Language is one of the most complex and fascinating biological, cognitive, cultural, and social features of humans. Linguistics is the study of language in all its variety and richness across different groups, populations, and ages.


The situation with the coronavirus (COVID-19) is evolving rapidly across the United States. Please see for the most up-to-date campus information.

All Linguistics Department faculty, lecturers, graduate students, language program instructors and staff are now working remotely and all Spring 2020 linguistics and language courses will be offered online. The physical facilities are closed. View student resources for Spring 2020 term here.

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Who We Are

Founded in 1963, the UC San Diego Linguistics Department conducts research and offers in-depth instruction in the main areas of linguistics (phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics), contributing to both theoretical and empirical/experimental approaches to language, including computational linguistics, fieldwork, language acquisition, neurolinguistics, psycholinguistics, and sign language.

We are an active and integral part of the large language community at UC San Diego, together with colleagues in cognitive science, psychology, neuroscience, computer science, anthropology, communication and philosophy.

We offer five undergraduate majors, three minors, and a Ph.D. program. Students also have the opportunity to obtain an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Cognitive Science and Linguistics and a graduate Specialization in Anthropogeny. There is active involvement and collaboration among our undergraduate students, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, visitors and faculty in our many research labs and reading groups, as well as through our Linguistics Undergraduate Association (LingUA), and our department colloquia.

The Linguistics Department is also the home of the Linguistics Language Program (LLP), which offers beginning language instruction in American Sign Language (ASL), ArabicFrench, GermanItalianPortuguese, and Spanish. It also houses the Heritage Language Program (HLP), which offers courses in FilipinoHindiKoreanPersian, and Vietnamese for heritage language speakers.