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The Departments of Linguistics and Computer Science have teamed up to jointly offer an interdisciplinary degree, the Computational Linguistics, Analytics, Search and Informatics Professional Master’s Degree (CLASIC), approved by the University of Colorado Board of Regents in April 2016.  The program was developed by Martha Palmer, Research Professor of Linguistics and Computer Science and an Institute of Cognitive Science Faculty Fellow, who is now Emeritis Director of CLASIC. Professor Susan Brown is the acting Director and Academic Advisor of CLASIC, working together with Professor Jim Martin from Computer Science.

CLASIC is a stand-alone, interdisciplinary Professional Master of Science degree that provides a solid foundation in both computer science and linguistics as well as in current methods used in natural language processing and artificial intelligence. Graduates of the program will be specialists in the application of computers to the processing of natural languages, from major world languages like English, Chinese, Arabic and Urdu to low-resource languages, such as those spoken by indigenous peoples around the world.

The field of computational linguistics, also known as text analytics, natural language processing, and informatics, is burgeoning and has become critical to the success of mainstream global businesses who compete for employees qualified to address these needs. This article discusses the rapidly developing field of artificial intelligence (AI) and the expanding job market for experts in NLP,  machine learning, and data analytics.  The interdisciplinary nature of CLASIC is a significant strength because success in this field requires a strong background in both Linguistics and Computer Science. The training will prepare students for careers in language modeling, automatic question-answering, machine translation, and interactive virtual agents.  

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CLASIC students complete a two-year degree including a 2-hour capstone project that runs in conjunction with an internship or CU-based research project. As part of the capstone, students are evaluated by their employer or industry project manager. Students prepare a technical report on the completed project that the program directors and project leader will jointly evaluate.

CLASIC Students participate fully in CLEAR Center activities and in the broader CU NLP program.