Modern Languages, Literatures & Cultures

Modern Languages, Literatures & Cultures

Program Overview

Language connotes cultural dimensions that extend well beyond their immediate meaning. Our primary mission is to instill an awareness of language as an essential element of a human being's thought processes, perceptions, and self-expressions. As recent world events have demonstrated, deep cultural knowledge and linguistic competence are equally necessary if one wishes to understand people and their communities. We seek to provide students with the skills and intellectual breadth needed to communicate effectively and to play an active role in today’s world. Courses offered in the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures are aligned with the National Standards for Foreign Language Learning: 

  • Communication (Communicate in Languages Other Than English); 
  • Cultures (Gain Knowledge and Understanding of Other Cultures); 
  • Connections (Reinforce and Further Knowledge of Other Disciplines); 
  • Comparisons (Develop Insight into the Nature of Language and Culture); and 
  • Communities (Participate in Multilingual Communities at Home and Around the World).

The Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures offers majors and minors in French, German, and Spanish, as well as instruction in Arabic, Chinese, Italian, Polish, and American Sign Language. Language study combines uniquely with virtually any major; but of particular interest and practicality are dual majors with international business, international relations, communications, economics, education, marketing-management, philosophy, history, English, political science, biology, and art history. Skills in a foreign language are often the deciding factor in an employer’s choice between our graduates and equally qualified but monolingual peers. Language majors pursue rewarding careers in social work, international business (sales, management, banking, import-export), government service (customs and immigration, foreign service, intelligence agencies), teaching, interpreting, and scientific research, to mention but a few of the many exciting possibilities.