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M.A / PhD - Doctor of Philosophy in Linguistics



What will I learn?

The graduate program of the UCSB Department of Linguistics focuses on the discovery of general, theoretically significant explanations for the range of linguistic structures that appear in the world's languages. Special attention is given to how language structures are shaped over time by cognition and use, and how these structures are in turn utilized for interactional, social, and cultural purposes, with a focus on the empirical analysis of language in its natural setting. Students are encouraged to gain breadth and depth in their understanding of language by becoming acquainted with a variety of structures in a wide range of languages. Such a perspective is essential to an appreciation of the deeper characteristics all languages share and the myriad ways they can differ. The Ph.D. program covers all the core areas of linguistics, with especially rich training and coursework in functional and typological linguistic theory, discourse, corpus linguistics, language and cognition, language documentation and revitalization, sign language linguistics, and sociocultural linguistics. The department has particular strength in languages of the Americas, Austronesia and New Guinea, the Caucasus, and the Himalayas, as well as varieties of English.

Which department am I in?

College of Letters and Science

Study options

Full Time (M.A. requires a minimum of 36.0 units of graduate-level coursework; Ph.D. requires a minimum of 44.0 units of graduate-level coursework beyond those required for the M.A)

Tuition fees
US$15,102.00 per year
Start date

Expected September 2023


College of Letters and Science

2217 Cheadle Hall, MC 2080,

University of California, Santa Barbara,



93106, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

To be considered for admission to UCSB, applicants must have received a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent (with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better) from an accredited university prior to the quarter for which admission is sought.

For international students

Students entering the program have typically completed a linguistics B.A. or the equivalent of a linguistics minor with a major in a related area, such as anthropology, psychology, or language, with a minimum grade-point average of 3.5

TOEFL scores 550 Paper-Based Test (PBT), 80 Internet-Based Test (IBT) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) Overall Band score of 7 or higher (only required if English is not the applicant's native language).

Deadline - Fall Only: November 15

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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