Linguistics Major Requirements

Successful completion of the linguistics major leads to a BA degree in Linguistics. The linguistics major provides a strong background in the central subdisciplines of linguistics through the named courses, which all majors must complete. For the elective requirement, students who wish to pursue linguistic theory further are encouraged to take morphology and pragmatics, and/or seek permission to enroll in the graduate foundation sequence in phonetics, phonology, psycholinguistics, syntax, or semantics.

The current Coursework Requirements for Linguistics 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 website.

Link to Pre-2021 Requirements

 

Effective Fall 2021, students in the linguistics major are required to satisfy the following 4 requirements:

  • Coursework Requirement, including a Major Qualification Policy
  • Foreign Language or Mathematics Competency Requirement
  • Disciplinary Communication (DC) Requirement
  • Senior Exit requirement.

Coursework Requirements

The Linguistics Major requires a minimum of 12 unique courses, consisting of 2 lower-division courses (LING 50, LING 53) and 10 upper-division courses (LING 100-199).

2 Lower-Division Courses
  • LING 50 Introduction to Linguistics
  • LING 53 Semantics 1
7 Named Upper-Division Courses
  • LING 100 Phonetics 1
  • LING 101 Phonology 1
  • LING 112 Syntax I, *or* LING 111 Syntactic Structures
  • LING 171 Psycholinguistics 1
  • Choose 3 from the following level-two courses:
    • LING 102 Phonology 2
    • LING 113 Syntax 2
    • LING 116 Semantics 2
    • LING 151 Phonetics 2
    • LING 172 Psycholinguistics 2
3 Elective Upper-Division Courses

Choose three 5-unit upper-division courses offered by the Linguistics Department (not already taken as part of the named requirements above.) See Course Substitution Policy in the Information and Policies section of the UCSC General Catalog for information on substituting courses outside the department to meet this requirement. Students should take either LING 111 or LING 112.  Only one may be applied to the major course requirements.

Foreign Language/Mathematics Competency Requirement

Linguistics majors are required to demonstrate competency in either a foreign language or mathematics, as follows:

Foreign Language Competency

Students must successfully complete five quarters of language study at UCSC or demonstrate an equivalent level of competence through either a recognized language test or evidence of credit from another institution. In cases where five quarters of instruction for a language are not offered at UCSC, students may opt to complete (or demonstrate an equivalent level of competence for) three quarters of one language and three quarters of a second language. For Latin or Greek, three quarters of the designated courses will be equivalent to all five quarters.

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 admitted to UC Santa Cruz for the winter term who do not place into Level 2 or higher in a language placement test when they enter UCSC may not be able to complete the major in a timely manner. Visit the Languages and Applied Linguistics Department website to find out about language placement, articulation, and course offerings.

Mathematics Competency

Alternatively, students with a strong formal background can choose to satisfy the mathematics competency requirement by demonstrating sufficient preparation in mathematics for advanced formal work in linguistics. This requirement is satisfied by passing two courses chosen from the following list: Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) 5C, 5J, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 20 or 140; Mathematics 100, 160, or 161; Philosophy 9; Statistics (STAT) 5, 7 or 131; or any course which has one of these courses as a prerequisite. For more information, please navigate to the Linguistics B.A. section of the UCSC General Catalog, and click on the Requirements and Planners tab.

List of Approved MATH/CSE Courses in the Upcoming Quarter​

Disciplinary Communication (DC) Requirement

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

Senior Exit Requirement

In their senior year, linguistics 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 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 one of the three linguistics electives 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 approval by the department faculty at least three quarters prior to the quarter of graduation.

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 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 Linguistics Major

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

Year

Fall

Winter

Spring

1st (frosh)

College 1

WRIT 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)

LING 112 

LING 116 or LING 1XX elective

LING 113 or LING 1XX elective

LING 171

Foreign language level 4

Foreign language level 5




4th (senior)

LING 102 or LING 1XX elective

LING 1XX upper div elective

LING 190*

LING 1XX upper-div elective

LING 1XX capstone course

*This is a 2-credit course.

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 GE requirements: C, MF, SI, SR.

 

Linguistics Transfer Students

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

Year

Fall

Winter

Spring

3rd (junior)

LING 50

LING 112 

LING 101

LING 53

LING 100

LING 171

Foreign language level 1

Foreign language level 2

Foreign language level 3

4th (senior)

LING 102 or LING 1XX elective

LING 116 or LING 1XX elective

LING 113 or LING 1XX elective

LING 1XX upper-div elective

LING 1XX upper-div elective

LING 1XX capstone course

Foreign language level 4

Foreign language level 5

LING 190*

*This is a 2-credit course.

This planner assumes that a student has completed any required general education courses—including UC Santa Cruz or community college general education requirements—before coming to UCSC. This can be accomplished by completing the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC).

 

See Also