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World Languages, Literatures and Linguistics

The Department of World Languages, Literatures and Linguistics is home to a wide variety of quality programs and exciting opportunities. With courses in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin (Classics), Russian and Spanish, the department plays a crucial role in providing the basic foreign language component for the Bachelor of Arts degree in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences. Our degrees in Chinese Studies, French, German Studies and Spanish, the area of emphasis in Russian Studies and the minor include advanced coursework in language, literature, culture and linguistics as well as innovative capstone experiences.

World languages, literatures and linguistics students participate in internationally recognized study abroad programs. They spend a summer, a semester or even a year earning credits and gaining experience in countries like China, France, Germany, Spain and Mexico. In addition to regular courses and study abroad, students off campus enroll in increasing numbers in the department’s online and distance-learning courses. Small class sizes and an array of student groups, honor societies and language clubs all contribute to a congenial atmosphere.

As a world languages, literatures and linguistics student you will:

  • Explore other cultures and how they communicate.
  • Expand your language knowledge in a linguistically diverse environment.
  • Experience literature from a variety of perspective.
  • Examine languages from different theoretical frameworks.
  • Become immersed in a multicultural and multilingual environment.

How will I focus my studies?

Area of Emphasis in Russian Studies

Russian is a vibrant modern language with a rich and fascinating history. Today, more than 280 million people speak Russian in many different countries. Russia's vast mineral wealth and resources guarantee its place in the world economy. Its enormous geographical size spans the Eurasian landmass. Russia’s continued dominance on the world political stage necessitates our careful study of its history, culture, language and politics. 

Learning Russian is a gateway to one of the world's largest nations. It is clear that knowing the language of a country always aids in securing better connections and relationships, whether in a private company or a government agency. Learning Russian can also facilitate work in many of the nations of the former Soviet Union because Russian is still often the language of business and public life. Although Russia's military dominance is not what it was at the height of the Cold War, it continues to have a presence in the global arena.

Learning Russian introduces you to a dynamic world that involves global energy corporations, national defense and security, and an ancient and fascinating culture. Russian is spoken by more than 265 million people across the world—not only in Russia, but also in the former member countries of the Soviet Union, former Warsaw Pact countries and a wide diaspora that reaches into nearly every country on earth. Russian is a beautiful language that enables its speakers to experience one of the richest world literary and cultural traditions as well as one of the world's most important political and military powers.

Learn more at the World Languages, Literatures and Linguistics site