Language Studies Major Requirements

Successful completion of the language studies major leads to a BA degree in language studies. Language Studies majors must satisfy course requirements in languages and linguistics, and complete elective coursework in linguistics and/or the cultural context of the language of concentration.

The current Coursework Requirements for Language Studies Majors will take effect in Fall 2021. Students who entered UCSC prior to that quarter may elect to follow either the current degree requirements or the degree requirements published at the time they entered UCSC. This is guaranteed by their “Catalog Rights,” and more information may be found at the Registrar’s web site.

Link to Pre-2021 Requirements

 

Effective Fall 2021, Language Studies majors have to satisfy the following 4 requirements:

  • Language Coursework Requirement
  • Linguistics and Cultural Context Coursework Requirement
  • Disciplinary Communication (DC) Requirement
  • Senior Exit requirement.

Language Coursework Requirement

Lower-Division

Language studies majors must achieve a level equivalent to six quarters in the language of concentration.

Upper-Division

One advanced language course after level 6 is required for students concentrating in French, German, Italian, or Spanish. Majors in Chinese and Japanese must take two advanced language courses after level 6, the second of which (and any subsequent) counts toward the cultural context course requirement.

Foreign language for transfer students. While it is not required for selection, junior-level transfer students are strongly encouraged to complete as much preparation as possible in the foreign language of their choosing. Transfer students in Japanese and Chinese who do not place into Level 4 or higher in a language placement test when they enter UCSC may not be able to complete the major within two years. Visit the Languages and Applied Linguistics Department website to find out about language placement, articulation, and course offerings.

Linguistics and Cultural Context Coursework Requirement

The Language Studies Major requires a minimum of 11 unique courses beyond the Language Coursework described above, consisting of 2 lower-division courses (LING 50, LING 53) and 9 upper-division courses.

2 Lower-Division Courses

  • LING 50 Introduction to Linguistics
  • LING 53 Semantics 1

3 Named Upper-Division Courses

  • LING 100 Phonetics 1
  • LING 101 Phonology 1
  • LING 112 Syntax I, *or* LING 111 Syntactic Structures

1 Elective Upper-Division Course in Linguistics

Choose any one 5-unit upper-division course in linguistics (other than the named upper-division courses). This upper-division linguistics elective may serve as the capstone course for students completing Option 1 (Capstone Course) for the major's senior exit requirement. Capstone electives for the language studies major will be offered every quarter during the academic year, in conjunction with LING 190, Senior Research. Please see the Comprehensive Requirement section, below.

5 Further Elective Upper-Division Courses

The major requires five upper-division elective courses in linguistics or the cultural context of the language of concentration. 

Linguistics elective courses include any upper-division course offered by the Linguistics Department (except LING 100, LING 101, LING 111, and LING 112). 

Cultural context courses are to be selected from among those approved by the department and include disciplines such as literature, history, and politics. These elective cultural context courses are related to the language of concentration. Further advanced (upper-division) courses in the language of concentration may also be used as electives for the major. A complete list of approved context electives is available in the UCSC General Catalog, organized by language of concentration.

List of Approved Context Electives in the Upcoming Quarter

 

Disciplinary Communication (DC) Requirement

Students must satisfy the major’s upper-division Disciplinary Communication (DC) requirement. The DC requirement in Language Studies is satisfied by completing LING 101 and either LING 111 or LING 112.

Senior Exit Requirement

In their senior year, Language Studies majors must satisfy the senior exit requirement in any one of three ways:

Option 1. Capstone course.

Successful completion of a capstone course. In order to satisfy the senior exit requirement, students must have senior standing and must have completed Linguistics 53, Semantics 1; Linguistics 101, Phonology 1; and either Linguistics 111, Syntactic Structures or Linguistics 112, Syntax 1.  Students then complete a 2-unit senior research course, LING 190. Each instance of LING 190 is taught concurrently with one of the upper-division linguistics electives offered in that quarter. Students must enroll in both an instance of LING 190 and its associated upper-division elective. This elective can also serve as the one linguistics elective required for the major.

Option 2: Senior Thesis

Senior thesis supervised by a faculty member. The proposal for a senior thesis must be submitted for the approval of the department faculty at least three quarters prior to the quarter of graduation. The senior thesis is an original investigation of the major language in some relevant way, such as the linguistic structure or history of the language or its historical, literary, cultural, sociological, ethnographic, or political context.

Students who pursue this option may enroll in LING 195, Senior Thesis. Up to two quarters of LING 195 may be used as electives toward the major requirements.

Option 3: Graduate-level class (by exception)

Students in their senior year may enroll in a graduate-level linguistics class, by permission of the instructor. This option is for students who have performed exceptionally in the available undergraduate courses in a particular sub-discipline of the field. Under these conditions, a graduate-level course may serve as the student's capstone course.

Sample Academic Plans for the Language Studies Major

The following is a recommended academic plan for four-year students who wish to pursue the language studies major.

Four-Year Students

Fall

Winter

Spring

1st

(frosh)

College 1

Writing 2

LING 50

2nd (soph)

LING 53

LING 100

LING 101

Foreign language level 1 

Foreign language level 2 

Foreign language level 3 

3rd (junior)

Context 1XX upper-division elective

LING 112

Context 1XX upper-division elective 

Foreign language level 4

Foreign language level 5 

Foreign language level 6

4th (senior)

LING 1XX capstone course

Context 1XX upper-division elective 

Context 1XX upper-division elective

or

Foreign language 1XX upper-division language

LING 190*

Foreign language 1XX upper-division language 

Context 1XX upper-division elective 

*This is a 2-credit course.

The second upper-division foreign language course is required only for students with a concentration in Chinese or Japanese. In addition to the specific courses shown in these planners, a student must complete courses satisfying the general education requirements. The courses in the four-year planner cover at least the following general education requirements: C, CC, MF, SI.


The following is a recommended academic plan for junior transfer students who wish to pursue the language studies major.

Junior Transfer Students, Language Studies

Fall

Winter

Spring

1st (junior)

LING 50

LING 100

LING 101

LING 53

LING 112

Context 1XX upper-division elective 

Foreign language level 4 

Foreign language level 5 

Foreign language level 6 

2nd (senior)

Context 1XX upper-division elective

LING 1XX capstone course

Context 1XX upper-division elective 

LING 190*

Foreign language 1XX upper-division language

Context 1XX upper-division elective

or

Foreign language 1XX upper-division language 

Context 1XX upper-division elective

*This is a 2-credit course.

Note: this major planner presumes that the student enters UC Santa Cruz having already completed three quarters of foreign language or having equivalent proficiency. The second upper-division foreign language course is required only for students with a concentration in Chinese or Japanese. This planner also assumes that a student has completed any required GE courses — including UC Santa Cruz or community college GE requirements—before coming to UCSC. This can be accomplished by completing the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC).

See Also