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Basic Computational Linguistics Certificate

The Basic Certificate in Computational Linguistics is directed at individuals in the following groups:

  • Undergraduate students from any major looking to provide a focus to their curriculum and enhance their resumes after graduation
  • Community members
  • Professionals working in the areas of language processing or related fields wishing to update their knowledge of the field
  • Professionals in related fields who want to enhance their marketability by pairing computational linguistics certification with another degree.

We are offering the Computational Linguistics Certificate as an assessment tool to prospective employers. Individuals who hold the Certificate are prepared to employ their computational linguistics skills in a variety of areas:

  • in the area of Speech Recognition
  • in the area of Machine Translation or Machine-Assisted Translation
  • in various areas of text-mining or text-filtering, such as customer service support analysis or SPAM detection
  • in the area of Litigation Support
  • in various areas of Information Retrieval, such as web search

The following are learning outcomes for the Basic Computational Linguistics Certificate:

  1. Identify and define state of the art approaches to tokenization, part of speech tagging, and vocabulary/feature selection. 
  2. Choose an appropriate algorithm and/or analytic tool for a variety of practical text analysis problems, such as classification or named-entity recognition.
  3. Describe the class of probability models associated with a Hidden Markov Model (HMM) and apply an HMM to a simple NLP Problem such as part of speech tagging.
  4. Perform analyses of a variety of types on actual text data by writing scripts in a programming language such as R or Python. 
    Describe and trace in detail a classic parsing algorithm such as Earley or CKY and relate it to a linguistically informed model of sentence structure.

The Basic Certificate requires 12 units: four 3-unit courses. 

Courses and areas:

  • Introductory Linguistics: Ling 420 or Ling 501
  • Scripting or Linguistic Databases: Ling 571
  • Intro to Computational Linguistics: Ling 581
  • Data Analysis Tools: Ling 572

Students must obtain a grade of C (2.0) or better in each of the certificate courses.

Transfer credit is sometimes possible for one equivalent course (or, rarely, two equivalent courses) taken elsewhere. All applications for transfer credit are evaluated individually by the Certificate Program. No academic credit for course work is granted for work experience. 

(1) Fill out the Certificate Enrollment Form and and send to [email protected]

(2) Register and pay for the certificate. You can register, and pay for, courses for the certificate in any of three ways:

  1. as an undergraduate candidate for a bachelor's degree, taking the courses as electives (Note: Linguistics and Liberal Studies majors may count all Certificate course work toward their major requirements, but other majors may count no more than six units toward both an undergraduate major or minor (other than a Linguistics minor) and the Certificate, unless otherwise stated). Information regarding fees can be found at the SDSU University's Tuition and Fees page. You must have been admitted to San Diego State University through the regular application process.

  2. as a graduate candidate for a master's degree, taking the courses as electives.  Additional information is available on the SDSU Admissions website

  3. through the SDSU Global Campus ("Open University"). Additional information is available at SDSU Global Campus website

For alternatives 1 and 2, you must have been admitted to San Diego State University through the regular application process. For alternative 4, no application or acceptance procedure is necessary; the SDSU Global Campus is the division of the university open to the general public. (Note: the course work and all Certificate requirements are the same regardless of the way you register and pay for them, and there is no difference between Certificates earned by individuals registering through Global Campus and those earned by individuals registering as admitted students.)

After completion of the coursework for the certificate, students should contact Darlene Bych ([email protected]) and provide an unofficial transcript showing that relevant coursework has been completed.

Contact Us

Mark Gawron, Program Advisor
Email: [email protected] | Office: SHW 238

Darlene Bych, Certificate Program Coordinator
Email: [email protected] | Phone: (619) 594-1915 | Office: SHW 215


Important Links

SDSU Catalog | Class Schedule