Ph.D. Degree in Applied Linguistics

Ph.D. Degree in Applied Linguistics

The Department of Applied Linguistics is an intellectually engaged community dedicated to the scholarly and professional development of its graduate students. The Ph.D. program in Applied Linguistics is shaped by the scholarship and teaching interests of the department’s outstanding faculty. Faculty members have national and international reputations in their areas of specialization and serve as journal editors, on editorial boards, and in responsible positions for national and international professional organizations. Students come from around the world to study with the faculty. Their varied backgrounds and interests contribute to a vibrant community of scholars.

Teaching and Research Apprenticeships

Faculty work with students to develop their teaching and research skills. Doctoral students have opportunities to team-teach graduate courses in their areas of specialization with faculty members. In these experiences, students work with their faculty mentors to design course materials, prepare classes and assess student learning.

In addition to teaching experiences, all graduate students have opportunities to work alongside faculty members on research projects. These opportunities provide them with practical experiences in designing research studies and collecting and analyzing data.

Research Support Grants

Financial support for conference travel and research is available on a competitive basis. Every Ph.D. student is eligible for a semester off from teaching when writing the dissertation. In addition, we actively encourage our students to apply for external grants and we provide assistance with these applications.

Community Life

Outside of the classroom, a variety of department-sponsored activities are provided to enhance the intellectual and professional lives of both faculty and students. We have regularly scheduled departmental roundtable sessions and guest lectures where faculty and graduate students are able to engage in discussions of research-in-progress by members of the applied linguistics community as well as by visiting speakers. Reading and discussion groups are also part of our activities. The graduate student body also organizes social events that bring faculty and students together in more informal settings to share ideas and develop affiliations.


The Department is building an outstanding record of placing its students in academic and professional positions. We advise and mentor our students as they consider career possibilities. We hold workshops for students to organize and refine their materials for the job market and to prepare them for interviews and campus visits.

We believe that you will find graduate study in the Department of Applied Linguistics at Penn State to be an exciting and rewarding experience.