Modern & Classical Language Studies

The Department of Modern and Classical Language Studies offers four-year programs leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree in American Sign Language, classics, French, German, Latin, Russian and Spanish. A Bachelor of Science degree in translation is offered in French, German, Russian and Spanish.


Selected courses are available in Arabic, Chinese, classical Greek, Italian and Japanese. Among the wide range of offerings in this culturally diverse department are language and literature courses ranging from antiquity through the modern period, as well as courses in second language pedagogy and translation. On the graduate level, the department offers the Master of Arts degree in French, German, Latin and Spanish, the Master of Arts in translation specializing in French, German, Japanese, Russian and Spanish and the Doctorate in translation.

Bachelor of Arts Programs in Foreign Languages and Literatures

The classics and modern foreign language baccalaureate programs are designed for students who seek a liberal arts education. The classics baccalaureate program combines study in classical Greek and Latin with a wide range of English language courses in the humanities. The modern language programs focus on the modern French, German, Russian and Spanish languages and a variety of literature, culture and civilization courses. The American Sign Language (ASL) program focuses on teaching ASL as a foreign language and includes emphases in ASL linguistics and deaf culture. These baccalaureate programs provide the foundation for graduate work leading to a Master of Arts and Ph.D. degrees and are an effective complement to degrees in other disciplines such as art, business, fashion design, history and international relations.

Students pursuing majors in American Sign Language, French, German, Latin, Russian or Spanish must complete from 30-49 credit hours, depending on the major field. In French, German, Russian and Spanish up to 14 hours, equivalent to the elementary and intermediate sequences in those languages, may be waived dependent on the level of proficiency demonstrated. Those majoring in Latin should consult the department for placement advice.

Bachelor of Science Program in Modern Language Translation

Translation is a career-oriented major for students interested in preparing for graduate work in professional translation and software localization. The Bachelor of Science degree develops language skills in one modern language, provides training in translation and builds competence in a subject area specialization such as business, technology, science, premedicine, criminal justice, computer science or fashion. The B.S. curriculum consists of 18-27 hours in French, German, Russian or Spanish, including courses in language, conversation, composition, phonetics and civilization, as well as 25-28 hours of translation related courses and 27-39 hours in a subject area specialization are required. On the recommendation of an advisor the 27-33 hours may include up to 17 hours in a second foreign language. It is strongly recommended that students in this program spend their third year abroad.

Pre-K-12 Ohio Teaching Licensure

Students who major in American Sign Language, French, German, Latin, Russian or Spanish and complete an education minor totaling 39 hours, including 9 hours of student teaching, and who also pass the appropriate state examinations may earn K-12 teaching licensure in the state of Ohio. This entire teacher preparation curriculum totals from 120 to 126 semester hours.

Bachelor of Arts in Classics

Students pursuing the Bachelor of Arts in classics complete coursework in Latin, Greek, classics and ancient history.

Foreign Language Proficiency and Placement

All students should begin foreign language study at the appropriate level of proficiency, which may be established in several ways: CLEP examination, a proficiency examination such as the AP tests administered through the College Board Advanced Placement Program or university placement test. Placement testing in French, German and Spanish is available through Destination Kent State: Advising and Registration or at the Student Advising Center in Lake Hall. The CLEP and AP examinations provide for the awarding of credit based on performance. Placement tests provide no credit and serve only to place students in the appropriate language class. Students uncertain about placement or seeking placement in Arabic, Chinese, Japanese or Russian should contact the department basic studies advisor in 109 Satterfield Hall (330-672- 2150). Students with preparation in Latin should consult the department for placement advice. As a general rule, students with no high school foreign language or with only one year of such study should enroll in Elementary I and students with two or more years with grades of B or better should enroll in Elementary II or above in that language.



Foreign Language Proficiency Testing

Upon entering the university and prior to taking any courses in the language sequence, students may choose to take the CLEP examination. Students who successfully complete the CLEP exam may earn up to 14 hours of college credit for competency acquired in high school.

Minors and Other Programs

The Department of Modern and Classical Language Studies offers minors in many foreign languages (American Sign Language, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Japanese, Latin, Russian, Spanish and classics) Russian majors may opt for a second and interdisciplinary major in Soviet and East European studies. Business students can pursue a minor in business language. Students in a variety of majors (e.g., justice studies, nursing) can pursue a minor in American Sign Language.

Opportunities for Foreign Travel and Study Abroad

Kent State language students may participate in a variety of semester-abroad programs in foreign countries including Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Russia and Switzerland. Information about cost and policies for eligibility, application and receiving credit vary from program to program, so please consult a departmental advisor for more information. For a list of Kent State study-abroad programs and to access the guide to study abroad, consult the study abroad resources page

Student Honorary Societies

Kent State University has a chapter of Phi Sigma Iota, the International Foreign Language Honor Society and national honorary societies for the following languages: Sigma Delta Pi, the national Spanish honorary; Eta Sigma Phi, the national classics (Greek and Latin) honorary; and Delta Phi Alpha, the national German honorary. Students are elected into these honoraries for their academic excellence.

The department also sponsors French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Spanish social activities such as coffee hours where students and faculty from across the university gather for refreshments and conversation.

The Language Faculty

Our faculty has an international reputation in the scholarly community. They have published hundreds of articles, books and translations and are active participants in national and international conferences. Our language faculty are frequently recognized by students for outstanding teaching.

Departmental Awards and Prizes

As part of the universitywide Honors Week celebration, the department gives cash and book awards to outstanding students in classics, French, German, Russian and Spanish.