collage of people

Basic Transcultural Communication Certificate

The Department of Linguistics and Asian/Middle Eastern Languages offers a basic certificate in transcultural communication. The certificate prepares students for an increasingly globalized world for success in workplaces where multiple language backgrounds and cultural systems intersect. Language and cultural expertise, and the interdisciplinary understanding of cross-cultural communication acquired will enable students who have completed this certificate to identify and build on the strengths offered by linguistic and cultural pluralism in creating solutions for problems in the 21st century.

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  1. Compare the social functions of language in various cultural contexts in order to raise students' global cultural awareness.
  2. Identify problems in social justice and power especially in multilingual and multicultural societies.
  3. Articulate in spoken and written academic discourse the results and societal implications of studies exploring facets of the intersection of language, culture, and society in multilingual and multicultural contexts.
  4. Refute myths about the language of stigmatized groups and myths about people who use stigmatized forms of language.

The Basic Certificate requires a minimum of 18 units.

  • Linguistics 101 and Anthropology 102 (6 units)
  • Introduction to language and cultural variation: Anthropology 410 or Language, Culture, and Society 300 (3 units)
  • Foreign language: 3rd semester language OR Culture: One course selected from Africana Studies 341, 465 [or French 465]; Anthropology 442; Arabic 330; Asian Studies 430 [or Korean 430], 458 [or Religious Studies 458]; Chicana and Chicano Studies 320, 376; European Studies 301, 424, 430, 435; French 422, 424; German 320, 430; Humanities 310, 330, 380 [or Japanese 380]; Italian 421, 426; Japanese 332; Latin American Studies 306 [or Portuguese 306], 307 [or Portuguese 307], 320; Portuguese 443; Russian 310, 435; Spanish 340, 341, 342. (3 units)
  • Elective course on the further study of language or cultural variation: Anthropology 303; Asian 353 [or Chinese 353]; Dual Language and English Education 416; Linguistics 526, 551, 553; Psychology 344; Spanish 462. (3 units)
  • Capstone experience: Fulfilled by studying abroad. If students are not able to study abroad, the capstone can be fulfilled by a fourth semester language course. (3 units)

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: Courses in the certificate may count toward the major in linguistics or the major in statistics but may not count toward the minor in linguistics or the minor in text analytics).  Information regarding fees can be found at

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

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

For alternatives 1-2, you must have been admitted to San Diego State University through the regular application process. For alternative 3, 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

Ian Ruston, Program Advisor
Email: [email protected] | Office: SHW 226

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


Important Links

SDSU Catalog | Class Schedule