Our language and literature classroom is an ideal environment for rigorous teaching, informed research, and inspired learning. As such, it vitally reflects the mission of Saint Joseph’s University. We search for a greater awareness and understanding of human beings in a variety of cultural settings. By achieving precise and effective communication in the languages of the world, we share a connectedness with peoples of all walks of life and engage with a rich diversity of ideas, cultures, and political, social, and religious systems.


Students at SJU may elect to major or minor in:

Students may also take courses in ancient Greek, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Russian, and Spanish.

In addition, we offer degree programs in Ancient Cultures (major and minor), Italian Studies (major only), Latin American Studies (minor only), Linguistics (major and minor), and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (major and minor)

We admire the aesthetic and intellectual achievements of these cultures while we also show compassion for their poor and needy. The study of the languages and literatures of the world enables us to better ourselves by becoming more globally aware and culturally sensitive, and it informs the way we think about ourselves as we fulfill our desires and 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.

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. Yet these curriculum requirements offer students flexibility and choice, and majors and minors participate in shaping their own program of study. Every semester, they may choose from their language program’s offerings of upper-division courses and decide how they wish to configure their class schedules. They 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 inArgentina, Chile, El Salvador, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, and Spain.

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

We are a faculty of enthusiastic teachers 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, as teachers and academic advisors we provide our students with personalized attention and sound guidance. No less committed to our research than to our teaching and advising, we are also active scholars, presenting our work in publications and at conferences in the United States and overseas. These scholarly pursuits go hand-in-hand with teaching, as our research interests and experiences abroad animate 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!