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About the Program

Modern languages & literatures explores language, literature, the visual arts, digital media, material culture and social practices among other forms of cultural production. The program offers eight language areas in the field of cultural studies. You can begin a new language or attain fluency in a language you have already studied. While many courses are taught in the language of program, there are courses in English for students who are interested in learning about the culture.

Courses in Hebrew, Latin and Greek are offered through the Department of Classical Studies.

Oldest Department in U.S. History

William & Mary's Department of Modern Languages & Literature is the oldest department in the United States, founded in 1779 through the efforts of alumnus Thomas Jefferson, then Governor of Virginia.

What Makes Us Different

  • University Partnerships

    W&M works with abroad schools in order for students to take part in their programs.

  • TA Opportunities

    Work as a Teaching Assistant for beginning and intermediate language classes.

  • Real-World Experience

    Train as a medical interpreter at Eastern Shore Rural Health clinics for Spanish-speaking farm workers.

  • Gazetta

    Join the team of this Russian language newspaper.

Applied Learning



Modern languages & literature alumni are trained with critical writing skills and equipped with effective communication and research tools both in English and a second language. Many alumni go on to graduate and professional schools. Others begin careers with private companies, corporations, non-profit and government agencies working in areas of law, international relations, business, education and public health. With their in-depth linguistic and cultural training in global issues pertaining to immigration, social justice, histories of underrepresented peoples and the world of arts, education and diverse cultural expressions from around the globe, modern languages & literature alumni are poised for leadership in the 21st century.

Talk to Us

Want to learn more? Our current students and faculty want to connect with you.

Department of Modern Languages & Literatures


Washington Hall Room 210

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Courses Disclaimer

*Courses listed are examples. Course availability changes each semester.