Languages and Literatures

The Department of Languages and Literatures offers American Sign Language, French, German, and Spanish as major fields of study. Minors may be earned in American Sign Language, Chinese, French, German, ancient Greek, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Russian, and Spanish, or an Area Studies program.

In all languages offered by the department, elementary courses are available for students with no previous experience. Students with previous foreign language experience are strongly encouraged to take placement tests to find the course best suited for their level of proficiency. A language major is often supported by study of another language or work in other fields.

The study of languages is a vital and humanizing part of a general education and an excellent addition to just about any field of study. In a rapidly changing and shrinking world, it offers new cultural insights, breaks down insularity, fosters discipline of thought and expression, and leads to a better understanding of one's native language and culture. Language majors may expect to find openings in a wide variety of careers in law, medicine, government, industry and commerce. Job opportunities are greatly enhanced for those who combine language study with a dual degree or minor in other disciplines. There is a growing demand for language teachers in secondary education. Bachelor of Arts candidates may qualify for teaching licensure without increasing the number of hours required for graduation.

In addition to the standard courses in language, literature and civilization for individual languages, the department offers courses in literature in English translation for general education, and courses in German and Russian for reading knowledge.