19,698 Senior Member
    Columbia does not have a linguistics department or a formal major. They do have "special concentration" in linguistics that can be completed along with some other major, but which is not a major in itself. So its possible to study linguistics at Columbia -- but course offerings are limited. See: Linguistics | Columbia College
  • griffonrgriffonr Registered User Posts: 185 Junior Member
    well it says on that website that while there is a linguistics department, it must be combined with another major to graduate

    Academic Departments | Columbia College

    I believe on my application I selected Political Science as another concentration, but rather, how do my chances for admission seem with a concentration in linguistics?
  • calmomcalmom Registered User Posts: 19,698 Senior Member
    I have no idea what your chances might be, I'm a parent and was just replying because you've bumped your post twice seeking some sort of feedback. I was just pointing out that you can't be a linguistics "major" at Columbia. There is a linguistics "program" and a linguistics "society" but NOT a "department" in the usual sense of the word -- the profs who teach linguistics or related courses are all coming from other departments. The web site does NOT say there is a "Department" if you read the text on the page -- its just that they have plugged in a linguistics topic on the same web template used for describing other academic departments. The word "Department" has a commonly understood meaning at a university. Columbia used to have a linguistics department, but that was dissolved in the 1989. This distinction is important when it comes to structural, policy and funding issues.

    I'm not telling you that you can't study linguistics at Columbia -- but the reason nobody replied to your post may be due to the disconnect between your title and stated major and your question.

    I just think that if you are really serious about linguistics, rather than worrying about your "chances" at this point, you might do better to look at the offerings of the various colleges you have applied to concerning your area of interest. After all -- its your education, and even if you are accepted at Columbia, you may find when all the results are in that some other college will better serve your interests and goals. Then again, "linguistics" is one of those fields that a lot of students think they might be interested in until they take their first introductory course, and realize that it isn't what they thought it would be. So maybe it doesn't matter in the long run.

    It's a little late to be worrying about "chances" anyway -- the apps are already in and you will know the answer to your question, one way or another, by the end of this month.
  • dolphins3636dolphins3636 Registered User Posts: 144 Junior Member
    Actually, for what it's worth, you CAN major in linguistics at Columbia. It's just somewhat difficult to get them to approve that major for you. This is for a variety of reasons, the main one being they don't want people majoring in Linguistics because they don't want to hire new people for it (CU used to have one of the best linguistics depts in the country but then they just stopped hiring people for it and now have only two real linguistics professors left).

    If you have other questions about Linguistics at CU, I'd be happy to answer them. I'm a linguistics major. (Although I am actually a Barnard student. But all of my courses in Linguistics are Columbia courses and I know many Columbia students who are majoring and/or concentrating in linguistics.)
  • griffonrgriffonr Registered User Posts: 185 Junior Member
    Thank you for the response dolphins, I was confused before about linguistics at columbia because my friend, who goes to Groton School in MA, told me that the head of Columbia's linguistics department (a woman, i forgot her name) visited his school and was seeking to possibly recruit interested students.

    Now, regardless, what would my chances be of merely getting admitted to CU? I regret that my newfound interest has come so late and where i can't control it anymore, but i hope to go to CU next fall.
  • shahdinshahdin - Posts: 2,178 Senior Member
    ^I'd say about 40-50% since you're a URM. If you apply Early Decision then I'd say that your chances would be about 60%.
  • dolphins3636dolphins3636 Registered User Posts: 144 Junior Member
    (The head of Linguistics at Columbia is definitely not a woman, so...I don't know who your friend met, and lx isn't a dept anymore at CU.)

    I honestly have no idea what your chances are- you have good stats but they aren't amazing, and honestly look the same as mine except for APs and I wasn't admitted to Columbia.
This discussion has been closed.