The linguistics major is designed to acquaint students with the central aspects of linguistic structure and the methodologies and perspectives of the field. Areas of study include:
- Syntax, the rules that combine words into larger units of phrases and sentences
- Phonology and phonetics, the sound systems of particular languages and the physical properties of language sounds
- Semantics, the study of the meanings of linguistic units and how they are combined to form the meanings of sentences or conversations
- Psycholinguistics, the cognitive mechanisms used in producing and perceiving speech
Study and Research Opportunities
- B.A. and minor programs in linguistics
- B.A./M.A. pathway in linguistics
- M.A. and Ph.D. programs in theoretical linguistics
- Opportunities to study abroad through UCEAP and the Study Abroad Office
- Undergraduate research opportunities available through the Linguistics Department and through the Humanities Division
- Short videos about our programs:
Information for First-Year Students (Freshmen)
High school students who plan to major in linguistics at UC Santa Cruz are not required to have any special background in linguistics. However, they will find it useful to begin study of a foreign language in high school and complete more than the minimum courses in science and mathematics.
Information for Transfers
Transfer students who intend to major in linguistics should complete two collegiate years of one foreign language or two math courses at the calculus level or beyond. In addition, students will find it helpful to have completed general education requirements.
While it is not a condition of admission, students from California community colleges may complete the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) in preparation for transfer to UC Santa Cruz.
- Language engineering
- Information processing: computer science and computer technology, information sciences, library science
- Speech technology: speech synthesis and speech recognition
- Advanced study in linguistics or in related fields
(such as experimental psychology or language or child development)
- Education: educational research, bilingual education
- Teaching: English, English as a second language, other languages
- Speech pathology
These are only samples of the field’s many possibilities.
Study Abroad offers undergraduate students the opportunity to study at more than 100 host universities and colleges in over 43 countries as part of their regular UC academic program. Students receiving financial aid can apply their award to a program abroad. Many programs can be less expensive than an equivalent term in Santa Cruz. Studying abroad on one of these programs can often be a valuable experience for Linguistics majors and minors.
Awards, Honors, and Recognitions
In 2019, Professor Judith Aissen received the Linguistic Society of America (LSA) Kenneth L. Hale Award. Professor Sandra Chung has served as President of the LSA; in 2012 Chung was elected a Fellow of the American Assn. for the Advancement of Science, and in 2017 Chung gave UCSC's Distinguished Faculty Research Lecture. Professor Adrian Brasoveanu received the LSA’s 2014 Early Career Award. Five of the Department's faculty have received the Dizikes Teaching Award from UCSC's Humanities Division.
General Catalog Information
University of California, Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, California 95064