2014–15 Undergraduate Catalog
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Marston Hall

Languages, Cultures, and Literatures Department Faculty

There are doubtless many different languages in the world, and none is without meaning, but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me. So with yourselves; since you are eager for manifestations of the spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.  — 1 Corinthians 14:10–12

Mission Statement of the Department of Languages, Cultures, and Linguistics:

To provide opportunities for students to acquire foreign language skills and cultural competency, along with knowledge of linguistics and cultural and literary studies, thus helping them to prepare for a life of service and respectful engagement with the world.

The Department of Languages, Cultures, and Linguistics seeks to help students:

  • Understand and appreciate the rich diversity of world languages and cultures, both ancient and modern.
  • Achieve communicative proficiency, both productive and receptive, in languages other than English.
  • Cultivate an appreciation for world literature(s) in order to deepen the study of languages and cultures.
  • Understand the structure of language through the study of linguistics.

High School Preparation
Three years or more of language study in high school are strongly recommended for all students entering one of the degree programs in the Languages, Cultures, and Linguistics Department.

It is also recommended that students take advantage of intercultural opportunities including travel for study.

Placement Test
All students entering SPU having studied a foreign language are required to take the Online Placement Exam. This exam is for placement purposes only and cannot be used to satisfy the proficiency requirement.

There are five departmental degree programs:

  • Classics
  • French and Francophone Studies
  • Linguistics and Cultural Studies
  • Russian
  • Spanish Studies

All programs emphasize the relationship between culture and language and all but Classics require participation in an overseas travel/study program, typically in an area where the language of specialization is spoken.

Before graduation, all students majoring in programs involving spoken languages, including those majoring in Linguistics and Cultural Studies, must take a standardized exam, such as the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Exam, in the language(s) studied. Students in these majors also must write a senior paper and present it in conjunction with the Capstone course.


Admission to the Majors or Minors

Applicants for a major or minor within the Department of Languages, Cultures, and Linguistics must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher in all college work applicable to the BA degree and a 2.5 GPA in coursework at SPU in the department of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics, after completing at least 10 credits in the department.

Application may be made through the Major or Minor Application form (PDF). A student must complete the major or minor requirements in effect when the student is admitted to the major or minor.

Classics (Student-designed)
Classics major

French and Francophone Studies
French and Francophone Studies major

Linguistics and Cultural Studies

Linguistics and Cultural Studies major

Russian Studies

Russian Studies major

Spanish Studies

Spanish Studies major


The minimum requirement for minors within the Department of Languages, Cultures, and Linguistics is 33 credits (30 in the case of Linguistics and Cultural Studies), of which a minimum of 15 must be upper-division. Students will take a minimum of two courses from the base requirements of the corresponding major.

For spoken languages, a minimum of 7 upper-division credits must be in courses taught in that language. Students should work closely with their faculty advisors to choose appropriate courses. A student must complete the minor requirements in effect at the time the student is admitted to the minor.

Travel/Study Programs

Study Abroad Website


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