Global interdependence is an indisputable factor in our time. The degree of understanding, tolerance, and cooperation among nations of diverse cultures and political philosophies will determine the fate of the world. It is also clear that within the United States linguistic fluency in more than one language can enhance one’s effectiveness in the professions, business, the non-profit sector, and government. Within the framework of a liberal arts education, the program in Modern Languages and Literatures provides students with direct linguistic contact with a culture different from their own. A culture expresses itself primarily through its language and its literature, and to comprehend another’s, one must be able to communicate with the peoples of that culture. As a general rule, courses are conducted in the target language. All majors should spend a semester or a year abroad.
A major in a language is a natural complement to many other areas such as business, pre-law, pre-medical programs, or to such fields as English, fine arts, theater arts, history, political science, communication, psychology, mathematics, sociology, or the natural sciences. For those who cannot complete a full second major, a minor in another field is very common, as is a language minor to accompany some other primary specialization. Work in a second foreign language is always a popular choice.
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