Student Resources

The Second Language Requirement

As part of SMU's commitment to broaden the global perspectives of its students (Strategic Plan Goal Five) the university requires all students to achieve and demonstrate intermediate-level proficiency (as measured on an accepted international scale) in a second language .

Students have a number of options for meeting this requirement.  Please play this interactive tutorial to receive detailed information about the requirement, the possibilities for fulfilling it, and the other university curriculum components second language courses fulfill.

Students who study language gain not only the ability to communicate in global contexts beyond their own, they inherit a new world, an insight into the ways of thinking and being in diverse regions of our interconnected world.

Intermediate-level proficiency is also a gateway to linguistic and cultural fluency, which the U.S. Department of Labor and sources ranging from Forbes to CNN have rated as the most-needed skill in the job market today.

Students who are fluent in a second (or third) language have significant advantages in job placement in fields as diverse as medicine, finance, engineering, pharmaceuticals, and law, and will earn more over their lifetimes than their monolingual colleagues.  Foreign language study is an investment that more than pays for itself!

We encourage you to embrace your second-language study, and to think carefully about your options for fulfilling the requirement and building upon the proficiency it provides.

If we can help you explore the advantages of language proficiency, help you select a language best suited for your career goals, or answer any other questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Professor Dayna Oscherwitz, Ph.D.
Chair, World Languages and Literatures