This study explores the paradigm shift in social sciences and its effects on applied linguistics. As a result of the shift towards a post-positivist paradigm in social sciences, there has been an increasing interest and use of qualitative research in applied linguistics. The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between applied linguistics and conventional methodological approaches, as well as the usage of qualitative research designs in applied linguistics. To achieve this aim, a categorical content analysis was carried out by examining the doctoral dissertations conducted in the field of applied linguistics since 2000 in terms of their research paradigms and designs. Furthermore, the study analyzed how the current aspect of applied linguistics in Turkey is being influenced by the paradigmatic shift. The results demonstrated that in doctoral dissertations experimental and descriptive research designs were preferred the most in each year, and qualitative research designs were underestimated by the researchers. As a result, it is unlikely to argue that there is a shift towards a post-positivist paradigm in the field of applied linguistics in Turkey in regard to doctoral dissertations conducted in the field. In light of the findings, some recommendations were given to applied linguists.