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Modern Languages and Literatures

The ability to communicate effectively in another language expands our range of cultural competency and enriches our understanding of the world and our own culture.

Visit the program website for more information.

Students are admitted directly into this program.
Available as a minor.
Elementary education minor offered.
Secondary education minor offered.

Program Overview

The third-semester proficiency language requirement for the Bachelor of Arts can be fulfilled with any of our seven languages:

  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Spanish
  • Majors in French, German, and Spanish
  • Minors in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, and Spanish
  • PK-12 teaching certification in French, German, and Spanish

Why Study Modern Languages and Literatures at Grand Valley?

  • Practical task-based learning with high-impact experiences designed to immerse students in language and culture.
  • Extensive digital learning possibilities through our Language Resource Center, where students gather to connect with others and to create and share digital media as part of their coursework.
  • Opportunities for cultural activities both on and off campus, including numerous study abroad programs of all types.
  • A relationship-rich learning community where students interact closely with their classmates and instructors.
  • Personalized advising to integrate language and culture into each individual student's academic and career goals.

Location & Format

Undergraduate students in this major study at Grand Valley's Allendale Campus.

  • Face To Face


Coursework covers all aspects of language and related cultures, including reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Additional practical skills gained include:

  • Cultural competency, critical thinking, and analysis
  • Flexibility, communication, and working with others

Career Options

In an increasingly interconnected world, the study of language and culture will enhance any major. There is a growing need for linguistic and intercultural competency in fields such as:

  • Business and finance
  • Criminal justice
  • Education
  • Government and nonprofits
  • Advertising and public relations
  • STEM
  • International relations
  • Health professions
  • Social work
  • Hospitality and tourism
  • Environmental studies and sustainability

Combined Degree Programs

Many GVSU undergraduate programs can be combined with an existing master’s degree program to save on tuition and get you into the workforce sooner. On average, you can save $8,500 by pursuing a combined degree and take up to four fewer courses than if earning the degrees separately.

Talk with an advisor about how you can build your combined degree from existing programs to further personalize your education and create your own niche area of expertise.

Admission Requirements

Visit the Admissions website for undergraduate requirements.

For More Information

Modern Languages and Literatures
Mackinac Hall B-2-243
(616) 331-3203

Admissions and Recruitment Office