This book is concerned with the structure of linear semigroups, that is, subsemigroups of the multiplicative semigroup Mn(K) of n x n matrices over a field K (or, more generally, skew linear semigroups - if K is allowed to be a division ring) and its applications to certain problems on associative algebras, semigroups and linear representations. It is motivated by several recent developments in the area of linear semigroups and their applications. It summarizes the state of knowledge in this area, presenting the results for the first time in a unified form. The book's point of departure is a structure theorem, which allows the use of powerful techniques of linear groups. Certain aspects of a combinatorial nature, connections with the theory of linear representations and applications to various problems on associative algebras are also discussed.