Majors and Minor

The majors described below are of two types:

  • A major which concentrates entirely on general linguistics
  • Several majors which combine the basic courses of the general program with a language concentration or other related fields.

The combined majors, in conjunction with instructional certification programs, are especially appropriate for students who have non-university teaching careers as goals.

A 2.0 grade-point average in linguistics courses is required for all Linguistics Department majors. All courses for the major must be taken for a letter grade, the only exception is for the major preparation language requirements.

Please contact the Department’s Undergraduate Student Affairs Officer regarding any questions about the requirements, or to declare one of the Department’s majors.

  • FAQs

    How can I change my major to linguistics?

    Students in the College of Letters and Science who have an overall grade-point average of 2.0, completed LING 20 with a grade of B- or better and have 150 completed units or less can contact the Linguistics undergraduate advisor to add the any of our majors, with the exception of Linguistics and Computer Science (see FAQ under Linguistics and Computer Science Major Requirements for information on switching to this major). Students who have more than 150 units completed, might still add a Linguistics Department major, but this petition is required for review and final confirmation.

    Students who are not in the College of Letters and Science who have an overall grade-point average of 2.0, completed LING 20 with a grade of B- or better and have 150 completed units or less can contact the Linguistics undergraduate advisor to add the any of our majors, with the exception of Linguistics and Computer Science (see FAQ under Linguistics and Computer Science Major Requirements for information on switching to this major) and must also submit this petition.

    Where can I find more information about the foreign language requirements?

    Please view this guide.

    How can I sign up to receive the Linguistics Undergraduate Newsletter and other Linguistics updates for undergraduates?

    Current UCLA students who plan to minor, major, or double/triple major within Linguistics or are already officially declared one of our majors or minor may request to join our undergraduate email list to receive department announcements and learn about various department and campus-wide opportunities.

    Please email the Linguistics Undergraduate SAO from the address you wish to have added with “SUBSCRIBE” in the subject and your university ID number in the body.

    What is the difference between LING 102 (Introduction to Applied Phonetics) vs. LING 103 (Introduction to General Phonetics) and how should I choose between the two?

    Certain majors in our department allow for the student to choose between the applied Phonetics/Phonology track and the general Phonetics/Phonology track while others require that a student complete the general Phonetics/Phonology track. Please consult the major requirement guides found above.

    These two courses often use the same textbook and both cover the following basic material:

    • the phonetic symbols and terminology of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)
    • phonetic transcription, from dictation, of sounds from many languages
    • introduction to acoustic phonetics and the use of computer programs for recording, listening to, and analyzing speech sounds

     

    Beyond those core elements, they differ in what they cover and what kinds of work they require:

    • 103 requires an individual term project giving a phonetic description of a language of the student’s choice, and therefore spends a lot of class time on how to carry out and write up such a term project (especially, on how to do library research and language consultant work)
    • 102 does not include a term project; instead it devotes a lot of class time to applications of phonetics in such areas as language teaching, speech therapy, speech technology, singing, advertising (and/or others of the instructor’s choosing)
    • 103 requires an individual oral exam on producing the sounds of the world’s languages as represented by the IPA, and therefore its discussion sections are mostly spent on practicing making sounds
    • 102 does not include an oral exam; instead it devotes more time in discussion sections to phonetic transcription
    • 102 may spend more time on English phonetics than 103 does
    • 102 includes more written assignments and tests than 103 does

     

    Thus, Linguistics 103 is best for students who want to learn about the phonetics of a particular language, or who are interested in language fieldwork, description, and documentation. Linguistics 102 is best for students who want to explore other applications of phonetics, especially those thinking about careers in any of these areas.

    Please note that 103 is an acceptable prerequisite for both LING 119A & 120A, but 102 is ONLY the prerequisite for 119A and NOT 120A. Students who take 103 may choose between either Phonology course, but students who take 102 must take 119A (Applied Phonology).

    If you plan to change your major to another in our department please check which phonetics and phonology courses are required for the major you wish you complete using the guide provided above!

    What can I do with my Linguistics Major?

    For more information about the career prospective of a Linguistics Major, please refer to the Prospective Students webpage, as well as the career guide PDF, also found under the Prospective Students webpage, under the title, “Linguistics Career Guide PDF”.

  • Linguistics

    The goal of linguistics is the enrichment of knowledge about the nature, grammar, and history of human language. Linguistics is a theoretical discipline, akin to philosophy, anthropology, and cognitive psychology. It is important for prospective students to understand that studying linguistics is not a matter of learning to speak many languages. Linguistics courses draw examples from the grammars of a wide variety of languages, and the more languages linguists know about in depth (as distinct from possessing fluency in the use of them), the more likely they are to discover universal properties. It is also possible to pursue these universal aspects of human language through the intensive in-depth study of a single language. This accounts for the high proportion of examples from English and familiar European languages found in linguistics courses and research publications.

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  • Applied Linguistics

    The Applied Linguistics major investigates linguistic issues relevant to the everyday world, shedding light on the nature of language and language use. Students will learn linguistic theory, the study of the structure of human language generally. With its focus on service learning, students will also learn linguistic practice, engaging in the community, schools, and work places of our geographic setting. Successful graduates will be well acquainted with language use from a variety of perspectives and experiences, and will be able to apply this knowledge to a wide variety of practices including language teaching, speech pathology, and translation and interpretation.

    Please note there were some changes made to the APPLING major and they will be effective Spring 2020. The new APPLING program will apply to any student entering the major in Spring 2020, Summer 2020, Fall 2020, and on. If you were already in the major before Spring 2020 and would like to switch into the new program, please send an email to the undergraduate student advisor. *Changes will also appear in the new 2020-21 UCLA Course Catalog*

    Download Requirements (Prior to Spring 2020)
    Download Requirements (Effective Spring 2020)
  • Linguistics and Anthropology

    The major combines the basic courses of the general linguistics program with that of anthropology, the study of humankind. The goal of linguistics is the enrichment of knowledge about the nature, grammar, and history of human language. Linguistics is a theoretical discipline, akin to philosophy, anthropology, and cognitive psychology.

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  • Linguistics and Asian Languages and Cultures

    The major combines the basic courses of the general linguistics program with that of East Asian languages and cultures. Students are able to study the civilizations of China, Korea, Japan and India, and enrich their knowledge about the nature, grammar, and history of human language at the same time.

    Please note there were some changes made to the LING & ALC major and they will be effective Winter 2020. The new LING & ALC program will apply to any student entering the major in Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Summer 2020, Fall 2020, and on. If you were already in the major before Winter 2020 and would like to switch into the new program, please send an email to the undergraduate student advisor. *Changes will also appear in the new 2020-21 UCLA Course Catalog*

    Download Requirements (Prior to Winter 2020)
    Download Requirements (Effective Winter 2020)
  • Linguistics and Computer Science

    The major combines the basic courses of the general linguistics program with that of computer science, accommodating students who want professional preparation in computer science but do not necessarily have a strong interest in computer systems hardware. The goal of linguistics is the enrichment of knowledge about the nature, grammar, and history of human language. Linguistics is a theoretical discipline, akin to philosophy, anthropology, and cognitive psychology.

    Please note there were some changes made to the LING & CS major and they will be effective Winter 2020. The new LING & CS program will apply to any student entering the major in Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Summer 2020, Fall 2020, and on. If you were already in the major before Winter 2020 and would like to switch into the new program, please send an email to the undergraduate student advisor. *Changes will also appear in the new 2020-21 UCLA Course Catalog*

    How can I change my major to Linguistics and Computer Science?

    Change of majors into LING & CS are considered only until AFTER you have completed LING 20 with a B- or better, Math 31A and Math 31B, and Computer Science 31 and 32.

    CS 31 and CS 32 will have an enrollment restriction for majors only on the first enrollment pass. You can try registering on your second enrollment pass, space permitting. If the course is full, you will need to fill out an enrollment petition for each course CS 31 and CS 32 (petitions become live during the second enrollment pass).Historically, all students who submit the petition and attend class during the first two weeks of the quarter, are enrolled into the course by Week 2 of the quarter.

    Once you have completed LING 20, Math 31A and Math 31B, and CS 31 and CS 32, please contact the Department’s Undergraduate Student Affairs Officer. If you complete these courses, have a minimum 2.0 GPA (in the preparation for the LING & CS major AND cumulatively) and have less than 150 units, the change of major is usually approved.

    How can I enroll in CS 31 or CS 32 before officially declaring the Linguistics and Computer Science major?

    Please use the online enrollment request form managed by the Department of Computer Science once enrollment begins for the quarter in which you intend to take the course.

    Download Requirements (Prior to Winter 2020)
    Download Requirements (Effective Winter 2020)
  • Linguistics and English

    The major combines the basic courses of the general linguistics program with that of English. Students are able to study the literatures and cultures of those parts of the world in which English is the primary language, the history and structure of the English language itself, and enrich their knowledge about the nature, grammar, and history of human language at the same time.=

    Download Requirements
  • Linguistics and French

    The major combines the basic courses of the general linguistics program with that of French. Students are able to gain practical competence and basic knowledge of French, and enrich their knowledge about the nature, grammar, and history of human language at the same time.

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  • Linguistics and Italian

    The major combines the basic courses of the general linguistics program with that of Italian. Students are exposed to Italian civilization, language and literature as well as enrich their knowledge about the nature, grammar, and history of human language at the same time.

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  • Linguistics and Philosophy

    The major combines the basic courses of the general linguistics program with that of philosophy, for students who are reflective about their beliefs or who wish to become so. Students enrich their knowledge about the nature, grammar, and history of human language, and are given the opportunity to ponder the foundations of almost any other subject to which they are exposed — whether history, religion, government, law, or science.

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  • Linguistics and Psychology

    The major combines the basic courses of the general linguistics program with that of psychology. Students are able to study and explain human and animal behavior, both normal and abnormal, as well as enrich their knowledge about the nature, grammar, and history of human language.

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  • Linguistics and Scandinavian Languages

    The major combines the basic courses of the general linguistics program with that of Scandinavian languages. Students are able to learn about Scandinavia through the study of its languages and literatures, as well as enrich their knowledge about the nature, grammar, and history of human language.

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  • Linguistics and Spanish

    The major combines the basic courses of the general linguistics program with that of Spanish. Students are able to study one of the languages, literatures, and cultures of the Hispanic heritage, as well as enrich their knowledge about the nature, grammar, and history of human language.

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  • Linguistics Minor

    The UCLA Department of Linguistics offers a Minor in Linguistics. This minor is an attractive option for any student where training in linguistic analysis could be an enhancement to their major program, or those who are interested in “language”, but do not have time in their undergraduate program to pursue multi-quarter language courses. The Department offers ten (10) “joint majors” that combine linguistics with training in specific languages, e.g. Linguistics and Spanish, or with training in fields allied to linguistics, e.g. Linguistics and Psychology. There are, however, other natural combinations not offered in the Department. The minor in Linguistics provides an avenue for students in other departments to create programs that resemble the Department of Linguistics’ joint majors.

    The minor in Linguistics comprises of seven (7) courses with a minimum of 28 units.

    Linguistics Minor FAQ

    How do I add the minor?

    Students in the College of Letters and Science who have an overall grade-point average of 2.0, completed LING 20 with a grade of B- or better and have 150 completed units or less can contact the Linguistics undergraduate advisor to add the minor. Students who have more than 150 units completed, might still add the minor, but this petition is required for review and final confirmation.

    Students who are not in the College of Letters and Science who have an overall grade-point average of 2.0, completed LING 20 with a grade of B- or better and have 150 completed units or less can contact the Linguistics undergraduate advisor to add the minor and must also submit this petition.

    Do students in the minor get priority enrollment?

    Students in the minor are not given priority enrollment into LING 103, LING 120A, or LING 120B on the first enrollment pass. Instead, we recommend that you plan for enrolling into LING 102 (winter course) and 119A (spring course) because these courses are not restricted. LING 120B is a larger course and will likely have seats open on the second enrollment pass. All other linguistics upper division courses are not restricted, so students in the minor can enroll.

    What if I cannot complete the minor?

    Please contact the Linguistics undergraduate advisor by email with your UID to request the drop of minor.

     

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  • Specialization in Computing

    Students in any of the linguistics majors (except Linguistics and Computer Science) may elect to add the Specialization in Computing by (1) satisfying all the requirements for a bachelor’s degree in the specified major; and (2) completing Program in Computing 10A, 10B, 10C OR Computer Science 31, 32; Mathematics 61; Linguistics 185A, and one course selected from 104, 127, 132, 165A, 165B, 165C, 180, 185B.

    Students who successfully complete these requirements graduate with a BA in their specific major and a Specialization in Computing. Please contact the Department’s Student Affairs Officer for more information.