- Behavioral & Social Sciences
- Undergraduate Minor
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 language
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 Global Learning Office
- Undergraduate research opportunities available through the Linguistics Department and through the Humanities Division
- Short videos about our programs:
First-Year (Freshman) Requirements
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.
This is a non-screening major. 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.
Internships and Career Opportunities
- Language engineering
- Information processing: computer science and computer technology, information sciences, library science
- Data analytics
- 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-language pathology
- Translation and Interpretation
- Writing and editing
These are only samples of the field’s many possibilities.