Modern Languages

Degree Requirements

Modern Language Studies

Modern Language Major. Students with a major in French, German, Italian or Spanish complete at least 28 semester hours above the 201 level with grades of C- or better. Students placed at the 300 level complete 24 credits at the 300 and 400 levels with grades of C- or better. At least one course in the target language must be at the 400 level. The Independent Study (542) in all languages may also be counted toward the major and minor. French, Italian and German require one related history course. Spanish requires one course in Latin American history. All majors complete the capstone, which is composed of two elements: (1) a 400-level course in the language of study to be taken after completing a semester abroad, typically during senior year; and (2) a language proficiency evaluation (FRNC:599, GERM:599, ITAL:599, SPAN:599), which they must pass in their final semester. This second part of the capstone is evaluated on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

All of the modern language majors require one semester of study abroad in a country where the language of study is spoken. Most students majoring in a language also have a second major. Almost any other major on campus can be combined with language studies. After returning from a year or semester of study abroad, majors must take at least one regularly scheduled 300- or 400-level language course at Susquehanna before graduating.

Minor in French, German, Italian or Spanish. Students minoring in French, German, Italian or Spanish complete, with grades of C- or better, 16 semester hours above 201. Students placed at the 300 level complete 12 credits at the 300 level with grades of C- or better.

Teacher Certification. Students preparing for certification to teach French, German or Spanish in public schools must maintain a minimum 3.00 GPA in the major. Additional Department of Education requirements and procedures for certification are described in the education department section.

Learning goals:

  • Students will be able to communicate proficiently in the target language, using all major time frames (past, present and future).
  • Students will be able to read and comprehend the main ideas of literary and cultural texts in the target language.
  • Students will be able to write about a range of cultural and literary topics and issues in the target language, using all major time frames.
  • Students will acquire and use factual information in the target language to gain critical insight into perspectives relating to the cultures in which their language of study is widely spoken.

Departmental Honors. The departmental honors option recognizes outstanding work in a modern language. To graduate with honors, majoring students must do the following:

  • Receive an invitation to enter the program in the senior year,
  • Maintain a GPA of 3.50 in the department and 3.30 overall,
  • Declare an honors adviser by the end of the first week of the fall/spring semester of the senior year,
  • Develop and submit honors-quality senior research by April 15 (usually as part of a seminar, research or independent study course), and
  • Present their papers for discussion with faculty or at Senior Scholars Day.

Work not meeting the standards for departmental honors may be applied to the regular major.

Placement. Scores received on pre-enrollment language-proficiency examinations and nationally recognized achievement tests help determine placement level or exemption without credit from the university’s Central Curriculum language requirement. Students who score 4 or 5 on the National Advanced Placement examination receive the equivalent of four semester hours of course credit and are placed in a 300-level course in recognition of their accomplishment.

Language placement scores are valid for two years:

German 102 and Spanish 104

Students who do not complete the course in which they were placed within two years must retake the online language placement exam to determine their appropriate placement after the lapsed time. Contact Charity Ney at

Chinese, French and Italian 102

Students who do not complete the course in which they were placed within two years must contact the language coordinator to determine their appropriate placement after the lapsed time.

Language coordinators:

  • Chinese: Amanda Meixell at
  • French: Lynn Palermo at
  • Italian: Daryl Rodgers at

The Department of Modern Languages encourages students who exempt the foreign language Central Curriculum requirement to continue their language study by enrolling in the course into which they have been placed at the 201 level or above. Upon successful completion of that course with a grade of B- or above, such students will earn a total of eight semester hours of credit: four semester hours for the upper-level course and four semester hours of (ungraded) advanced study credit in recognition of their advanced achievement. This option is not available to students who are transferring equivalent language coursework from another college. Advanced study credit may not be used to satisfy the requirement for a major or minor program.

Course Catalog

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