Not a Major?

As our world becomes smaller and our focus shifts to internationalization, the study of Modern Languages complements not only the traditional areas of interest such as culture and literature but now also politics, economics, sociology, and even science. Here at William and Mary, students come to our department to enhance their coursework in disciplines all across campus.  We provide students with the opportunity to see the broader picture, understanding how language and culture intertwines with everything from government and business to sociology and education. Students who are working toward careers in international relations, business, and teaching foreign languages in secondary schools will find especially in the advanced language classes a necessary complement to their professional education courses. Many students are choosing a double-major option, combining modern languages with social sciences or other humanities disciplines.

One of the programs that we most closely support is Global Studies. Ranging from specialties in Africana Studies to Russian and Post-Soviet Studies, the Global Studies program offers students a chance to focus on a particular area of the world. Our language and higher-level culture courses make up a large part of the Global Studies program. These content courses are often cross-listed with other departments as well, such as Film Studies, Literary and Cultural Studies, and Women's Studies, truly demonstrating the breadth of our curriculum.

Another reason that students are drawn to our department is our extensive list of courses that fulfill the General Education Requirements . These courses allow students to explore other areas of interest outside of their own major, all the while meeting their requirements. Many of these courses, despite being upper-level courses, are taught in English to accommodate students from across the disciplines. In addition to the GER courses, we also offer classes to fulfill the Freshman Seminar requirement. These classes are also usually taught in English; however, some sections offer these seminars in the target language for more advanced students. Below you will see a list of past examples of these seminars.

  • FREN 150W. Freedom Lovers, Cowboys, and Capitalists: How France Sees the United States
  • FREN 151. Surrealism (taught in French)
  • GRMN 150W. The Berlin Wall in Literature and Film
  • HISP 150W. Ethical Fashion
  • HISP 151. Mexican Cinema (taught in Spanish)
  • HISP 151. Words of the Earth in Latin American Fiction and Film (taught in Spanish)