Applied linguistics is the study of language as a cognitive, social, and cultural entity, with the goal of solving real- world problems.
It has strong ties to many other disciplines that relate to language development and use.

You can use an Applied Linguistics degree in these fields, get a double major, or combine a major and a minor.

Social Sciences

The field of Applied Linguistics intersects with psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, and other social sciences as it examines the connections between language and culture, community, social movements, brain development, and more. 

Computer Science

Applied Linguistics provides fundamentals for natural language processing (NLP) and natural language generation (NLG), with applications in speech recognition, speech generation, spoken and written language analysis, language translation, artificial intelligence, and related fields. Courses provide practical skills for working with language in all its contexts. 

Social Work

Applied Linguistics provides the tools to understand links between language and culture, community, social movements, social justice, brain development, and more. 


PSU Applied Linguistics offers courses to develop your teaching skills and prepares you to work with diverse learners. You will increase your cultural and language awareness and enhance your credentials for working with language learners. 

World Languages and International Studies

A Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) extends the value of your cultural knowledge. With the TESL certificate, you will have the skills and credentials to teach English or other languages in the US and around the world. 

Law, non-profit work, technical writing, editing, and related fields

Applied Linguistics hones your understanding of language use and of the intricate relationship between language and culture which underlies all of these language-related fields. 

Student Experience

Simon Peters

Simon Peters is a 2014 graduate of the Honors Program with a B.A. in Chinese and Applied Linguistics, where his focus was endangered language documentation and maintenance. Simon spent his final years studying Chinese abroad in preparation for a field research project in Yunnan, China. In 2013, he was a participant in the State Department-sponsored Critical Language Scholarship Program in Shanghai. Afterward, he continued his Chinese language study at PSU's sister school in Kaohsuing, Taiwan for five months. Simon participated in a study abroad program in Yunnan, China, where he conducted field research on the vitality and maintenance of a local Tibetan language variety.