Languages, Literatures & Cultures

Why study languages, literatures & cultures?

Students who study two different modern languages in this major will gain the opportunity for careers in teaching, graduate-level study and a significant competitive edge in the global job market.

  • This program meets the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) proficiency guidelines.
  • Employers in a variety of fields highly value international skills, such as language proficiency and cross-cultural competence.
  • Many students choose to study language for enjoyment and international friendships, which leads to them acquiring a broadly applicable appreciation of a different culture and critical view of their own.

students in Cuba

Languages, Literatures & Cultures at AU

Course Descriptions

Major Map


Related Programs of Study


  • Department Chair of Languages, Literatures & Cultures Dr. Pilar Cabrera Fonte | | 605.274.5524



professor sam ogdie


A national critical shortage of foreign-language teachers means students should consider combining this major with the teacher education program for a rewarding, in-demand career opportunity.

Additional careers in language include diplomat, immigration and customs inspector or lawyer, airline assistant, interpreter, translator and media specialist.

Hands-On Learning  

Internship and service learning opportunities include:

  • Lutheran Social Services (LSS) Center for New Americans
  • Multi-Cultural Center of Sioux Falls
  • Active Generations
  • Pueblo de Dios Lutheran Church
  • Avera or Sanford Health
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation

Students have the option to assemble a senior portfolio to document and self-assess their progress in the target language.

The majority of language majors spend at least one January Interim (J-Term) or semester abroad. The department strongly encourages a semester, summer or year of study abroad to complement students' foreign language education.

Students study away in:

  • Cuba — focusing on race, gender and revolution with AU faculty
  • Spain — at the Universidad de Sevilla
  • San Jose, Costa Rica — at Universidad Veritas
  • Grenoble, Rennes, or Paris, France
  • Canada — at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi
  • Germany — at the University of Potsdam

Courses & Organizations

Languages, literatures & cultures majors take courses through the advanced level in a primary language and through the intermediate level in a secondary language. Prior experience in the language is not required, but for those with prior knowledge, foreign language test-out and spoken placement exams are available.

The department encourages students to combine their major in business administration, economics, education, English, government & international affairs, history, journalism, nursing, psychology or sociology with a second major or minor in a language to expand their career options.

Students can choose to study these areas:

  • French
  • Spanish
  • A specially approved language

Students often participate in:

  • La Unión Hispana
  • Augustana International Club