The Linguistics department often receives inquiries from students who are interested in an area of further study that might require linguistics or speech science as a background, but who have not yet met the pre-requisites for their goal program, such as a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology, Audiology, Linguistics, TESOL, or another field.

If you already have a bachelor’s degree, you have three options at UBC, each explained below:

  • Enrolling in the Diploma in Linguistics program
  • Enrolling as an Unclassified student
  • Applying to complete a second Bachelor’s degree

To see options for students who don’t already have a bachelor’s degree, click here.

Note the following caveats about continuing education credits and their application to programs outside of UBC Linguistics.

Enrolling in the Diploma in Linguistics Program

About the Program

The Diploma in Linguistics is a 30-credit (10 courses) program that can be completed in one year of full-time study (once the prerequisites have been met), and may also be taken part-time and extended over a maximum of five years. It is intended to be a flexible program that will in part allow students to fulfill pre-requisites for future degree programs, while also acquiring a solid foundation in Linguistics. Benefits of enrolling in the program include (1) qualifying for student loans, and (2) a slightly earlier registration date than unclassified students. The tuition is the same as for an unclassified student.

How to Enroll

1) Meet the pre-requisites

The three pre-requisite courses for the Diploma (which are NOT included in the 30-credit requirement for the program itself) are LING 200, LING 201 and LING 222. Students who have not taken these three UBC courses, or any equivalent courses at another institution, can take these by enrolling as an ‘unclassified student’. [If you believe you have taken equivalent courses, contact the undergraduate advisors to check.]

To enroll in the Diploma program, you must enroll in UBC as an unclassified student first. Note that eligibility requirements for Unclassified Studies is different from eligibility requirements for the Diploma program.

2) Contact to request enrollment

Once we confirm that you have the pre-requisites, we will get you transferred to the Diploma program. Students cannot do this themselves through the student portal.

NOTE: Students who intend to pursue the Diploma program are STRONGLY encouraged to enroll as soon as they have met the pre-requisites. We cannot guarantee that any 300 and 400-level courses taken while enrolled as an ‘unclassified’ student will be eligible retroactively to fulfill the requirements for the Diploma, as UBC has limits on such use of unclassified credits. Note also that it is possible to take additional courses while enrolled in the Diploma program; e.g., one could take PSYC 101 and 102 while enrolled in the Diploma program, but these courses will not count toward the Diploma itself.

The Diploma Program Requirements

The 30 credits of required coursework for the Diploma are:

  • 6 credits from LING 300, 311, 313, and 327
  • An additional 24 credits of courses numbered 300 or higher. These must all be LING courses, except for a maximum of 6 credits which can be taken from senior-level courses in related areas.

It is up to each student to make sure they fulfill both the degree requirements and their future pre-requisite requirements, through careful planning.

Enrolling as an “unclassified” student

This option allows a student to enroll in any individual UBC courses they want, e.g. as pre-requisites for a further degree program. It is the most flexible option! Note that unclassified students register last for courses though usually most students are able to enroll in the LING courses they want, at least before the Add/Drop deadline.

Learn more about unclassified status here. Note that there are different procedures depending on whether you have previously earned a degree at UBC or not.

Applying to UBC to earn a second bachelor’s degree

Students who have a first bachelor’s degree can apply for Bachelor of Arts as a second degree. They enter the second degree with third-year standing and can then complete all the usual requirements for that degree program. It is up to each student to make sure they fulfill both the degree requirements and their future pre-requisite requirements, through careful planning.

If you do NOT have a bachelor’s degree already, you have two options at UBC:

If you have been involved in full-time education (high school or higher) within the past four years, you can simply apply to UBC. If you would be transferring from another institution of higher education, you can apply here. If you have been out of full-time education for at least four years, you can apply to UBC as a mature student. Once you are admitted through either process, you can think about enrolling in one of our undergraduate programs.


The information on this page is intended only as guidance for students looking to fulfill pre-requisite courses in linguistics and speech sciences. We make no guarantees about being admitted to further programs simply by virtue of completing the pre-requisites through our department. Admittance to most further programs is quite competitive and is entirely outside of our control.

Note that students who wish to be language teachers in the BC school system must complete a program of Initial Teacher Education for elementary or secondary teaching, including teaching methodology courses appropriate to the languages to be taught.

Similarly, note that students who wish to practice as speech-language pathologists or audiologists in Canada or the U.S. must complete an appropriate master’s program. Also, please note that UBC’s School of Audiology and Speech Sciences currently accepts Master’s applications only from individuals who have Canadian citizenship or permanent residency status. (This is not true of all programs in Canada, but it is important for those interested in attending UBC!)


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