Undergraduate Research

The Department of Linguistics strongly supports undergraduate research. Individual and collaborative research projects allow students to make substantive contributions to linguistic knowledge at the undergraduate level, to hone their linguistic knowledge, and to develop new skills. Students gain numerous benefits from such projects, which provide excellent preparation for careers as well as graduate study:

  • the ability to plan and carry out a successful large-scale project
  • a deeper understanding of the research process and of linguistic concepts and research tools
  • familiarity with linguistics-related technologies
  • greater expertise in formal and academic writing
  • the opportunity to contribute new knowledge to the field of linguistics

Students who carry out original research projects collect and analyze linguistic data through a variety of empirical methodologies, including the audio- or videorecording and analysis of spoken or signed interactions of various kinds, elicitation of grammatical knowledge from native speakers, quantitative analysis of linguistic corpora, experimental techniques, and other methods. Students are strongly encouraged to share their research with the larger academic community; they may choose to present their completed project at linguistics conferences and at UCSB’s annual Undergraduate Research Colloquium or submit it for publication under the guidance of a faculty supervisor. In addition, many students use an original research project as a writing sample for graduate school or job applications.

If you are an undergraduate student in the Department of Linguistics interested in getting involved in research, please contact the faculty member whose research profile is closest to your interests or the Faculty Undergraduate Advisor. Also, opportunities to contribute to faculty and graduate student projects are also posted on the linguistics undergraduate listserv.

Useful links

College of Letters and Science: Undergraduate Research
Faculty Research Assistance Program