Department of Modern Languages and Cultures

Overview

Language and cultural skills are crucial in today’s globalized economy and society and are valued across nearly all industries. The Department of Modern Languages and Cultures is committed to preparing students for active participation in a global society by providing coursework that deepens understanding of different languages and cultures. Students are able to complete an immersion or minor in any of the 10 languages offered by the department, or complete a bachelor’s degree in applied modern language and culture in Chinese, Japanese, or Spanish. The department also prepares students to participate in global experiences, such as study or work abroad.

10

Languages taught: ASL, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish

24

Minor and immersion options: ASL, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Language Science, Latino/Latina/Latin American Studies, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish

100%

Of students in the undergraduate degree program complete an international experience

Latest News

  • May 13, 2022

    student wearing a black shirt and rainbow tie-dyed overalls.

    72 paths to a well-rounded student

    While many colleges and universities require general education courses, RIT’s immersion requirement takes it a step further. Beyond the typical writing, math, science, social science, global studies, art, and ethics requirements, students are asked to fulfill an additional nine credits in a topic of interest. The intended result is to produce well-rounded students who have gained broader, more diverse perspectives.

  • March 15, 2022

    portrait of College of Liberal Arts Dean Anna Stenport.

    Meet College of Liberal Arts Dean Anna Stenport

    RIT’s College of Liberal Arts began the academic year under new leadership. Dean Anna Stenport joined RIT from Georgia Institute of Technology’s Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts in September following a nationwide search. Stenport is a professor of communication and an expert in transnational cinema and media, modern literature and drama, and visual and cultural studies, with a focus on the Arctic and Nordic regions.

Undergraduate Programs

Students complete a language and cultural track in Chinese, Japanese, or Spanish along with a coursework in a technical or professional discipline such as computing, information technology, engineering, business, health sciences, art and design, or science, often leading to a minor or double major in that area. A required international experience immerses you in the language, culture, and traditions of your chosen track.

Applied modern language and culture is a distinctive foreign language degree that pairs a proficiency in a Chinese, Japanese, or Spanish with a major in the arts, business, computing, engineering, or the sciences.

Learn more about the Applied Modern Language and Culture BS program 

The Chinese option of the applied modern language and culture degree provides advanced study of Chinese language and culture that directly applies to the global economy in which you’ll work. You will learn to speak, understand, read, and write in Chinese, as well as gain a proficiency in the culture and traditions surrounding the language and geographic region. You’ll pair your study of Chinese with a secondary major or minor computing, engineering, business, the arts, or the sciences.

Learn more about the Chinese Option - Applied Modern Language and Culture BS program 

The Japanese option of the applied modern language and culture degree provides advanced study of Japanese language and culture that directly applies to the global economy in which you’ll work. You will learn to speak, understand, read, and write in Japanese, as well as gain a proficiency in the culture and traditions surrounding the language and geographic region. You’ll pair your study of Japanese with a secondary major or minor computing, engineering, business, the arts, or the sciences.

Learn more about the Japanese Option - Applied Modern Language and Culture BS program 

The Spanish option of the applied modern language and culture degree provides advanced study of Spanish language and culture that directly applies to the global economy in which you’ll work. You will learn to speak, understand, read, and write in Spanish, as well as gain a proficiency in the culture and traditions surrounding the language and geographic region. You’ll pair your study of Spanish with a secondary major or minor computing, engineering, business, the arts, or the sciences.

Learn more about the Spanish Option - Applied Modern Language and Culture BS program 

Minors and Immersions

The ASL and Deaf Cultural Studies immersion prepares students in the multi-disciplinary study of American Sign Language and Deaf Culture. Open to hearing and deaf students, courses address topics in the field of ASL and Deaf Cultural Studies, including the study of ASL and its structure, ASL literature, literature in English pertaining to the Deaf experience, the history of Deaf people in the U.S. and around the world, Deaf art and cinema, the experience of Deaf people from racial, ethnic, and other underrepresented groups, intersectionality, oppression in the lives of Deaf people, and various political, legal, and educational issues affecting members of Deaf communities.

Learn more about the American Sign Language and Deaf Cultural Studies Immersion program 

The American Sign Language and deaf cultural studies minor prepares students in the multidisciplinary study of American Sign Language and deaf culture. The minor is open to hearing and deaf students enrolled in all bachelor's degree programs. Courses in the minor address topics in the field of ASL and DCS including the study of ASL and its structure, ASL literature, literature in English pertaining to the D/deaf experience, the history of D/deaf people in America and around the world, Deaf art and cinema, the experience of D/deaf people from racial, ethnic, and other minority groups, oppression in the lives D/deaf people, and various political, legal, and educational issues affecting members of the D/deaf community. The minor complements majors in fields such as business, imaging arts and sciences, health sciences, policy studies, professional and technical communication, psychology, and numerous scientific and technical fields.

Learn more about the American Sign Language and Deaf Cultural Studies Minor program 

The Latino/Latina/Latin American studies immersion allows students to study Latino or Latin American culture. The goal is to introduce students to the customs and culture (history, art, literature, politics, anthropology, music) of Latin America or of Latinos in the U.S. Students become aware of the relationship between language and culture, and of the differences between their own language and culture and those of Spanish-speaking countries or Brazil.

Learn more about the Latino/Latina/Latin American Studies Immersion program 

The Latino/Latina/Latin American studies minor provides at least two full years of instruction to prepare students for living and working within an intercultural society both at home and abroad. The minor's five courses foster cultural, or linguistic and cultural, proficiency. Part of the minor requirements may be taken abroad.

Learn more about the Latino/Latina/Latin American Studies Minor program 

This minor provides two full years of modern language and culture instruction to prepare students for living and working within an intercultural society both at home and abroad. The minor consists of five courses, either five language courses or a combination of language courses with up to two culture courses. Students with previous language skills must consult the minor adviser for placement evaluation before they register. Part of the requirements for this minor can be fulfilled by courses taken abroad.

Learn more about the Modern Language – Arabic Minor program 

This minor provides two full years of modern language and culture instruction to prepare students for living and working within an intercultural society both at home and abroad. The minor consists of five courses, either five language courses or a combination of language courses with up to two culture courses. Students with previous language skills must consult the minor adviser for placement evaluation before they register. Part of the requirements for this minor can be fulfilled by courses taken abroad.

Learn more about the Modern Language – Chinese Minor program 

This minor provides two full years of modern language and culture instruction to prepare students for living and working within an intercultural society both at home and abroad. The minor consists of five courses, either five language courses or a combination of language courses with up to two culture courses. Students with previous language skills must consult the minor adviser for placement evaluation before they register. Part of the requirements for this minor can be fulfilled by courses taken abroad.

Learn more about the Modern Language – French Minor program 

This minor provides two full years of modern language and culture instruction to prepare students for living and working within an intercultural society both at home and abroad. The minor consists of five courses, either five language courses or a combination of language courses with up to two culture courses. Students with previous language skills must consult the minor adviser for placement evaluation before they register. Part of the requirements for this minor can be fulfilled by courses taken abroad.

Learn more about the Modern Language – German Minor program 

This minor provides two full years of modern language and culture instruction to prepare students for living and working within an intercultural society both at home and abroad. The minor consists of five courses, either five language courses or a combination of language courses with up to two culture courses. Students with previous language skills must consult the minor adviser for placement evaluation before they register. Part of the requirements for this minor can be fulfilled by courses taken abroad.

Learn more about the Modern Language – Italian Minor program 

This minor provides two full years of modern language and culture instruction to prepare students for living and working within an intercultural society both at home and abroad. The minor consists of five courses, either five language courses or a combination of language courses with up to two culture courses. Students with previous language skills must consult the minor adviser for placement evaluation before they register. Part of the requirements for this minor can be fulfilled by courses taken abroad.

Learn more about the Modern Language – Japanese Minor program 

This minor provides two full years of modern language and culture instruction to prepare students for living and working within an intercultural society both at home and abroad. The minor consists of five courses, either five language courses or a combination of language courses with up to two culture courses. Students with previous language skills must consult the minor advisor for placement evaluation before they register. Part of the requirements for this minor can be fulfilled by courses taken abroad.

Learn more about the Modern Language – Portuguese Minor program 

This minor provides two full years of modern language and culture instruction to prepare students for living and working within an intercultural society both at home and abroad. The minor consists of five courses, either five language courses or a combination of language courses with up to two culture courses. Students with previous language skills must consult the minor advisor for placement evaluation before they register. Part of the requirements for this minor can be fulfilled by courses taken abroad.

Learn more about the Modern Language – Russian Minor program 

This minor provides two full years of modern language and culture instruction to prepare students for living and working within an intercultural society both at home and abroad. The minor consists of five courses, either five language courses or a combination of language courses with up to two culture courses. Students with previous language skills must consult the minor advisor for placement evaluation before they register. Part of the requirements for this minor can be fulfilled by courses taken abroad.

Learn more about the Modern Language – Spanish Minor program 

This immersion introduces students to the language, customs, and cultural aspects (history, art, literature, politics, anthropology, and music) of Arabic-speaking countries. The immersion consists of three language courses or two language courses and one culture course. Students with previous language skills must consult the minor adviser for placement evaluation before they register for language courses.

Learn more about the Modern Languages and Cultures – Arabic Immersion program 

This immersion introduces students to the language, customs, and cultural aspects (history, art, literature, politics, anthropology, and music) of Chinese-speaking countries. The immersion consists of three language courses or two language courses and one culture course. Students with previous language skills must consult the minor adviser for placement evaluation before they register.

Learn more about the Modern Languages and Cultures – Chinese Immersion program 

This immersion introduces students to the language, customs, and cultural aspects (history, art, literature, politics, anthropology, and music) of French-speaking countries. The immersion consists of three language courses or two language courses and one culture course. Students with previous language skills must consult the minor adviser for placement evaluation before they register.

Learn more about the Modern Languages and Cultures – French Immersion program 

This immersion introduces students to the language, customs, and cultural aspects (history, art, literature, politics, anthropology, and music) of German-speaking countries. The immersion consists of three language courses or two language courses and one culture course. Students with previous language skills will begin the language courses at their current level of proficiency as determined by a placement test.

Learn more about the Modern Languages and Cultures – German Immersion program 

This immersion introduces students to the language, customs, and cultural aspects (history, art, literature, politics, anthropology, and music) of Italy. The immersion consists of three language courses or two language courses and one culture course. Students with previous language skills must consult the minor adviser for placement evaluation before they register.

Learn more about the Modern Languages and Cultures – Italian Immersion program 

This immersion introduces students to the language, customs, and cultural aspects (history, art, literature, politics, anthropology, and music) of Japan. The immersion consists of three language courses or two language courses and one culture course. Students with previous language skills must consult the minor advisor for placement evaluation before they register.

Learn more about the Modern Languages and Cultures – Japanese Immersion program 

This immersion introduces students to the language, customs, and cultural aspects (history, art, literature, politics, anthropology, and music) of Portugal and Portuguese-speaking countries. The immersion consists of three language courses or two language courses and one culture course. Students with previous language skills must consult the minor advisor for placement evaluation before they register.

Learn more about the Modern Languages and Cultures – Portuguese Immersion program 

This immersion introduces students to the language, customs, and cultural aspects (history, art, literature, politics, anthropology, and music) of Russia and Russian-speaking countries of the world. The immersion consists of three language courses or two language courses and one culture course. Students with previous language skills must consult the minor advisor for placement evaluation before they register.

Learn more about the Modern Languages and Cultures – Russian Immersion program 

This immersion introduces students to the language, customs, and cultural aspects (history, art, literature, politics, anthropology, and music) of Spain and Spanish-speaking countries. The immersion consists of three language courses or two language courses and one culture course. Students with previous language skills must consult the minor adviser for placement evaluation before they register.

Learn more about the Modern Languages and Cultures – Spanish Immersion program 

Modern Languages Technology Center

The MLTC provides a broad range of services for faculty and students related to language instruction. This includes facility maintenance, room reservation, equipment loans, curriculum development assistance, professional development opportunities and more. The MLTC is home to a library of audio files and foreign-language films, many of which are available to stream remotely. Additionally, the MLTC has computers tailored for use in foreign languages.

Visit the Modern Languages Technology Center  

Language Placement Exam

Students with prior experience in the language they wish to study are required to take a placement exam before enrollmentwe want to make sure you're in the right course for your skill level! 

Placement Exam Information