The study of language expands your understanding of the complex and interconnected world in which we live, and gives you the ability to shape it, change it, and to succeed in it.
A major in languages will immerse you in global culture through the study of language, history, film, art, literature, and business; world languages makes an ideal double-major and complements the other dynamic majors offered at SMU. Everyone, from those majoring in business and finance to those majoring in the social sciences to those majoring in the arts, benefits from a language major and the linguistic and cultural fluency it brings.
CNN, The International Business Times, and The Economist have all reported that foreign language proficiency is the single most in-demand skill in the job market. All have noted that jobseekers with demonstrated foreign language proficiency have a significant advantage in the job market and have increased salaries over the course of their career. In addition, the modern languages taught in the department are nearly all featured on Kiplinger’s list of the Best Languages to Learn to Get Ahead in Your Career.
Students pursuing degrees in the Department of World Languages and Literature have the opportunity to specialize in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Russian, and Spanish. We offer courses in the department ranging from the study of African and French history through film to the study of international business, to the study of Latin American politics.
We also offer many opportunities to study abroad in China, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Morocco, and Spain, and the Czech Republic. There are opportunities to do internships in Dallas and Spain, and elsewhere. Past students have had experiences that range from working in multinational corporations here in Dallas to assisting with immigration issues at the European Parliament to working in the Louvre.
Faculty members in the World Languages and Literatures Department are known for their open door policy. Should you have any questions about our courses, feel free to stop by my office in 309 Clements Hall or reach out to any of the language area chairs. We look forward to speaking with you!