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Frequently Asked Questions


Linguistics 103B before Linguistics 103A?

Linguistics courses for GE requirements

Courses for the major pass/no-pass

Speech pathology and Linguistics major

Linguistics and teaching English in public schools

Declaring a double major

Course overlap with multiple majors

Honors in Linguistics


Declaring a minor

Course overlap between major and minor

Courses for the minor pass/no-pass 


Q: Do I have to take Linguistics 103A and 103B in sequence?

A: No. Neither class depends on or builds on the other and there is no prerequisite relationship between them.


Q: Can I use Linguistics 1 to satisfy the GE topical breadth requirement in Arts and Humanities, even though it counts for my major?
A: Yes. This course can be used to meet the topical breadth requirement in either Arts and Humanities or Social Sciences (under either the new or old GE requirements). It does not matter that it also counts for the major. Other Linguistics courses that may be used for the Art and Humanities topical breadth requirement are Linguistics 150, Linguistics 106.


Q: Can I take courses that count for the major on a pass/no-pass basis?

A: Yes. As detailed in the General Catalog, there are limitations on the total number of courses graded P that you can use to meet degree requirements, on courses that satisfy GE requirements, and, for certain majors, such as Communication, on courses that satisfy preparatory requirements for which a minimum GPA must be achieved before declaring the major. There are, however, no other regulations preventing you from using the P/NP option for courses that satisfy requirements for majors in the College of Letters & Science. As there may be circumstances under which it would be ill-advised to use the P/ NP option, you may wish to consult with your advisor(s) about this.

Q: I am interested in a career in speech pathology. What should I do? Should I major in Linguistics?

A: Speech pathology is among the most common career choices of linguistics majors; and linguistics is a good major, insofar as there is no major in speech pathology at UC Davis and the coursework is relevant and likely to be at least partially applicable to a program in speech pathology. In general, to work as a speech pathologist you need a Master's degree in the field. Many of the CSU campuses offer such a degree. You generally need to complete all or most of the undergraduate courses in the speech pathology major prior to or after acceptance in a Master's program. Unfortunately, most of the courses for this major are simply not available at UC Davis. A Linguistics advisor can provide further details.

Q: How can I use my Linguistics degree to teach English/ESL in California public schools?

A: Most public school teaching jobs require a credential or permit. Completion of a Teacher Prep. program (at the graduate level) is a prerequisite for a Multiple Subject or a Single Subject credential. However, Adult Education Credentials or Child Development Permits are not subject to this requirement. Coursework in linguistics covers some of the subject matter needed for a Single Subject Credential in English. It allows a student to list ESL as an academic subject on the Adult Education Credential, and serves as evidence of ESL competence for the Adult Education Credential and the Child Development Permit. Read more ...

How do I declare another major in addition to Linguistics?

A: First, you must complete a substantial portion of the preparatory subject matter and at least eight upper-division units in both Linguistics and the other major that you want to add. Then, at least one quarter before you graduate, you need to complete two forms, have them signed by an undergraduate advisor in Linguistics and an advisor in the major you want to add, and submit them to the L&S Dean's Office for approval. These forms are the change of major form and the multiple major approval form.

Q: Can I use courses that satisfy requirements of a second major to satisfy the elective requirements for the Linguistics major?

A: Yes. According to the General Catalog, at least 80 percent of the upper-division units required to satisfy course and unit requirements in each major selected must be unique and may not be counted toward the upper-division unit requirements for any other selected major. If the majors differ in their unit requirements, the major with the smaller number of required units is used to calculate uniqueness. For example, a major in Linguistics requires 44 upper-division units. A major in Spanish requires at least 45 upper-division units. If 36 units are unique to linguistics, this amounts to 82% of the linguistics unit requirement. Thus, 8 units of coursework can be used for both majors.

Q: How can I graduate with Honors or High(est) Honors in the Linguistics major?

A: The honors program in Linguistics consists of six units of 194H credit normally taken in the fall and winter quarters of the senior year. Completion of the program and eliqibility for graduation with Honors are prerequisites for High or Highest Honors at graduation. For further details about the honors program in the major click here. For general information regarding graduation with honors and Dean's Honors Lists, please refer to the Academic Information section of the General Catalog.

Q: How do I declare a minor in Linguistics or some other discipline?

A: Complete the courses required for a minor as specified in the General Catalog. Complete the petition to declare a minor, have it signed by the advisor for the minor as well as by your major advisor, and submit it to the L&S Dean's Office for approval, no later than the deadline for filing for graduation. A minimum of a 2.0 GPA is required for the set of courses used to satisfy the requirements for a minor.

Q: Can I use courses that satisfy requirements of my major to satisfy the elective requirements for the Linguistics minor (or some other minor)?

A: At most one course used to satisfy the requirements of a major may be used to also satisfy a minor requirement.

Q: Can I take courses for a minor in Linguistics on a pass/no-pass basis?

A: Yes. Indeed, for all minors in the College of L&S, courses can be taken on a P/NP basis. Check with your advisor(s) on the advisability of this, if you are unsure.