Natural Language Processing M.S.

Why you should study Natural Language Processing at UC Santa Cruz

Our selective Natural Language Processing program is unique. Taught intensively over just 12 months and building on your background in computer science, our program provides a cost-effective way to equip you with the skills you need for a successful career in this fast-growing field. Drawing on existing expertise at UCSC, the program is delivered by a team of world-class academics from the fields of natural language processing, deep learning, linguistics, classical machine learning, and data science. Close collaboration with an advisory board of senior industry scientists from Silicon Valley R&D ensures that our program has both academic rigor and real-world context. Our expert panel of industry advisors also provide regular guest lectures, mentor teams of students for capstone projects, and attend networking and career events. Small class size enables a high level of customization for each student so that we can meet your individual development needs and career aspirations. You also benefit from being based in state-of-the-art facilities in the heart of Silicon Valley at our campus in Santa Clara.


Applying to the NLP Program at UCSC


The application period for Fall 2022 admission consideration for the NLP MS program at UCSC has closed. Applications for Fall 2023 admission consideration will open in October 2022.

Please visit our Admissions page for information about the application requirements and undergraduate preparation for the NLP MS program.*


*GRE scores are no longer required for admission consideration for the NLP MS program. You are welcome to submit your official scores, but please note the inclusion of your official GRE scores will not be a deciding factor for admission.

Want to Learn More about NLP at UCSC? Connect with our NLP Community!

We're delighted that you are interested in the NLP MS program at UCSC, and we recognize that studying for a graduate degree is a big commitment. To support you in making the career choice that is right for you, we encourage you to connect with NLP faculty, students, and staff to learn about their experiences as part of the NLP community.

Please also feel welcome to contact the NLP Program Team directly by emailing

Attend Office Hours with Dr. Adwait Ratnaparkhi, the Executive Director of the NLP MS Program

Adwait Ratnaparkhi

   Current Office Hours:

   10-11am Pacific Time, Wednesday, April 6th.

   9-10am Pacific Time, Wednesday, April 13th.

   To attend Dr. Ratnaparkhi's Office Hours, please use this Zoom meeting link.

Meet with the NLP Graduate Student Advisor

Sammy the Banana Slug

   Schedule an Online Advising Appointment

   Visit to meet with the NLP Graduate Advisor.

   You can also email any questions to

Connect with a Current Student

NLP Student Ambassadors

   Chat with a Current Student Online

   Visit our Reddit page to post a question for an NLP student.


   Attend Office Hours via Zoom with NLP Student Ambassadors

   Meet with Ken: Tuesdays, 8pm to 8:40pm Pacific Time

   Meet with Anusha: Wednesdays, 8am to 8:40am Pacific Time

   Meet with Archit: Wednesdays, 10am to 10:40am Pacific Time

   Meet with Sriram: Wednesdays, 8pm to 8:40pm Pacific Time

   Meet with Anuroop: Thursdays, 9am to 9:40am Pacific Time

   Meet with Utkarsh: Thursdays, 8pm to 8:40pm Pacific Time

   Meet with Kartik: Fridays, 9am to 9:40am Pacific Time





Job Prospects

Explore NLP MS Capstone Projects

Each year, the NLP MS Program hosts a Capstone Workshop to showcase the projects NLP students complete as part of a team advised by faculty and industry mentors. To learn more about our students' projects, please click the button below.


Explore NLP Capstone Projects

Faculty Spotlight

Jalal Mahmud   Dr. Jalal Mahmud

     "Data processing skills are essential for NLP engineers and I am excited to teach a course on data wrangling as part of the NLP MS program.”

      Dr. Jalal Mahmud is a lecturer for the Natural Language Processing MS Program and Data Science Thought Leader at IBM. Dr. Mahmud currently teaches NLP 220 at UCSC.


Click here to learn more

Dilek Hakkani-Tür

   Dr. Dilek Hakkani-Tür

     "Looking forward to teaching the state-of-the-art machine learning methods on natural language processing!”

     Dr. Hakkani-Tür is a Senior Principal Scientist at Amazon Alexa AI and a Distinguished Visiting Professor at UCSC.


Click here to learn more

Student Spotlight

Angela Ramirez   Angela Ramirez

     "Language really is what connects us as humans. It's a beautiful thing. It's also a really rich field to study. There are so many gaps. People speak in such different ways and there's real complexity and beauty in it. So that's how I got into NLP.”

   Angela Ramirez is an NLP MS program alum.

Click here to learn more

Adam Fidler

   Adam Fidler

     "So far I like the NLP MS program. I think there will be plenty of networking opportunities, which is great because so many of our faculty members are in the industry right now."

Adam Fidler is an NLP MS program alum.


Click here to learn more

Meet our Industry Advisors

Yunyao Li   Yunyao Li

     "NLP skills are highly desired in industry, and I’m pleased to be on the Industry Advisory Board for this program.”

Yunyao Li is a Senior Research Manager with IBM Almaden Research Center.


Click here to learn more.

Ananth Sankar   Ananth Sankar

     In the NLP MS program at UCSC, Dr. Sankar has guest lectured, and as an Industry Advisor brings the perspective of someone who frequently hires engineers that do applied research and development in the areas of NLP and machine learning.

Ananth Sankar is a Principal Staff Engineer at LinkedIn.


Click here to learn more.

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  • Leaders in areas of big data, cyber physical systems, genomics, computational media, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and human-computer interaction
  • Interdisciplinary research generates cutting-edge technologies and other innovations
  • Focus on engineering for social good
  • World-class faculty and thriving research centers

More info regarding the Baskin School of Engineering>>

Silicon Valley Campus
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  • Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, the UCSC Natural Language Processing Master's program offers unprecedented access to NLP industry companies and events.
  • Home to the Games + Playable Media and Human-Computer Interaction professional Master's degree programs.
  • State-of-the-Art facility with multi-disciplinary teaching and research
  • Vibrant academic hub at the center of Silicon Valley

More info regarding the Silicon Valley Campus>>

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  • A campus with world-class facilities and one of the most visually spectacular settings in higher education.
  • In 2015, Business Insider listed UCSC as one of the "20 universities most likely to land you a job in Silicon Valley."
  • Named to the 2017 US News & World report top 50 Best Global Universities.
  • In 2017, UC Santa Cruz was rated 3rd in the world for research influence by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, tied with Stanford University.

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