Combined BA/MA Pathway

2021 BA/MA students

The B.A./M.A. pathway in linguistics is a demanding, selective option that allows students who are well prepared and well motivated to complete the requirements for both degrees in five years rather than the usual six.

Admission to the pathway has two stages. In the first stage, interested students consult with the Undergraduate Advisor to learn about the process and request the application form. They also arrange meetings with one or more linguistics faculty members. An application can be successful only if it has benefitted from this consultation with a linguistics faculty member at least once, and ideally more, to discuss the student's goals in linguistics. Students are required to do this before submitting their application.

Applications for the B.A./M.A. pathway in linguistics must be submitted by the last business day of the sixth full week of the first quarter of their junior year. Transfer students must apply by the end of their second quarter of enrollment. In order to be accepted at this first stage, students must have demonstrated outstanding performance across linguistics courses, including excellence in at least three courses that are named requirements for the linguistics major.

Students accepted at this initial stage are assigned a faculty mentor who monitors their progress closely.

At the second stage of the admission procedure, students apply in their senior year to be admitted to the MA program through UCSC's normal graduate admissions process. If accepted, they ideally complete the course requirements for the MA, and complete and defend the MA thesis by the end of their fifth year.

Students in the BA/MA pathway take a number of graduate courses in their senior year, which are selected in close consultation with their faculty mentor. Performance in these courses forms a central part of the ongoing evaluation process. If a student's performance does not meet the standards set for the program, the student completes the BA at the end of the senior year and does not proceed to the MA.

Graduate courses required for the MA are taken partly in the senior year and partly in the fifth year. The MA thesis is written in the fifth year. Thus, by the end of their fifth year, students in the program will have fulfilled the requirements for both the BA and the MA degrees. Students who need additional time may remain in the program until the MA thesis is completed and defended.

Students admitted into the BA/MA pathway must complete a minimum of 35 units as an MA student, regardless of the number of graduate courses completed as an undergraduate. (This is a requirement imposed by the Division of Graduate Studies.) If a student completes the core MA requirements as an undergraduate, they should speak with the Graduate Program Director (or their faculty advisor) to create an academic course plan consisting of independent study and graduate seminar courses, sufficient to meet the 35-unit threshold.

See Also