Area of Focus
  • Humanities
Degrees Offered
  • B.A.
Academic Division
  • Humanities
  • Languages and Applied Linguistics

Program overview

The American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) defines Applied Linguistics as an interdisciplinary field of inquiry that addresses a broad range of language-related issues in order to understand their roles in the lives of individuals and conditions in society. It draws on a wide range of theoretical and methodological approaches from various disciplines–from the humanities to the social and natural sciences–as it develops its own knowledge-base about language, its users and uses, and their underlying social and material conditions.

Students talking

Learning Experience

The undergraduate major in Applied Linguistics and Multilingualism at UCSC is an interdisciplinary major, drawing on knowledge from Anthropology, Cognitive Sciences, Education, Languages, Linguistics, Psychology, and Sociology.

Study and Research Opportunities

Opportunities for study in over 40 countries through the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP).

First-Year (Freshman) Requirements

In addition to completing the courses required for admission to the University of California, high school students who plan to major in Applied Linguistics and Multilingualism at UC Santa Cruz should try to develop as much foreign language proficiency as possible before coming to UC Santa Cruz.

Student doing calligraphy

Transfer Requirements

This is a non-screening major. Transfer students who intend to major in Applied Linguistics and Multilingualism should complete two collegiate years of one foreign language or beyond. In addition, students will find it helpful to have completed general education requirements.

While it is not a condition of admission, transfer students will find it useful to complete the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) in preparation for transfer to UC Santa Cruz. Transfer course agreements and articulation between the University of California and California community colleges can be accessed on the ASSIST.ORG website.

Two students talking at an event

Internships and Career Opportunities

  • Applied Research Scientist, Text Understanding (e.g., with Facebook)
  • Assessment Specialist
  • Bilingual K-12 Teacher (requires licensing)
  • Communication Analyst (for public or private companies)
  • Copy Editor
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • Forensic Linguist (e.g., language specialist for the FBI)
  • Language Resource Person (e.g., protecting endangered languages)
  • Language Specialist at Google, Apple, Duolingo, Babel, etc.
  • Linguistic Annotator at High-Tech Company
  • Peace Corps Volunteer (and later employee)
  • Reading and literacy specialist
  • Speech-language Pathologist (requires certification)
  • Study Abroad Officer (at a university)
  • Teacher of English as a Second or Additional Language
  • Teacher of Languages (e.g., Chinese, French, German, Spanish, etc.)
  • Technical Writer
  • Translator/Interpreter
  • Writer for a multilingual/multinational law firm

These are only samples of the field’s many possibilities.



apartment 218 Cowell College
phone (831) 459-2054