The Catholic University of America

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Undergraduate Programs - Introduction

  Italian Class

A major in modern languages and literatures may lead to a B.A. in French and Francophone Studies, German Studies, Italian Studies, Hispanic Studies, and Spanish for International Services.

Undergraduate programs in modern languages and literatures stress both practical and humanistic goals. A series of graduated language courses permits acquisition of oral, aural, and written mastery of a foreign language. A comprehensive program of courses in literature and civilization, ranging from introductory surveys through period and genre offerings to seminars treating individual major authors, provides, in depth and in breadth, the experience of another culture and of its modes of thought and expression.

A major in modern languages and literatures provides its graduates with both a specific area of skills and competence and a sense of the relationship between their particular discipline and the large body of knowledge that is the patrimony of liberally educated persons. Majors learn to express themselves clearly and correctly through required advanced language courses (200 through 400 levels). They acquire a general knowledge of the literature as a whole in survey courses and a deeper knowledge of special areas in the courses that follow, including a number of 500-level electives. The final course taken by the concentrator, the senior seminar, coordinates all knowledge and skills acquired.

Students may choose to develop a minor in  French and Francophone Studies, German Studies, Italian Studies, Hispanic Studies. Consult the individual language programs below for further details.

For students not majoring in languages, distribution requirements in literature as well as in humanities, as outlined under B.A. degree requirements, may be fulfilled by a number of courses offered by the department.

Note: All entering students and transfer students with one year of college French, German, Italian, or Spanish, and wishing to continue in that language, are required to take a placement examination. The resulting placement will be valid up to one semester after the date of the examination.

Outcome Goals:

As elaborated in the mission statement of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, a student graduating with a major in French Studies, German Studies, Italian Studies, Hispanic Studies, or Spanish for International Service, will be a reflective, compassionate global citizen with an informed sense of moral and intellectual responsibility.
In their course work, students will develop and practice critical thinking and analytical writing. They acquire research and practical work skills, in-depth knowledge of the culture(s) in their target language, and advanced language proficiency in at least one language other than English.

The outcome goals for our language and culture majors respond to the following goals of the university-wide General Education goals as defined by The Catholic University of America:

  • Graduates will demonstrate knowledge of and respect for different cultures and religions.
  • Graduates will demonstrate proficiency in oral and written communication, including argumentative essays, research papers, presentations, and creative and collaborative work employing a variety of media.
  • Graduates will show facility in critical thinking and reasoned analysis.
  • Graduates will demonstrate an ability to find information effectively using appropriate resources and technologies, critically assess the validity and relevance of that information, and utilize it in ethical and legal ways.