Language Studies Major and Minor

Language studies is an interdisciplinary major and minor offered by the Linguistics Department. It is designed to equip students with competence in one or more foreign languages and, at the same time, provide them with an understanding of the general nature of human language—its structure and use. It requires (1) acquisition of demonstrable competence in a language other than English, (2) grounding in linguistics and (3) completion of a series of cultural context courses related to the language. Currently, majors may choose a concentration in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, or Spanish. Interested students should contact the Linguistics Department office early in their college career to obtain essential information about requirements.

Students interested in spending a portion of a year or a full year in study abroad should consult the Global Learning Office. A senior year abroad is approved only when all of the language proficiency requirements have been satisfied and when it is clear that any remaining courses can be satisfactorily completed abroad. Courses taken abroad may be used to satisfy major requirements only if approved by the Undergraduate Program Director or a designated advisor.

Questions related to Language Studies degree requirements, linguistics classes, and independent study petitions sponsored by a linguistics instructor should be directed to the Linguistics department. The Linguistics and Language Studies Undergraduate Advising Office is located at 241 Stevenson (phone: 459-4988, email:

Questions about language placement examinations, language classes, or independent study petitions sponsored by a language instructor should be directed to the Languages and Applied Linguistics Department (218 Cowell, 459-2054, Further information can be found at

The undergraduate linguistics program at UCSC—a core component of the language studies program—is recognized as one of the best in North America. Our graduates are routinely admitted to top graduate programs. Undergraduate alumni from this department are on the faculty at the University of Chicago, University of Rochester, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, and the University of Michigan. A language studies degree is excellent training for many careers.

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