The Department of Modern Languages offers major and minor programs in French, German, Italian and Spanish. Instruction stresses the development of proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing the target language. Courses in culture, literature and language for special purposes are also an integral part of the modern language major.
Modern language students are encouraged to declare complementary minors or double majors in other academic areas. Flexibility in upper-level course selection allows the required semester of study abroad, together with course requirements in other major and minor departments. Advisors work closely with language majors and minors throughout their studies to help them define their career aspirations and to advise them in selecting graduate schools and other avenues for continued professional development.
Besides meeting the needs of majors and minors, the department offers many lower-level or introductory courses in French, German, Italian and Spanish as well as Chinese to support the university's Central Curriculum. These courses include frequent oral examinations to encourage students to develop listening and speaking skills.
The department offers a wide array of extracurricular activities including weekly language tables, and active language clubs that sponsor film series, trips to museums, theatres and other off-campus events. Modern Language students become a part of important outreach projects to regional Pennsylvania German and Spanish-speaking communities.