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Applied Linguistics Major - Language Requirements


  There are two separate language requirements for the BA in Applied Linguistics:

  1. Portland State University Requirement
  2. Department of Applied Linguistics Requirement

Portland State University Requirement

Portland State University requires two years of coursework in a foreign language for the BA degree.
There are two ways to satisfy the university language requirement:

  1. Complete a 203-level class in a language taught in the World Languages and Literatures Department
  2. Pass both the oral and the written proficiency tests administered by the WLL department, in the chosen language.

Department of Applied Linguistics Requirement

The Department of Applied Linguistics requires two academic quarters of coursework in a non-Indo European language.  Language coursework that satisfies the Department of Applied Linguistics BA requirements must meet these specifications:

  • Living languages (Not Latin, Ancient Greek, Old English, etc. or computer languages)
  • American Sign Language (ASL) is acceptable as (as a non-IE language)

If the student plans to use credits earned from the study of a non-IE language toward fulfillment of the PSU BA language requirements, then two quarters of study in an additional language (which could be an IE language, with adviser approval) will be required.

Students with Existing Multilingual Competence

If the student is a native speaker of a non-IE language (and presumably is proficient at English), then two quarters of study of some other language must be completed. Either IE or non-IE languages are acceptable in this case.

If the student has already studied some other language before entering the program (for example, a Japanese student who has studied Chinese), then he/she must still complete two quarters of study of some language during the PSU program.  The rationale here is that BA students benefit significantly from the intellectual experience of studying some unfamiliar language while simultaneously studying theories about language in the BA program

Which Non-Indo-European Languages are Available to Study?

Example non-Indo-European languages frequently taught at PSU:

  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • Finnish
  • Hebrew
  • Hungarian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Turkish

Offerings vary with instructor availability. Check the most recent online listings for the Department of World Languages and Literature to determine which classes are currently available.

Adviser Assistance for Complex Language Credit Situations

Languages that do not appear on the above list may not be recognized by the PSU Office of Degree Requirements as meeting the Department of Applied Linguistics requirement for study of a non-IE language.

Therefore if the student intends to use some other language (for example, Tibetan or American Sign Language) to satisfy the non-IE requirement, the Applied Linguistics faculty adviser will need to write a memo to Office of Degree Requirements approving their non-IE language coursework or proficiency exam.

Native speakers of non-listed non-IE languages, who wish to use some IE language to satisfy the two-quarter requirement, must also request their faculty adviser to write a memo to the Office of Degree Requirements approving their language coursework toward the BA degree in Applied Linguistics.

Language Coursework Requirements for Non-native English Speakers

If an international student has completed secondary school in a non-English language of instruction, and has fulfilled the English requirements for admission to the regular undergraduate program at PSU, then the PSU Office of Degree Requirements will automatically credit the student with satisfying both the English language proficiency requirement, and the BA degree foreign language requirement.