Applied Linguistics is the study of language as a social, cognitive, and cultural entity, with the goal of solving real-world problems. We investigate the development and use of language in real-world situations and institutions. We use our understanding to address problems where communication has a central role, such as in schools and businesses, in law, in teaching speakers of a second language, in meeting the needs of refugee and immigrant communities, in international development, and much more.

Our department includes a BA major and minor in Applied Linguistics, an undergraduate Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL), and an MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Language (TESOL). We offer

  • Small classes and mentoring by faculty
  • Experience on projects using language knowledge to address real-world problems
  • An active Student Organization of Applied Linguistics (SOAL) that organizes speakers, workshops, game nights and more
  • Research experience for undergraduates and graduate students
  • Advising for transfer students to make the most of your credits
  • A supportive community of people with diverse cultural and language experiences.

We collaborate with partners in the Portland community and around the world so you can gain experience in a variety of contexts. Visit the Research & Projects page to see how you can get involved.

Language plays a central role in many issues of racial justice. Our department is committed to working toward a more equitable and inclusive university and society, and to teaching others about the role of language in a just society. Read our statement on our Facebook page. Read about the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiative in our department.

"There are a lot of great informal ways to get to know your peers and professors. In fact the university as a whole has a lot of great ways to get involved. There's a lot beyond the homework and coursework."

--Dustin Lanker, BA major in Applied Linguistics