In ordinary discourse, a linguist is a person who has mastered many languages, and linguists quickly get used to being asked how many languages they can speak. But in academia, linguists study languages not because they wish to speak them fluently, but because they wish to understand the nature of Language in general.
At Washington University, Linguistics is a special interdepartmental program that primarily serves undergraduates. Students may major or minor in Linguistics, and many of our courses can be used to fulfil cluster requirements. The Courses page includes courses taught by other departments which increase understanding of linguistics and can, in most cases, also be applied toward a Linguistics major or minor.