The Applied Linguistics major or minor pairs well with foreign languages, social sciences, computer science, speech and hearing sciences, anthropology, history and English, and will set you apart and give you an advantage in the job market.

Portland State’s certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) is for students interested in working abroad after graduation. 

Engage with other disciplines

Since language is central to human interaction, applied linguistics provides insight into many related fields. At PSU, that means that students often combine a major in Applied Linguistics with a minor in another department or vice versa. Interdisciplinary study of Applied Linguistics is often combined with: 

  • Anthropology
  • Cognitive Studies
  • Communication
  • Computer Science
  • Education
  • English
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Speech and Hearing

Understand communication

The Applied Linguistics program at Portland State trains students in the scientific study of language and its vital importance in virtually every domain of global society. Applied Linguistics students learn about the structure and use of language in terms of sound and structure, connection between language and communication, and cultural and societal impacts of communication in the modern world.

Prepare for a career

A Bachelor's degree in Applied Linguistics provides students with many opportunities for interesting and fulfilling careers. Potential career options include: 

  • Teacher of English as a Second/Foreign Language
  • Interpreter/Translator
  • Immigrant Services Provider
  • Technical Writer
  • Computational Linguist
  • Electronic Lexicographer
  • Linguistics Researcher
  • Dialectic Coach

When I first graduated high school, I had no idea what I wanted to go to college for and was really struggling to find something I was passionate about. Then I discovered I wanted to learn Korean, and I realized how cool I thought language was. So I decided to try switching to Applied Linguistics. From the first class, I was so in love with it. [Before applied linguistics,] I hadn't experienced going to a college class and actually wanting to learn the material. 

-- Sara Scott, BA major in Applied Linguistics