Turkic Studies

Currently not accepting graduate students for this specialization.

Turkic studies encompasses the language and literature of the nation state of Turkey. The various Turkic languages including Turkish, Uzbek, Tatar and the rest of the 35 languages are spoken by 170 million people as a primary language and over 200 million people as a second language. Turkic languages are distributed primarily over Eastern Europe and Central and North Asia, including Iran to the Arctic Ocean. All Turkic languages show similarities in their phonology, morphology, and syntax. Nevertheless, languages that have come into contact with Turkic have changed the structure of the Turkic language. Modern Turkic dialects exhibit borrowing from Persian and Indo-Iranian elements. Likewise, Turkic literature have been heavily influenced by Persian and Arabic literature, but with their own folklore that highlight the culture and ideas of each respective Turkic ethnicity.

The graduate program in Turkic Studies at UCLA offers both a language emphasis and a literature emphasis. The language emphasis requires students to know either Turkic or Uzbek as a primary language, a second Turkic language, and know the history and literature of their primary language. The literature emphasis requires proficiency in two Turkic languages and knowledge of the written literature of both languages. The department offers a variety of resources that students can use to enhance their proficiency in Turkic as well as discovery the political and cultural history of central Asia and of Anatolia. Students will have the language skills to excel in academia, business, journalism, or government work.