Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to frequently asked questions about the undergraduate program in the UC Davis Department of Linguistics.

Linguistics Major

  • Do I have to take Linguistics 103A and 103B in sequence?
  • No. Neither class depends on or builds on the other, and there is no prerequisite relationship between them.
  • Can I use LIN 1 to satisfy the GE topical breadth requirement in Arts and Humanities?
  • Yes. Even though LIN 1 counts toward the linguistics major requirements, it also 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). The fact that it also counts for the major does not matter. Other linguistics courses that may be used for the Arts and Humanities topical breadth requirement are LIN 150 and LIN 106. The abbreviation "LIN" designates courses in the Department of Linguistics.
  • Can I take courses that count for the major on a pass/no-pass basis?
  • Yes. But as the General Catalog explains, limitations are placed on the total number of courses receiving a P (pass) grade that you can use to meet degree requirements, on courses that satisfy GE requirements, and, for certain majors on courses that satisfy preparatory requirements for which a minimum GPA must be achieved before declaring the major. No other regulations prevent you from using the P/NP option for courses that satisfy requirements for majors in the College of Letters & Science. Some circumstances may make the P/ NP option inadvisable for you, however, so consider consulting with your advisor(s) about that.
  • Is majoring in linguistics appropriate for an intended career in speech pathology?
  • 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 California State University 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. Speak with a linguistics advisor for further details.
  • How can I use my linguistics degree to teach English/ESL in California public schools?
  • 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.
  • Can I use courses that satisfy requirements of a second major to satisfy the elective requirements for the linguistics major?
  • 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 percent of the linguistics unit requirement. Thus, 8 units of coursework can be used for both majors.
  • Do courses that are used to satisfy the GE requirements count toward the major?
  • Yes.
  • How do I declare another major in addition to linguistics?
  • To be eligible to declare a double major, you must first 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 the Department of 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. You may submit a petition online through the student portal. At the top left, select "Academics," then choose "Student Advising" and within that area, select "Forms & Petitions."
  • How can I graduate with honors or high(est) honors in the linguistics major?
  • The honors program in linguistics consists of six units of LIN 194H credit normally taken in the fall and winter quarters of the senior year. Completion of the program and eligibility for graduation with honors are prerequisites for high or highest honors at graduation. For general information regarding graduation with honors and dean's honors lists, please refer to the General Catalog "honors and prizes" section.

Linguistics Minor

  • How can I declare a minor in linguistics or some other discipline?
  • Complete the courses required for a minor as specified in the UC Davis 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.
  • Can courses I took at community college be used to satisfy the minor?
  • Yes, but only under certain conditions. Consult ASSIST (Articulation System Stimulating Interinstitutional Student Transfer) to identify equivalency between community college and UC Davis linguistics courses.
  • How and when should I file for the minor?
  • Forms are available only from your college office. They require signature of both the major advisor and the minor advisor. Substitutions for listed courses may be made only through petition to the Dean's Office, signed by the minor advisor. Therefore, you should file only when you either have completed all the listed courses or are certain that you will. The last date for filing is the end of the second week of instruction in the quarter of graduation.
  • Do graduate courses count toward the minor?
  • Yes. But see the instructor before signing up, to determine whether you are prepared for the course. Also, be aware that graduate courses do not count toward the College of Letters and Science unit requirements for upper-division courses. These are: 1) 64 units of upper-division overall; and 2) 27 upper-division units, including 18 upper-division units in the major, completed on the Davis campus. These requirements are especially crucial for community college transfer students with 100 or more transferred units.
  • Can I use courses that satisfy requirements of my major to satisfy the elective requirements for the linguistics minor (or some other minor)?
  • At most, one course used to satisfy the requirements of a major may be used to also satisfy a minor requirement.
  • Do courses used to satisfy the GE requirements count toward the minor?
  • Yes.
  • Can I take courses for the minor on a pass/no-pass basis?
  • Yes. Indeed, for all minors in the College of Letters & Science, courses can be taken on a P/NP basis. Check with your advisor(s) on the advisability of this, if you are unsure.


  • Do community college courses satisfy the UC Davis linguistics major requirements?
  • Some do and some do not. Even though your community college (CC) course that has transferred has the same name as a UC Davis course, do not assume that it counts toward the linguistics major. The courses you took must be evaluated by the linguistics major advisor. Consult ASSIST (Articulation System Stimulating Interinstitutional Student Transfer) to identify equivalency between community college and UC Davis linguistics courses.
  • Can upper-division courses I took at another university be used to satisfy the UC Davis major requirements?
  • Yes, if the course is substantially similar to a UC Davis linguistics course. Make an appointment with the undergraduate Advising Center for approval.
  • Do courses taken abroad count toward the major?
  • They may or may not, depending on how closely they parallel the content of courses that the UC Davis Department of Linguistics offers. You should consult with the major advisor to determine in advance of your departure overseas which courses taken abroad would be suitable for your major at UC Davis.

Academic Planning

  • How do I make an academic plan?
  • Students are strongly advised to draft an academic plan for an advisor's review prior to coming in for advising. You can submit or save a draft of an academic plan under the Forms & Petitions tab in the Online Advising Student Information System (OASIS).
  • How will I be affected if major requirements change after I have enrolled?
  • You have the right to complete the requirements listed in the General Catalog at the time you entered the university. If, however, you choose to complete the revised requirements instead, you may do so.
  • Can I interrupt my studies with a leave of absence?
  • Yes. Please consult the College of Letters and Science Undergraduate Education and Advising Office about the Planned Educational Leave Program (PELP).
  • What if I have other questions?
  • Contact our Advising Center.