In an increasingly interdependent world community, the mission of the Department of Modern and Classical Language is to help students become articulate, knowledgeable and culturally aware, in accordance with the values and traditions of Saint Joseph’s University and the Society of Jesus.  We pursue this mission by:

Fostering language proficiency

Promoting an appreciation for the richness and complexity of language

Deepening students’ understanding of cultural diversity

Encouraging student engagement in active, collaborative and critical learning

Emphasizing a learner-centered pedagogy and care for the individual


Students at SJU may elect to major or minor in:

Students may also take courses in American Sign Language, Ancient Greek, Chinese, Japanese and Russian.

The study of the languages and literatures of the world enables us to  become more globally aware and culturally sensitive, and it informs the way we think about our responsibilities in civic and private spheres. We embrace the Ignatian vision of educating “men and women for others” by fostering inclusiveness both inside and outside the classroom, as well as striving for a deeper understanding of those who are marginalized in our society and beyond.

Our courses are by nature interdisciplinary, highlighting connections with fields as varied as history, fine arts, philosophy, gender studies, film studies, and the social and natural sciences. Students are thereby encouraged to relate their work in our classrooms to other areas of study. Many of our majors opt to complement their language studies with a double major or a minor in disciplines such as political science, international relations, English, math, psychology, business, or fine arts. Thanks to a program developed in conjunction with the Department of Education, future teachers can obtain certification in secondary education for French, German, Latin and Spanish.

All students pursuing a major or minor in Classical Studies, French, German, Italian, or Spanish complete a required number of courses at the upper-division level. These curriculum requirements offer students flexibility and choice.  Students are encouraged to incorporate their own individual interests and specializations into their class research and creative projects. They also have opportunities to study abroad for a semester through several outstanding SJU affiliated and fully accredited programs in Argentina, Chile, El Salvador, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, and Spain.

We seek to immerse ourselves i the languages and cultures of our neighbors around the world and at home — the Modern Language Association Map − shows which languages are spoken in the United States—welcoming their uniqueness as well as their capacity to enrich our own cultural identity.

We are an enthusiastic faculty dedicated to helping our students accomplish their goals and realize their utmost human potential. Devoted to the Jesuit vision of cura personalis—concern for the individual student—we challenge students to achieve the full development of their individual talents and we foster their intellectual and spiritual growth. Consequently, we provide our students with personalized attention and academic advising. We are also active scholars, presenting our work in publications and at conferences both nationally and internationally. These scholarly pursuits go hand-in-hand with teaching, as our research interests and experiences abroad inform and enliven our courses. Both in and out of the classroom, our passion for what we do is evident.

Enjoy browsing our pages. We look forward to meeting you or hearing from you soon!