Students who complete a major or minor in the Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures department gain an appreciation of modern cultures as well as a new perspective on their own heritage.
Study of the literary, cultural, social, and political institutions of the country where the language is spoken help develop the student’s awareness of international interdependence.
At the same time, the departmental offerings encourage an increased understanding of the logic of language and a proficiency in speaking, writing, reading, and understanding a second language.
The department offers majors and minors in French and Spanish, as well as a minor in Chinese Studies. Opportunities exist, too, for students interested in learning German and for those interested in teaching English as a foreign language.
Additionally, for students whose first language is not English, an English composition sequence is available.
Students majoring in French or Spanish become conversant with the language, literature, and culture of France and the Francophone countries of Africa and the Caribbean, or of Spain and Latin America.
The major program in French or Spanish helps prepare the student for work in international business and industry and for graduate study in areas such as language and literature, art, music, law, international relations, and teaching, among others.
Chinese Studies, an interdisciplinary minor, presents students the opportunity to gain spoken proficiency in Mandarin, as well as Chinese reading and writing skills. Beyond providing language training, the College offers a number of courses that give insight into Chinese culture, society, and politics.
Students are strongly encouraged to supplement their coursework in the department by spending one or two semesters abroad, in a country where the language they study is spoken.