Linguistics Major - General

The general linguistics major provides students with a comprehensive study of the field of linguistics. Students take core courses focusing on language data from a variety of languages, which teach analytical and writing skills. Students acquire knowledge of the theoretical issues in language processing, language acquisition, and language in society. These courses develop writing, research and critical thinking skills.

Major requirements (Major Checklist):

  • Completion of 12 upper division courses with C- or better (exception: one quarter of LIGN199 taken for pass/no pass may count toward the major)
  • All Linguistics Majors must demonstrate proficiency in one foreign language by either 1) passing a reading proficiency exam and oral interview administered by the Linguistics department in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Arabic, Farsi, Tagalog, Portuguese, Vietnamese, or American Sign  Language, or 2) earning a C- or higher in a course given at UCSD representing the fourth quarter of instruction in any foreign language, or 3) by scoring 4 or higher on the Advanced Placement (AP) exam in a foreign language.  It may be possible to take a proficiency exam in a language other than those listed above.  It is critical that students consult with the Linguistics Department's Undergraduate Advisors ( about this requirement.
6 core courses:
LIGN 101: Introduction to the Study of Language
LIGN 110: Phonetics
LIGN 111: Phonology
LIGN 120: Morphology
LIGN 121: Syntax
LIGN 130: Semantics

Students are advised to take these classes as early as possible, especially LIGN101, which is a prerequisite for most linguistics classes. LIGN110 is required for LIGN111, and LIGN111 and LIGN121 are recommended for LIGN120.

5 linguistics electives
See the list of linguistics courses for available classes.

1 additional linguistics elective or upper-division course in another department pertaining to the study of language. Courses currently approved to satisfy this requirement include the electives for the cognition and language major (except PSYC 105) and the electives for the language and society major (Note: some of these courses may have prerequisites) or a Heritage Language course offered in the Linguistics Language Program (for example, LIHL 112/LIHL 112X).

The undergraduate program introduces majors and non-majors to the scientific study of language in the broader perspective of a liberal arts education.

Inquiries about language classes should be directed to the Language Program advisors .

Inquiries about the Linguistics Undergraduate Program (specific questions about classes, plans of study, graduate school options, and EAP/OAP class approval) should be directed to the Undergraduate Advisors.