Undergraduate Students in the School of Languages and Cultures

The School of Languages and Cultures offers undergraduate courses in language, literature, linguistics, culture, civilization, and film. Instruction is provided in 12 languages, with majors in those listed above. For students interested in elementary or secondary school teaching of French, German, Russian, or Spanish, teaching majors incorporate certain mandated courses in the College of Education, which lead to state certification. Language clubs and honoraries, language tables in the residence halls, guest lectures, international film series, and theater performances also allow our students to enhance their knowledge and experience of other languages and cultures.

In addition to the six languages offered as majors and teaching majors, Purdue offers courses in Arabic, Chinese, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Portuguese, and American Sign Language.

Points of Pride

  • Our faculty members are highly qualified with a richly diverse range of research interests. The following notable scholarly publications are edited by faculty and staff in the department: Purdue Studies in Romance Literatures (PSRL); Romance Languages Annual (RLA); Espelho; and Global Business Languages.
  • Professor Christiane Keck, former head of the department, has led the development and promotion of business German courses in the United States, and is associate director of CIBER (The Center for International Business Education and Research) at Purdue. Courses in business Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish are very popular with Purdue's international business, science, and engineering students. Business Italian and Portuguese courses are being developed.
  • The School of Languages and Cultures is fully wired with fiber optics that link all our computers to the campus "backbone" and to the Internet. We have two large state-of-the-art computer laboratories specially equipped to enhance Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL). Other innovative computer-assisted learning programs being developed by our faculty include CALET (Computer-Aided Language Education Tools) Multi-Media, a very user-friendly authoring system for interactive video in all languages, and unique instructional software for Purdue's Japanese courses.
  • Study abroad is an important part of a language education, and our faculty and staff work in close collaboration with the International Programs for Study Abroad to find our students the best university programs in other countries.


The intrinsic mission of the School of Languages and Cultures is to promote international understanding while ensuring students the best foreign language education possible. Their skills and cultural awareness will traverse boundaries and borders and help create a true global community for the future. Our students will use their language skills as:

  • Teachers and translators of diverse languages
  • Employees of multi-national companies
  • Diplomatic and business leaders in international trade
  • Scholars and researchers of foreign literatures and cultures in a global academic network
  • Foreign aid service programs
  • Community volunteers

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