About Us

Ohio University >

gordy hall

About Us

The Ohio University Department of Modern Languages is diverse and vibrant, with faculty, staff, and students from many different countries, cultures, and communities. We excel at challenging students in a supportive environment where they can thrive and prepare themselves for a successful future.

We offer a complete series of courses leading to a bachelor’s degree (with or without teaching certification) in French, German, Spanish, and Russian. Courses are also taught in beginning and intermediate Italian and Portuguese, and we have a competitive Spanish master’s degree program.

Our faculty members publish top-level cultural, literary, cinematographic, and pedagogic research relating to a variety of languages, cultures, and time periods. Their wide range of expertise means that our courses provide students with a base of knowledge not only in language but, just as importantly, in cultural content vital for understanding and navigating the world.

Our students learn to think analytically and critically in courses on literature, culture, linguistics, film, and art, and they acquire clarity of thought and expression through frequent writing assignments and speaking activities. We also offer opportunities to study abroad and complete independent studies and internships. Students may also enhance their technological skills in our Language Resource Center’s audio, video, and computer labs.

Modern Languages faculty are committed to student advising and guiding students through the options of double majors, complementary certificate programs, and elective courses. We limit our class sizes so professors can address the needs of individual learners and encourage dialog, collaboration, openness, and critical thinking. With faculty guidance, our seniors have successfully competed for postgraduate awards including the Fulbright and Truman Scholarships, and they have earned admission into competitive master’s and doctoral programs. 

To complement course work, student language clubs and national honor societies sponsor events such as weekly conversation meetings and foreign film series.

Click on the links below to learn more about the history of our department. 

Bicentennial History of the Department of Modern Languages (1804–2004)

Studying Abroad at Ohio University (1967–1999)


The study of language is fundamental to the liberal arts tradition of higher education. As a department that offers major, minor, and certificate programs in French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish, the Department of Modern Languages firmly believes that to study another language and culture adds multiple dimensions to education. Consequently, we are committed not only to developing communication skills in a second language, but also to teaching students to analyze cultural and literary texts, conduct and present original research, access and evaluate multiple points of view, and develop life-long learning strategies. We help students develop the ability to appreciate diversity and think critically from beginning language through MA-level literature, culture, pedagogy, linguistics, translation, and film courses. Our study abroad programs provide students the opportunity to experience, analyze, and understand cultural differences while improving their language skills. Modern Languages students acquire tools needed for professional success as global citizens.


    • Bachelor of Arts in French 
    • Bachelor of Science in French Education
    • Minor in French
    • Bachelor of Science in German Education
    • Minor in German
    • Italian Studies Certificate Program
    • Undergraduate and Graduate Coursework in Portuguese
    • Bachelor of Arts in Spanish
    • Bachelor of Science in Spanish Education
    • Minor in Spanish
    • Master of Arts in Spanish


Contact Us – Department of Modern Languages

Gordy Hall

51 Park Pl., Room 283

Athens, OH 45701

Phone: (740) 593-2765

Fax: (740) 593-072

Email: modern.languages@ohio.edu

Department Chair: Chris Coski

Faculty Directory

The main office is open weekdays from 8-12 p.m. and 1-5 p.m. (due to COVID-19 this is temporarily suspended).