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Welcome to the Department of Modern Languages Undergraduate Programs


The Department of Modern Languages at Ohio University is diverse and vibrant, with faculty, staff, and students from many different countries, cultures, and communities. Modern Languages faculty publish top-level cultural, literary, cinematographic, and pedagogic research relating to a variety of languages, cultures, and time periods. This 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 so vital for understanding and navigating the world.

Our majors and minors 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. Students enhance their technological skills in our Language Resource Center’s audio, video, and computer labs.

Modern Languages faculty are committed to student advising, and to 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 dialogue, collaboration, openness, and critical thinking.

With faculty guidance, our seniors have successfully competed for postgraduate awards such as Fulbright and Truman Scholarships as well as for admission to MA and PhD programs in a variety of fields (ONCA). To complement course work, student language clubs and national honor societies sponsor events such as weekly conversation meetings and foreign film series. The Department of Modern Languages excels at challenging undergraduate students in a supportive environment where they can thrive and prepare themselves for a successful future.

In addition we encourage participation in our FLES program that teaches language and culture in the area elementary schools.

Study Abroad

Professors in our department accompany students to destinations around the globe for long-term and short-term programs varying from 3 weeks through 2 semesters. During residence abroad, students explore the culture of another part of the world, thus adding tremendous depth to their academic preparation. Through daily life and course work, participants learn about the everyday habits, history, literature, economics, art, political system, and international relations of the region. Students return from study abroad with an expanded perspective on the world, on their country, on their community, and on themselves. Throughout one’s life, critical insight into different societal norms constitutes an invaluable resource for success in personal, professional, social, and civic endeavors.

Ohio University study abroad programs by language:
French: Avignon, France;
German: Salzburg, Austria
Italian: Florence, Italy
Portuguese: Florianópolis, Brazil
Russian: Moscow, Russia
Spanish: Mérida, Mexico; Cuenca, Ecuador; Toledo, Spain;


Modern languages graduates are not limited to a specific career track. The ability to think analytically, communicate clearly, and understand people from diverse cultural backgrounds has served our graduates well in a wide range of professions. Ohio University language majors discover that current job listings call for the types of abilities they have acquired through their liberal arts education: communication skills, analytical skills, interpersonal skills, a capacity for problem solving, and the ability to learn quickly. Many job listings include foreign language proficiency as a desirable or necessary tool.

In consultation with a faculty adviser and with the help of Ohio University Career Services, students approaching graduation can identify companies and organizations offering job opportunities that correspond to the student’s personal interests. When recent graduates can employ their marketable skills in the pursuit of an individual passion, they greatly enhance their chances for success, satisfaction, and lifelong rewards.

Some of our students combine a major in Modern Languages with a secondary discipline such as journalism, political science, education, sociology, or business, and then seek employment in print or broadcast media, government, teaching, social services, or industry. These students possess career-specific skills in addition to general knowledge and language proficiency. Ohio University’s curriculum offers the flexibility necessary to complete a double major in four years.

Many of our majors acquire additional training prior to seeking employment. Some pursue internships, either in the US or abroad, in which they employ their foreign language skills in professional capacity while earning OU credit. After graduation, many enter MA and PhD programs and go on to academic positions at universities. Others attend law school or medical school. Volunteer service abroad with organizations such as the Peace Corps provides training that can help a student identify a future career track.

Our Degree Programs

French major/minor

German major/minor

Spanish major/minor

Russian major/minor

Foreign Language Education with K-12 licensure



Russian Studies Certificate Program

Italian Certificate Program


Portuguese language courses

Honors Tutorial program in French

Honors Tutorial program in Spanish


Web: http://modlang.ohio.edu
Department Office: 740-593-2765
Spanish: kelley@ohio.edu
French: coski@ohio.edu
German: sathe@ohio.edu
Italian: morrisom@ohio.edu
Russian: belousov@ohio.edu
Foreign Language Education: reichenb@ohio.edu

Alumni Comments:

Spanish major: “Outstanding educators who demand the best, but help you meet those goals.”
French major: “Teachers are always available and classroom sizes are small, giving students a close-knit community in which to learn.”
German major: “I always thought that the [Modern Languages] department was the perfect size: large enough to provide useful resources and a diverse staff, yet small enough to give the one-on-one help that every language student needs.”
Russian major: “Because of these skills (acquired in Modern Languages) my company might send me to Russia to help build a presence.”
Spanish and Journalism: “I was able to obtain two degrees in 4 years. The classes I took have prepared me for the legal analysis and ‘outside the box’ approach that I am confronted with in law school.”
Spanish major: “The knowledge of another culture and language has and will continue to enrich my understanding of the world around me.”
German major: “I was able to study in both Austria and Germany and then live in Cologne for a year working in the German television industry.”