The Department of Modern Languages and Cultures offers an interdisciplinary major that requires in-depth study of Arabic, Chinese, French, and Spanish and emphasizes work in literatures, history, and political science. Students of Modern Languages and Cultures thus take a variety of courses aimed toward acquiring knowledge not only of a foreign language, but also of the literature, culture, history, economics, and politics of the country or area where the foreign language they are studying is the major tongue. Since the curriculum allows for 18 hours of unrestricted electives, the department encourages cadets to double major or to minor in another curriculum or to study other foreign languages (a minimum of two years study of each language). The Modern Language and Cultures Department does not accept transfer credit of internet-based or distance learning courses at any level.
The curriculum is designed to provide a student with skills to function effectively on a shrinking planet. The countries and geographical areas that combine to shape the modern world, while becoming increasingly interconnected and geographically accessible, nevertheless remain far apart in their linguistic, cultural, economic, and political systems. The Modern Languages and Cultures curriculum enhances an understanding of global issues and fosters in-depth knowledge of a country or area. Graduates of the curriculum should thus be well-prepared to pursue advanced study in a variety of fields or to find positions in teaching, the armed forces, government, the foreign service, or in multinational firms. The curriculum of Modern Languages and Cultures lays the groundwork for an individual to assume a leadership role in an increasingly internationalized world.
To earn a bachelor’s degree a cadet must take all prescribed courses and acquire a minimum of 24 credit hours above the 200-level in one foreign language. A minimum of 9 credit hours must be earned in 400-level language courses. (please consult the “Synopsis of the Modern Languages and Cultures Curriculum”):
Majors must either study abroad or participate in a foreign intern program in a country where their primary foreign language is a principal tongue. Upon completion of all requirements, majors will be awarded a B.A. degree in Modern Languages and Cultures, with their language (s) specified (i.e., B.A. in Modern Languages and Cultures - French).
Honors in Modern Languages and Cultures
A cadet wishing to graduate with Honors in the Department of Modern Languages must be a Modern Language major, have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 in courses taken in the major (exclusive of subjects taken in the Fourth Class), and have permission of the Department Head. Cadets must complete ML 498 and ML 499 and produce a thesis which is written in the student’s major foreign language, as appropriate. The thesis must achieve a language ranking of “Advanced-High” and adhere to MLA specifications.
Department of Modern Languages and Cultures
Department Head: Colonel Sunnen
All cadets who enter with two or more entrance units in a modern foreign language are given placement tests and are placed in appropriate courses on the basis of the test results combined with their previous high school language coursework, and after consultation with the department head of modern languages.
A single year of a foreign language shall count toward meeting graduation requirements only when the cadet is studying a second language or is taking a language as an elective.
Cadets must demonstrate proficiency in ML 101 in order to be admitted into ML 102. They must, similarly, demonstrate proficiency in ML 102 before enrolling in ML 201, and in ML 201 before enrolling in ML 202/204. Proficiency in ML 202/204 is a prerequisite for admission to 300-level courses. Completion of two 300-level courses or their equivalent is expected before enrollment in any 400 -level course. Once a cadet has completed work at the 202/204 level, he/she may not return to the elementary level course for credit.
Cadets who present four years of a high school language or demonstrate native or near-native language abilities may not enroll at the elementary level of that language. Such students will have the choice of enrolling either in the first semester intermediate level of that language or in the first semester elementary course of a different language.