Affordable Foreign Language Degrees

Scroll down to see the most affordable foreign language degrees, as well as info on the different types of foreign language degrees and foreign language program accreditation.

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School Rankings

1

New Jersey City University

The Department of Modern Languages at New Jersey City University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Master of Arts in World Language Education with an emphasis on Spanish. The B.A. in Spanish can be completed with or without teaching certification. The B.A. requires 36 credits of major coursework, including required courses in Spanish composition, Spanish civilization and culture, Spanish literature and comparative grammar. Students working toward teacher certification are required to complete an additional 30 education credits. The M.A. program requires 36 credit of coursework that teaches students about second language methodology, linguistics, Spanish language and Spanish-speaking cultures. The Modern Language Department also offers its students the opportunity to study abroad, participate in the Spanish honor society and complete a cooperative education internship experience.

CAG Score 97.2

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

8,136 Students

2

University of California-Irvine

The Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures offers Bachelor of Arts (BA) degrees in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and in East Asian cultures. Master of Arts (MA) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees in East Asian languages and literatures are available. Students in these programs can choose to concentrate on Chinese, Japanese, or East Asian cultural studies. Two other departments (European Languages & Studies and Spanish & Portuguese) offer BA, MA and PhD programs in French, German and Spanish. Beginning and advanced language programs as well as minors are available in Russian, Portuguese, and Italian. The Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures offers the following scholarships: the Ching-Suei Su Scholarship ($2,500) and the Jao Award in Asian Studies ($1,000).

CAG Score 97.2

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

30,051 Students

3

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The Department of Global Studies at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill encourages students to develop a full understanding of the complex issues through a focus on language, economics, politics, and culture. Bachelor's of Foreign Language areas include African, Asian, Latin American, Middle Eastern, Russian and Eastern Europe and Western European areas. Bachelor's degrees are also offered in Romance Languages and Classics and Classical Languages. Advanced study is offered at the MA and Ph.D. level in Slavic, Baltic and Albanian; Romance Languages; Classics and Classical Languages; and a Ph.D. in German. BA, MA and Ph.D. degrees in Comparative Literature and Linguistics are also offered. Study abroad programs are encouraged, with internships also available.

CAG Score 97.1

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

29,135 Students

4

CUNY Queens College

Foreign languages at Queens College are grouped into three different departments, allowing for a large number of degree programs. Bachelor degrees are available in Latin, Ancient Greek, Hebrew, Chinese, Spanish, French, German, Italian and Russian. The college also offers a Masters in Spanish, French or Italian, or students can get a master's degree in those languages with teacher certification. Clubs, honor societies and foreign films enrich the experience of foreign language students at Queens College. Foreign language majors may apply for scholarships such as the Italian Fellowship Endowment, the Norman H. Paul French Award Endowment and the Sheila Endler Landau Memorial Endowment.

CAG Score 97.0

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

19,310 Students

5

University of Minnesota-Duluth

Throughout the year, foreign language students at the University of Minnesota-Duluth gather off-campus for relaxing evening discussions with faculty members in their selected language. The school offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in German, French and Spanish language and literature. Study abroad is encouraged, with students able to enroll at UM-Duluth tuition free while attending study abroad courses and summer programs organized by the school. Departmental scholarships primarily support international study, with the Conant ($1,000), Marinelli ($1,500), Knobloch ($1,500) and Kovacovic ($1,000) programs available. The Berkins Scholarship ($1,500) supports academic study. A minor in Deaf Studies, with proficiency in American Sign Language, is offered through the Department of Education though students from all programs are welcome to enroll.

CAG Score 96.9

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

11,093 Students

6

Amherst College

Amherst College offers undergraduate majors in French, German, Russian and Spanish. Students majoring in French or German complete eight major courses, including courses in French or German literature and culture. Students majoring in Spanish complete nine major courses related to the literatures and cultures of Spanish-speaking peoples, including those from Spain, Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as Latinos from the United States. Russian majors study Russian literature, film, cultural studies, history and politics, and are required to create their own concentration within the major with the help of an adviser. Foreign language majors also have the opportunity to participate in the honors program, study abroad and take part in exchange fellowships.

CAG Score 96.9

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

1,792 Students

7

Texas A & M University-College Station

Students can focus on Classics and Classical Languages or Modern Languages at Texas A&M University-College Station through the Department of International Studies. All programs offer an interdisciplinary curriculum, with an emphasis on literature, language and culture. The school offers a Bachelor of Arts in Modern Language with emphasis in French, German, Russian, or Classics and Classical Languages. The Department of Hispanic Studies offers intense study of Spanish, leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree. International study in six countries is available, with summer, semester or year-long programs for academic credit. Campus connections with extracurricular and community engagement programs also help foster language proficiency and cultural understanding. Students are encouraged to choose a minor in a related field or seek teaching certification.

CAG Score 96.8

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

61,642 Students

8

CUNY York College

The Department of Foreign Languages at York College offers a variety of programs, including majors in French and Spanish that lead to a Bachelor of Arts degree. The department also offers programs leading to a minor in Applied Linguistics, Creole, French and Francophone Studies, Italian Studies, Latin American Studies, Puerto Rican Studies, or Spanish. The department also offers certificate program in Creole, French, or Spanish for Professional Purposes. Students learning a language can use the state-of-the art multimedia Language Resource Center. The department also helps to sponsors events such as poetry contests, international film festivals, conferences and colloquia to enhance the learning environment for foreign language students.

CAG Score 96.7

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

8,493 Students

9

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Interdisciplinary study in a variety of languages allows students to integrate study of a foreign language, literature and culture at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. The school offers Bachelor's degrees in East Asia, Russian, German, Scandinavian, Germanic, French, Italian, Spanish, Hebrew, Classics and Classical Languages and Latin, with a certificate or minor in Language Interpretation and Translation. Master's and Ph.D. degrees are offered in East Asian languages, French and Romance languages, with Ph.D. degrees in Spanish and Classics and Classical Languages. Writing Centers, libraries and student organizations offer cultural and extracurricular activities, and international study is encouraged. Students can also choose to study world literature or how language is learned with a full range of degrees in Comparative Literature or Linguistics.

CAG Score 96.7

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

51,147 Students

10

St Mary's College of Maryland

Through its Department of International Languages and Cultures, St. Mary College of Maryland offers an undergraduate major and minor in International Languages and Cultures with concentrations in Chinese, French, German, Latin American studies and Spanish. International Languages and Cultures majors in all concentrations are required to complete seven to eight core courses. The curriculum also includes eight credits of electives in an intra or cross-disciplinary focus area related to language, literary or cultural studies. Students in all concentrations take courses related to their chosen culture in the areas of literature, language, culture and translation. Students also have the opportunity to study abroad and learn from the Fulbright international teaching assistants living in the International Suite on campus.

CAG Score 96.7

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

1,721 Students

11

Rutgers University

The School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University offers undergraduate majors in Italian, Chinese, French, German, Russian, Spanish and Portuguese. Graduate degrees are also available in Spanish, French, Italian and Chinese, including Master of Arts, Master of Arts in Teaching and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. Most undergraduate language majors require 36 credits of major coursework. The undergraduate French major can be completed in three tracks of study: literature, culture and linguistics. Spanish majors have the option to complete a five year B.A./M.A. in Spanish with a concentration in translation. They can also take part in a five-year teacher education program through the Graduate School of Education. Students in all foreign language programs are encouraged to study abroad for academic credit.

CAG Score 96.6

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

6,321 Students

12

Wayne State College

The Language and Literature Department at Wayne State College offers a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, as well as a Spanish teaching endorsement. Spanish majors complete coursework in elementary and intermediate Spanish, conversation and composition, Spanish civilization, Spanish literature and advanced grammar. Students who choose to earn the Spanish teaching endorsement are also required to earn an endorsement in a second subject. Additionally, Spanish majors can study abroad and participate in student organizations like the Spanish Club and the National Spanish Honor Society Sigma Delta Pi.

CAG Score 96.6

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

3,470 Students

13

University of Florida

The University of Florida's Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures conducts research and instruction in more than 22 languages. Bachelor of Arts degrees are offered in East Asian, Russian and Portuguese Languages and Literature. BA and Master of Arts degrees are granted in German, French, Spanish, Latin, and Classics and Classical Languages. Doctorates in research of Romance Languages and Classics and Classical Languages are also offered. The Department of Linguistics offers Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts and Ph.D. in Linguistics. Recognizing the value of an international experience, the department offers several study abroad programs. Scholarships, such as the Daniel Sinclair Bredahl ($3,000) and UF International Center ($4,000) Scholarships, support a full year of international study.

CAG Score 96.6

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

49,459 Students

14

California State University-Long Beach

The College of Liberal Arts at CSU Long Beach offers Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in the following languages: French, German, Italian, and Spanish. Japanese and Chinese are only offered at the baccalaureate level. For students who plan to pursue careers as foreign language teachers after graduation, Single Subject Teaching Credential Programs are available in Japanese, German, French, Italian, and Spanish. The Department of Asian Languages offer courses in Cambodian, Korean, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. A minor in Russian is also offered. Study Abroad scholarships are available, such as the Kyera & Nicole Giannini Scholarship ($1,000) for Italian Studies majors, the Amy Kimball Memorial Scholarship (up to $600) for students majoring in German, and the Russian Program Scholarship ($1,000).

CAG Score 96.6

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

36,809 Students

15

University of Washington-Seattle Campus

The University of Washington teaches more than 50 languages and provides study abroad opportunities in several dozen locations to immerse students in the target language. In addition to studying the language, students take classes in literature and culture of the region. Students may study abroad for a summer, semester or academic year, earning academic credit and expanding their global perspectives. In Asia, the university offers study abroad programs in China, Vietnam, India, Korea, Japan and Thailand; the Germanics Department offers programs in Germany and Austria, and the Department of Scandanavian Studies has programs in Baltic and Nordic nations. The university offers a Master's in Teaching for foreign language majors as well as Masters and Ph.D. in many languages.

CAG Score 96.5

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

44,784 Students

16

Buffalo State SUNY

Students interested in a foreign language can earn a Bachelor of Arts in French or Spanish at Buffalo State. The French program has two tracks: Francophone Studies for students planning on graduate school, or Professional French for students who want to use French on the job. Undergraduates can also enter the French Education or Spanish Education programs, which prepare them to teach a foreign language in grades 7-12. Graduate programs offered by the Department of Modern and Classical Languages all focus on teaching. The Foreign Language Education master's prepares teachers with initial licensure for professional licensure and extends certification to grades 1-6. Buffalo State also has post-baccalaureate programs to prepare French or Spanish majors to seek teacher certification.

CAG Score 96.5

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

11,083 Students

17

CUNY Hunter College

Students interested in majoring in a foreign language at Hunter College can choose from German, French, Italian, or Spanish. The Department of Romance Languages offers undergraduate majors in French, Italian, Spanish (with possible concentrations in Literature or Translation and Interpretation), Romance Languages (two languages), Teaching Adolescent Education, or Comparative Literature. The Department of Romance Languages also has a Master of Arts program. The German Department grants a bachelor's degree in German and helps prepare students to become German teachers. German students must take classes in German language, literature and culture. Hunter's foreign language departments offer exchange programs, foreign language clubs and honor societies, film festivals, and opportunities for students to study abroad.

CAG Score 96.5

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

23,112 Students

18

CUNY Brooklyn College

Brooklyn College offers an array of degrees for students interested in foreign language. Undergrads can earn a Bachelor of Arts in French, Italian, Russian, or Spanish, or earn a B.A. in language and business in any of those languages. Students can also earn a degree as a grade 7-12 teacher of Spanish, Italian, or French. German and Chinese are offered as a minor. Graduate students may earn a Master of Arts in French or Spanish, or they may earn an M.A. as a French or Spanish teacher, with coursework divided between the foreign language and courses in education. Departmental scholarships include the Paul J. & Angela H. Salvatore Scholarship, presented to an outstanding undergraduate studying a romance language.

CAG Score 96.5

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

17,390 Students

19

Berea College

Berea College offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in French, German and Spanish, as well as undergraduate minors in French, German, Spanish and Latin. Students in all three foreign language majors are required to complete at least seven courses in their chosen language, as well as a general course in the study of language. Foreign language majors are also strongly encouraged to study abroad in a country that speaks their chosen language. Foreign language majors can participate in clubs like the Cosmopolitan Club and the German Club, can sit at Foreign Language Tables in Dining Services to practice language skills and have access to the Language Lab for academic assistance.

CAG Score 96.5

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

1,621 Students

20

University of California-Los Angeles

The Division of Humanities at UCLA gives students the opportunity to study and learn up to 60 languages each year. Bachelor of Arts degrees are available in the following languages: Chinese, Japanese, Korean, French, German, Italian, Arabic, Spanish, and Portuguese. Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees are available in French, German, and Italian. Spanish and Portuguese are offered up to the master's level only. Non-degree language classes are available in several different languages including Hindi-Urdu, Hebrew, Polish, Russian, Dutch/Flemish, Catalan, and others. Graduate students interested in studying the Japanese language by taking part in a language intensive program (in Japan or in the U.S.) can apply for the Sasakawa Japanese Language Study Fellowship (up to $10,000 per year).

CAG Score 96.5

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

41,845 Students

21

University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown offers a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, which emphasizes foreign language skills within professional environments. Students who graduate with a B.A. in Spanish will have an advantage in the workplace, and they will be able to acquire positions that require them to be bilingual. Spanish graduates will be able to deliver understandable and clear verbal presentations in correct Spanish, understand and engage in professional conversations in Spanish, compos effective research papers and business documents in Spanish, and recognize different regional variations of Spanish.

CAG Score 96.4

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

14,439 Students

22

SUNY College at Old Westbury

The Department of Modern Languages at SUNY Old Westbury offers a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Language, Hispanic Literature and Culture. Undergrads preparing to teach Spanish can earn a degree in Spanish and in education at the Adolescence (grades 7-12) or Middle Childhood Education (grades 5-9) level. Graduate students can earn initial certification to teach Spanish through the Master of Arts in Teaching program or professional certification through the Master of Science in Adolescence Education: Spanish. Students seeking the B.A. in Spanish can choose between a track in language and culture and a track in literature and culture. To earn the degree, students must complete 44 credits within the major. SUNY Old Westbury has a Hispanic/Latino cultural center.

CAG Score 96.4

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

4,504 Students

23

CUNY City College

In a city known for its cultural diversity, the City College of New York offers courses in 13 different foreign languages. Students can earn a Bachelor of Arts in French, Spanish, Italian, or Two Romance languages, and graduate students can earn a Master of Arts in Spanish. Other languages offered include Arabic, Chinese, classical Greek and Latin, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, and Portuguese. The Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures sponsors several organizations, including chapters of the national French and Spanish honor societies, a French language and cultural center, and clubs for students interested in French, Italian, Spanish, and the classic languages. CCNY has many study-abroad programs, including internships in foreign countries, available to foreign-language majors.

CAG Score 96.4

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

15,579 Students

24

Appalachian State University

The Department of Languages, Literature and Cultures at Appalachian State offers undergraduate degrees in French and Spanish as well as a BS degree in either language that prepares a student to teach the language for grades K-12. Students are required to take classes in the literature and culture of the language they are studying. Graduate students can earn a Masters in Romance Languages with a specialization of teaching French or Spanish. Grad students may also specialize in teaching K-12 or teaching college. The language department has a well-equipped language lab and offers classes and minors in several other languages, including Russian, Arabic, German and Japanese. Study abroad programs allow students to use the language among native speakers.

CAG Score 96.3

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

18,026 Students

25

Iowa State University

Iowa State University offers a Bachelor in German, French and Spanish and minors in several other languages, including Russian. Each language program offers extracurricular activities to provide students an opportunity to practice speaking the language, and the Iowa State University Study Abroad Center offers a wide range of options for students to immerse themselves in the language and culture they are studying. For an even more in-depth visit to another country, students may be able to do an internship as part of their study abroad program. The Department of World Languages and Cultures offers a number of scholarships, including the Van Iten Study Abroad Scholarship ($500), the Ronald A. Schubert Scholarship ($1,000) and the Louise Semmons Scholarship ($500-$1,000).

CAG Score 96.3

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

34,435 Students

26

Dominican University

The Department of Modern Foreign Languages at Dominican University offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in French, Italian, and Spanish. Minors in these three languages are also available. Students who plan to teach after graduation must complete the Teacher Education Program for K-12 licensure offered by the School of Education, in addition to completing the language major. Modern foreign language students are encouraged to complete at least one study abroad experience during their undergraduate tenure at Dominican. The department also offers classes in elementary and intermediate German. Students have access to the Georgia Boolookas Language Learning Center, which houses several language-related resources, including video cameras and podcasting equipment, foreign-language dictionaries, foreign films, educational language videos and software, and foreign-language books, magazines, and newspapers.

CAG Score 96.3

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

3,498 Students

27

The University of Texas at El Paso

The Department of Languages & Linguistics at the University of Texas at El Paso offers a Bachelor of Arts in French, a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, and a Master of Arts in Spanish. They also offer courses in Arabic, German, Hebrew, Latin, Persian, Portuguese, and Russian. UTEP encourages foreign language students in particular to participate in study abroad opportunities, and there are many different possibilities for students to take advantage of. Students in the Spanish program may take courses such as Spanish Literature since 1700, Culture and Civilization of Spain, and Spanish American Civilization. Students in the French program may take courses such as French Poetry, French Phonology and Phonetics, and French Theater.

CAG Score 96.2

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

23,079 Students

28

Texas A & M University-Commerce

The Department of Literature & Languages at Texas A&M University Commerce offers bachelor's degrees in French and Spanish. Students in the foreign language program may be eligible for scholarships so that they may take advantage of international study abroad opportunities. Students who pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish must pursue a minor in another subject. The accomplished Spanish faculty specialize in the fields of linguistics, Chicano and U.S. Latino literature, children's literature, Peninsular and Latin American literature, and other Hispanic literatures and cultures.

CAG Score 96.2

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

12,111 Students

29

Presbyterian College

The Department of Modern Foreign Languages at Presbyterian College offers bachelor's degrees in French and Spanish as well as minors in French, Spanish, Latin American Studies, and Chinese Studies. The department's goal is to provide students with the necessary tools and skills to contribute and succeed in our ever-shrinking world. Many students in these programs choose to study abroad for a year or a semester for total immersion in the culture and language. There are several organizations for students within these programs such as French Club, Spanish Club, and Sigma Delta Pi, the PC chapter of the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society.

CAG Score 96.2

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

1,460 Students

30

SUNY College at Oswego

SUNY Oswego students interested in foreign languages can major in French, German, or Spanish, or they can earn an interdisciplinary major in Language and International Trade. Students in the French and German programs have the option of following either a language and literature track or a culture studies track. Outside the classroom, students have many opportunities to practice the foreign language, including language clubs, foreign film festivals and a weekly international coffee hour hosted by the Modern Language Department. Oswego also offers a variety of study-abroad programs for students who want to immerse themselves in a language. Along with the three major languages, the department offers courses in Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, and American Sign Language.

CAG Score 96.2

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

8,034 Students

31

Saint Cloud State University

St. Cloud State's language department supports a service learning component for foreign language majors. This program allows students to receive credit for participating in an organized service activity such as working in the Spanish-immersion program at a local elementary school or teaching English to foreign speakers at a local high school. St. Cloud offers a Bachelor of Arts in French, German or Spanish, or a Bachelor of Science in the same three languages for students who want to earn their teaching certification. The department also offers a BS in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Study abroad programs at St. Cloud include Germany, Chile, France and Japan, and the department has many scholarships for study abroad.

CAG Score 96.2

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

16,076 Students

32

Michigan Technological University

Michigan Technological University's Department of Humanities offers undergraduate minors and certificates in French, German and Spanish, as well as an undergraduate certificate in Chinese. Students who choose modern language minors are required to complete 18 minor credits total, including three required courses, which guide them through three levels of study in their chosen language and culture. Students minoring in modern language are also required to complete nine credits of electives. Additionally, modern language students have the option to earn an international modern language minor by studying abroad, undertaking an internship and completing three additional credits. Like modern language minors, modern language certificates require the completion of 18 credits.

CAG Score 96.2

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

7,099 Students

33

University of Massachusetts Amherst

An array of languages and literature studies are offered by the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, with Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Chinese, Japanese, French, Spanish and Classics and Classical Languages, and Bachelor's degrees in Italian and Portuguese. Students can also choose Bachelor's, Masters, and Ph.D. programs in Linguistics and Comparative Literature. The university's collaboration with the Five College Interchange offers additional course options in Arabic and access to the Study of World Languages program. Resources such as the Translation Center and Language Teaching and Research Lab provide opportunities to improve language skills in a business or academic setting, and residential programs offer an immersive experience. Study abroad opportunities are available in more than 50 countries, with scholarships offered to support international study and internships.

CAG Score 96.2

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

28,635 Students

34

University of California-San Diego

The Literature Department at UC San Diego offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in French, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish literature. Beginning language courses are available in Greek, Korean, Latin, and Russian. Intermediate and advanced classes are offered in French, German, Italian, and Spanish. Minors are available in all the languages above except Korean, and with the addition of Hebrew. All literature majors are required to study a secondary literature that is taught and written in a language different from the language of their primary concentration. As part of the Division of Arts & Humanities, students studying foreign languages can apply for the Bebe and Marvin Zigman Scholarship, which gives a one-time award of up to $2,000.

CAG Score 96.2

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

30,709 Students

35

University of North Texas

The University of North Texas offers a Bachelor of Arts in French, a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, and a Bachelor of Arts in German. They also offer minors in Spanish, Russian, Japanese, Italian, German, French, Chinese, or Arabic. The Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures also offers a Master of Arts in French, a Master of Arts in Spanish, and a graduate minor in French or Spanish. French, German, and Spanish students are eligible for the Martha & Voncile Liddell Scholarship as well as the Edist/Solveig Olsen Scholarship. French and German students are eligible for the Robert Hardin Scholarship. There are a number of other scholarships available to German, French, and/or Spanish students as well.

CAG Score 96.1

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

36,486 Students

36

SUNY College at Plattsburgh

In-depth study of a foreign language not only allows for better communication, it also helps to develop understanding of different cultures and their rich artistic and literary histories. The State University of New York-Plattsburgh Department of Modern Languages offers the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in French or Spanish. The college's proximity to Montreal allows for many opportunities to engage in casual conversation using French language skills. The French Club is very active, organizing a film festival and regularly hosting special speakers and dinners. Study abroad programs are offered in France and Spain, as well as a number of other countries around the world.

CAG Score 96.1

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

5,968 Students

37

CUNY Lehman College

The foreign language programs at Lehman College reflect the rich immigrant tradition of New York City and provide many options for students interested in languages and literature. Undergraduates can earn a degree in French, Hebraic and Judaic Studies, Italian, Latin, Russian, or Spanish. Students may also choose any of those languages, as well as Greek or Japanese, as a minor area of study. The college also grants a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Literature, which provides an Irish sequence as well as sequences in each language offered as a major. Lehman also grants a 30-credit Master of Arts in Spanish. Departmental scholarships include the Mosher Anna Weustoff Fund (amount varies) for language majors.

CAG Score 96.1

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

12,398 Students

38

Barnard College

Barnard College offers a wide range of majors for students who are interested in earning a bachelor's degree in a foreign language. Available majors include French Language and Literature, French Translation and Literature, French and Francophone Studies, German Language and Literature, German Studies, Italian, Russian Language and Literature, Russian Regional Studies, Slavic and East European Literature and Culture, Slavic and East European Regional Studies, Spanish and Latin American Culture, and Comparative Literature. Students may also minor in French, German, Russian, Italian or modern Greek. Programs such as German Studies combine language and literature classes with courses in history, political science and related social science courses. Barnard offers many study abroad programs appropriate for foreign language majors.

CAG Score 96.1

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

2,573 Students

39

Alfred University

The Division of Modern Languages at Alfred University offers an undergraduate major in foreign language and culture studies with a concentration in French, as well as an undergraduate French minor. The major in foreign language and culture studies with a concentration in French requires the completion of 20 credits of upper-level French courses, at least eight credits in a second foreign language and 12 credits of electives. The French minor requires the completion of 20 credits, at least 16 of which must be taught in French. Modern languages students also have the opportunity to live in the language house with a native French speaker, participate in the French Club and study abroad in a French-speaking country.

CAG Score 96.1

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

2,310 Students

40

University of Minnesota-Morris

The Division of Humanities at the University of Minnesota-Morris offers undergraduate majors and minors in French, Spanish and German. Students in all three majors earn Bachelor of Arts degrees through the completion of 33 to 41 major credits. Foreign language majors complete seven to nine core major courses, including coursework covering intermediate language skills, literature and culture. Students majoring in French are also required to complete a capstone project, while Spanish majors are required to complete a research symposium. German majors have to complete coursework in linguistic analysis and German grammar. Students in all foreign language majors also have the opportunity to study abroad and participate in campus clubs like the French Club and Spanish student organizations like Vamos Junta and Voces Unida.

CAG Score 96.1

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

1,899 Students

41

Michigan State University

Michigan State allows undergraduates to major in Spanish, French, Arabic, Chinese, German, Japanese or Russian. More than a dozen other languages, from Portuguese to Zulu, are regularly taught, and still more languages are offered under special circumstances. Language clubs and study abroad opportunities enrich the experience foreign language majors have and help them increase fluency and comprehension. The university also offers graduate programs in linguistics, French studies, Hispanic Literature and Cultural Studies and German Studies. Available scholarships include the Endowed Scholarship for German Language and Culture in Mayen Program, the Thomas W. and Sarah L. Juntune Endowed Scholarship for Study Abroad in Freiburg, and the George F. Peters Scholarship.

CAG Score 96.1

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

50,081 Students

42

Marshall University

The Department of Modern Languages at Marshall University offers a Bachelor of Arts in French, a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, a Bachelor of Arts in German, a Bachelor of Arts in Japanese, and a Master of Arts in Spanish. Graduates of foreign language programs have a major advantage in the business world, no matter what their profession. Foreign language majors are encouraged to study abroad and engage with other cultures throughout the world. Students will have opportunities to study abroad in Europe, Asia, and South America.

CAG Score 96.0

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

13,381 Students

43

SUNY College at Brockport

The Department of Modern Languages and Cultures at SUNY Brockport offers Bachelor of Art degrees in French and in Spanish. Minors are available in these two languages as well. The university also offers a language certificate program that requires students to complete 15 credits in the language being studied (French or Spanish). These courses must be beyond the introductory level. Students who plan to pursue a career teaching in a bilingual classroom (English/Spanish) are encourage to explore the Interdisciplinary Major in Bilingual and Multicultural Studies offered by the department. At the current time, beginning level language courses are available in the following: American Sign Language, Arabic, Chinese, Italian, and Japanese. Advanced courses in these languages may be offered depending on the demand.

CAG Score 96.0

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

8,106 Students

44

SUNY at Binghamton

The State University of New York-Binghamton offers a host of possibilities for students who want to study a foreign language. Undergraduate degrees are available in German, French, Italian, Spanish, Arabic and Latin. Additionally, a Bachelors in Classical Languages allows a student to study the classics, Greek and Latin. Master's degrees are available in French, Italian and Spanish, and grad students can choose to earn their teaching certification for teaching French or Spanish. Many scholarships are available. The German Department offers the Keith Nintzel Award for Academic Excellence ($1,000) and the Weigand Study Abroad Scholarship ($1,500). Scholarships for Romance language students include the Sophie Kradjian Memorial Scholarship, the Louis Magnotta Scholarship for Italian Studies and the Rigo Mignani Memorial Scholarship.

CAG Score 96.0

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

16,695 Students

45

Northwest Missouri State University

The Department of English and Modern Languages at Northwest Missouri State University offers Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Science in Education degrees in Spanish, as well as an undergraduate Spanish minor. Both the B.A. and the B.S. in Spanish require 37 credits of major coursework, including courses in beginning and advanced conversation and advanced Spanish composition. Students are also required to complete a study abroad experience or an approved internship. The B.S.Ed. program requires 34 credits of major coursework and certifies students to teach Spanish in K-12 classrooms. The B.S.Ed. curriculum also includes a study abroad experience or internship.

CAG Score 96.0

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

6,720 Students

46

University of California-Davis

The College of Letters and Science at UC Davis offers language studies through the Department of Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies. Bachelor of Arts degrees are available in Chinese, Japanese, French, Italian, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy programs are available for French, German, and Spanish. Language students are encouraged to take advantage of Study Abroad opportunities that support the language and culture of their major. Blakemore Freeman Fellowships and Refresher Grants for Advanced Study of Asian Languages supports qualified students in the Chinese and Japanese programs. The grant covers tuition and includes a stipend for transportation as well as living and educational expenses. Students studying the German language can apply for the Emilyn Louise Vaage Scholarship.

CAG Score 96.0

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

34,508 Students

47

California State University-Fullerton

The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Cal State Fullerton offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in French, Japanese, and Spanish. Minors are available in Chinese, German, Portuguese, and Vietnamese. The department also offers concentrations in Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish for students who are pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in International Business degree. At the current time, courses are offered in the following languages: Arabic, Italian, Korean, Latin, and Persian. On the graduate level, there is a Master of Arts in Spanish program available. Students have access to the Modern Language Media Center where they can explore language materials of the countries they are studying. Outstanding foreign languages students are nominated for the Roberta King Maxwell Scholarship ($300).

CAG Score 96.0

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

38,128 Students

48

California State Polytechnic University-Pomona

The Department of English and Foreign Languages (EFL) offers a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish that provides the subject matter competency required to pursue a single subject credential in Spanish for those who wish to teach the subject in middle or high school. The program also prepares students for further study or for careers in domestic or international settings that require a firm grasp of Spanish. The department offers minors in Spanish, Chinese, and French, as well as an EFL Certificate Program in German Studies. The certificate can be earned concurrently or after the completion of bachelor's degree. All incoming qualified freshmen are automatically considered for the Dean's Scholarship ($1,500), while the EFL Scholarship Account is for continuing EFL students (variable amount).

CAG Score 96.0

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

23,966 Students

49

California State University-Stanislaus

The Department of Modern Languages at CSU Stanislaus offers a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish degree, a minor in Portuguese, and introductory studies in American Sign Language and in Italian. Spanish is also offered as a concentration in the Liberal Studies program. Students must complete 14 units of lower division Spanish prerequisites and 24 units of upper division Spanish major requirements, in addition to 51 units of general education requirements in order to graduate from the program. The curriculum includes courses in Spanish grammar and composition, the literature and civilization of Spain, and the literature and civilization of Spanish America. The program qualifies students for the California State Single Subject Credential, which allows them to teach Spanish at the secondary level.

CAG Score 96.0

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

9,045 Students

50

Stony Brook University

At Stony Brook University, undergrads can major in in French, German or Spanish Language and Literature or in Italian Studies. The Italian program at Stony Brook is considered one of the most comprehensive in the United States. Teacher preparation is possible with any of these languages at both the bachelor and master's degree levels. The Department of Hispanic Languages and Literature also offers a Ph.D. program. Students are encouraged to study abroad in a country where the language they are studying is spoken, and the university offers a range of travel programs, from short-term trips to exchange programs. Guest lectures, conferences, foreign film nights and other cultural events help students enrich their on-campus learning experience.

CAG Score 95.9

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

24,607 Students

Foreign language graduates end up in exciting places. You’ll find them interpreting in courts, translating novels, guiding planes, managing hotels, and negotiating major finance deals. They work as art dealers and event planners, university professors and investment analysts, CIA agents and diplomats. Language students may have to fight harder for jobs than peers with professional degrees, but with firm goals, strong grades, and a commitment to gaining work experience, they are invariably successful.

If you’re thinking about studying a foreign language, check out our quick guide to affordable foreign language programs. We cover everything from degree options to career opportunities to the importance of regional accreditation and what kinds of qualifications are available for interpreters and translators.

Types of Foreign Language Degrees

Associate’s Degree in a Foreign Language

An associate’s degree in a foreign language (e.g. Chinese, Spanish, Russian, etc.) is a 2-year undergraduate program that gives students a foundation in language skills. This degree is often offered by a variety of community colleges and universities. A GED or high school diploma is required to apply.

Many students use an associate’s degree as a stepping stone to a bachelor’s degree. If you are considering this option, make sure your associate course credits will be transferable to the BA program of your choice.

Degree Options

Almost all foreign language degrees are offered as an Associate of Arts (AA). This interdisciplinary program is a mixture of general education requirements and liberal arts courses. If you are short on funds and time, you may wish to consider a certificate or an online course instead. These programs focus more on learning a language, and less on the literature and culture surrounding it.

Sample Coursework

For a degree, most universities and colleges still expect you to tackle general education/liberal arts requirements such as communications, social science, and math. In your chosen foreign language major, your courses may cover:

  • Grammar
  • Conversation & Composition
  • Literature
  • Culture
  • History

Career Opportunities

Career opportunities are fairly limited with an associate’s degree. Having said that, mastery of a foreign language is an excellent way to further your career. Flight staff, hotel employees, and event planners, for example, are frequently multilingual. You can increase your odds of employment by participating in internships and work-study programs.

Bachelor’s Degree in a Foreign Language

A bachelor’s degree in a foreign language is a 4-year undergraduate program that provides students with a fundamental grounding in the mechanics, literature, culture, and history of a language. A GED or high school diploma is required to apply.

Degree Options

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA): The most common program for foreign language majors. This interdisciplinary degree is a mixture of general education requirements and liberal arts courses.
  • Bachelor of Science (BS) or BA in Foreign Language Teacher Education: Targeted at students who are interested in teaching a foreign language to K-12 students and earning state licensure/certification.

Remember that many schools will allow you to study two or more languages, pursue a double major, or use a foreign language as a minor. For example, to cut down on coursework in literature and culture, some students have opted to major in international relations and minor in a foreign language. This gives them the opportunity to combine language study with classes in business, political science, and economics.

Sample Coursework

The first two years of a BA tend to be a mix of liberal arts/general education (e.g. English, math, science, etc.) and fundamental coursework in a foreign language (e.g. grammar, composition, conversation, reading skills, culture, and literature).

Once schools are satisfied that you have a strong foundation, they’ll give you the chance to explore related electives such as translation, linguistics, business, religion, history, cinema, and more. Look for programs that offer a year abroad and opportunities to immerse yourself in real-world experiences. The best way to learn a language is to be surrounded by it.

Career Opportunities

Foreign language graduates are needed around the world. If you wish to focus purely on a language (and not on a related field such as international relations), try and gain as much work experience as you can while you are completing your degree. This will put you in strong position when you hit the job market after graduation. Careers to think about include:

  • Airline/Airport Staff
  • Hotel Manager/Administrator
  • Restaurant Staff
  • Event Planner
  • Translator
  • Interpreter
  • Business Consultant
  • FBI/CIA/NSA Agent
  • Foreign Correspondent
  • Pharmaceutical Representative
  • Art Dealer
  • Loan Officer
  • International Banking Officer
  • Investment Analyst
  • Peace Corps Volunteer
  • Diplomat/Cultural Attaché
  • Travel Agent
  • Tour Organizer/Guide
  • Importer/Exporter
  • Advertiser
  • Cop

If you’re thinking about becoming a K-12 teacher in a public school, you will need to complete a certification program or a teacher education degree and earn a state teaching license. For more about this procedure, check out our article on K-12 Teaching.

Master’s Degree in a Foreign Language

A master’s degree in a foreign language is a 1-3 year graduate program that allows students to focus on advanced study and research. Many students who pursue this degree are working professionals who wish to advance their careers or earn a PhD. Entrants are expected to have a bachelor’s degree in their chosen language.

Degree Options

  • Master of Arts (MA) in a Foreign Language: Often earned by students interested in research, specific language-related disciplines (e.g. interpreting, translating, etc.), and/or a PhD degree.
  • Master of Arts (MA) in Teaching a Foreign Language: Typically aimed at teachers and administrators at the K-12, university, and community college level who wish to improve their job opportunities or become state licensed/certified.

Sample Coursework

Coursework varies widely from degree to degree, although most programs will help you work on advanced language skills. You’ll also be able to conduct your own research and focus on an area of concentration. In general:

  • General foreign language concentrations include interpretation, translation, foreign literature, comparative literature, etc.
  • Teacher education programs may offer concentrations such as language program administration and international education management. There are also master’s programs that are purely focused on helping you obtain K-12 state licensure/certification. (See our article on K-12 Teaching for more info.)

As part of your master’s degree, you will usually be expected to write a thesis or complete a capstone project.

Career Opportunities

A master’s degree can set you up for higher level positions in your field (e.g. education administration), prepare you for a PhD, or help you concentrate on area of particular interest in your career (e.g. interpretation, translation, etc.).

But you don’t need to earn a master’s degree to learn a language. A quicker way to achieve this goal is to earn a certificate or take commercial courses such as Rosetta Stone.

Doctoral Degree in a Foreign Language

A doctorate in a foreign language is an advanced graduate degree that takes 3-7 years to complete. Since it is intended for aspiring university professors and high-level education administrators, it is heavily focused on research. Unless you find a combined master’s/PhD program, a master’s degree in a foreign language or a related field is required to apply.

Degree Options

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD): A research-focused degree aimed at students who wish to become researchers or teach at the university-level.
  • Doctor of Education (EdD): An education-focused degree designed for students who have earned a master’s degree in foreign language education or TESOL, literacy, social studies, or early childhood education.

Sample Coursework

In the first few years of a doctorate, students are expected to complete advanced graduate courses in the area of their specialization. For example;

  • EdD candidates may focus on areas such as language acquisition, language in culture and identity, language assessment, and bilingualism in educational contexts.
  • PhD candidates may be exploring areas such as literature, culture, and translation.

During this time, candidates may also be required to pass translation or language exams.

In the last few years, students have more freedom to focus on original research. This work must be written up in a book-long dissertation. As preparation for their future careers, doctoral students also often teach undergraduates during this time.

Career Opportunities

PhD graduates tend to become academics and foreign language faculty at universities and colleges. EdD graduates take up leadership positions in K-12 schools (e.g. district curriculum supervisor) and become education professors at teaching-focused universities and colleges.

Certificate in a Foreign Language

A certificate in a foreign language is an academic, non-degree program that focuses on specific skill sets. It usually takes less than a year to complete. Certificates are widely available from universities and colleges. Thanks to demand, online offerings continue to grow in popularity.

Certificate Options

  • Undergraduate Certificate in a Foreign Language: Can be used to supplement or earn credits for an undergraduate degree.
  • Graduate Certificate in a Foreign Language: Intended for working professionals who wish to gain skills for their career, improve their job opportunities and/or earn credits for a master’s degree.

Is a Certificate Worth It?

When it comes to language learning, you have lots of options. As well as a certificate, you could think about programs such as Rosetta Stone, Fluenz, or free online courses. Some professionals opt for a graduate certificate because they prefer the discipline of an academic program and feel that it carries more weight in the workplace.

Important Accreditations

Regional Accreditation

As a rule of thumb, we recommend that your college or university has regional accreditation. This is a “seal of approval” granted to institutions (e.g. non-profit and public colleges and universities) by one of six regional accrediting bodies (e.g. North Central Association of Colleges and Schools).

You can learn more about the difference between regional accreditation and national accreditation in Accreditation: Understanding the Difference Between Real Schools and Diploma Mills.

Benefits of Regional Accreditation

Attending a regionally accredited school will make it easier for you to:

  • Transfer credits (many regionally accredited colleges and universities will not accept credits from nationally accredited schools)
  • Apply for student loans, tuition reimbursement, scholarships and funding opportunities
  • Get into graduate school
  • Look good in the eyes of headhunters and recruiters

Regional accreditation only applies to a college or university. There is no specific accreditation for foreign language programs or degrees.

Translation & Interpretation Certification

Translator Certifications

As a translator, you may wish to think about voluntary certification from the American Translators Association (ATA). To become certified, candidates must pass a three-hour exam designed to assess professional level translation skills in a specified source-target language combination.

ATA certification isn’t necessary to become a translator. What’s more, some language combinations are unavailable. But certification may give you an extra edge over other job candidates.

Interpreter Qualifications

Many interpreters start their careers by visiting the website of the Interpreters Guild of America (IGA). This is an organization that advocates and supports independent interpreters. There is no certification process, but interpreters are invited to become members.

Court Interpreters

Federal courts administer a Spanish-English Federal Court Interpreter Certification Examination for Spanish interpreters; state and municipal courts usually have individual forms of certification. Learn more about Language Access Programs by State.

The National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT) used to offer certification for court interpreting, but this was discontinued as certification became available through state courts.

Department of State Interpreters

The U.S. Department of State divides interpreters into three groups:

  1. Conference interpreters
  2. Seminar interpreters
  3. Liaison interpreters

For each level, interpreters are expected to go through an application and telephone screening process, take part in an interview, and pass the Interpreting Aptitude Test. Simultaneous interpretation is tested from in a soundproof booth with sound transmission equipment equivalent to those used in the industry.

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