Linguistics Contiguous Bachelor's/Master's Pathway

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 M.A. program through UC Santa Cruz’s normal graduate admissions process. If accepted, ideally they complete all course requirements and complete and defend the M.A. thesis by the end of the fifth year.

Students in the B.A./M.A. pathway take a number of graduate courses in their senior year which are selected in close consultation with the 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 pathway, the student completes the B.A. at the end of the senior year and does not proceed to the M.A.

Graduate courses required for the M.A. are taken partly in the senior year and partly in the fifth year. The M.A. thesis is written in the fifth year. Thus, by the end of the fifth year, students in the pathway will have fulfilled the requirements for both the B.A. and the M.A. degrees. Students who need additional time may remain in the pathway until the M.A. thesis is completed and defended. Students admitted into the B.A./M.A. pathway must complete a minimum of 35 credits as an M.A. student, regardless of the number of graduate courses completed as an undergraduate.