Inspired by the Statement of Mission of the University of San Francisco, a Jesuit and Catholic university, the Department of Modern and Classical Languages states as its essential objective to "prepare men and women to shape a multicultural world with creativity, generosity and compassion."
The Department unreservedly promotes language acquisition as a requirement for the accomplishment of this objective. The language requirement not only exposes the inner workings of language in general, but it also provides the point of departure for the development of proficiency adequate to academic and professional needs, and promotes the multidisciplinary study of cultures and societies both outside the U.S. and within our increasingly multicultural communities. Whether as a tool to investigate the past, analyze the present, or forecast the future, knowledge of languages and cultures gives USF students privileges they would otherwise lack.
The rich variety of course offerings provides students with a historical, social, linguistic, cultural and literary framework for the many languages offered by the Department. Such a multifaceted approach seeks to enhance intellectual tolerance and to promote an informed understanding of other cultures. The Department thereby offers unique support to the endeavors of the broader academic community.
The Department fosters close student-teacher relationships as a fundamental factor in the process of learning languages. Extra-curricular activities such as reading and cultural clubs, volunteer opportunities and internships are among the many options the Department promotes as a means of connecting to the culturally diverse communities in San Francisco, the Bay Area and California.
The Department of Modern and Classical Languages offers majors and minors in French, Japanese and Spanish; a minor in Chinese; a minor in German; a certificate program in Japanese; and language study in Ancient Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Latin, and Russian; and courses in Comparative Literature and Classics in translation.
Increased awareness of the multinational character of our society has enhanced the importance of language in fields such as banking, communication, government, health services, law, librarianship, merchandising, tourism and trade, as well as in the more traditional areas of education and diplomacy. Language study remains an integral part of the liberal arts education.
Registration in foreign language courses is governed by the following policy:
- Transfer students who have passed college-level language courses at another institution will be granted credit toward partial or complete fulfillment of the language requirement, which is three semesters for liberal arts majors, two semesters for science majors. Transfer students are still required to take the placement test in order to determine proper placement in USF courses.
- All incoming students who studied a foreign language in high school and intend to continue study of that language at USF must take a placement test.
- Students may enroll in upper-division courses in language for full credit as soon as they have completed the prerequisite course.
- Students who possess fluency in a native or non-native language other than English are eligible for credit in that language by enrolling in an upper-division course or by transferring units of upper-division course work taken at an institution of higher learning either before or after admission to the University. Such students are generally not allowed to enroll in lower-division courses in that language.
Majors and Minors in Modern Languages
Students majoring in Modern Languages must complete sixteen (16) units of upper-division language courses in residence.
Students minoring in Modern Languages must complete eight (8) units of upper-division courses in residence. Students are strongly encouraged to travel and study abroad to complement their academic program of studies at USF.