You may be one of the 75% who come to W&M with the language proficiency requirement met. We still hope to see you in some of our courses. If you have experience studying a foreign language, we can help place you in a class so you can continue to advance.
Many of our courses are either language instruction classes, or are taught in the target language. However, we do offer some courses in English for those interested in other cultures. Some of these courses meet COLL requirements. Check the Undergraduate Catalog or the Dynamic Schedule for details.
We consider the W&M language requirement to be a minimal measure of competency in a language. It may suffice to help you travel through another country as a tourist, but true understanding requires more fluency.
Fluency in a language is more than a list of of vocabulary words and parts of speech. It is also the understanding of a culture. When you become fluent, you learn to see the broader picture. You will see how language and culture influences everything in a society: from government and business to sociology and education.
Advanced knowledge of a language complements many disciplines. If your goal is a career in international relations, business, or government, advanced language classes can help. If you wish to teach foreign languages in secondary schools, advanced language classes are necessary. Scientists also find that fluency in a language other than English helps their careers.
Many students choose to study language as part of a double-major. Frequent combinations pair modern languages with majors in the social sciences or humanities.
Several other programs at W&M ask that their majors do more than the minimal language requirement. Majors in Global Studies, International Relations majors, and Africana Studies take additional language courses.