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




Latest News

Augustana understands the value and impact that historically marginalized people have on communities all over the world — recognizing that this university would not be the place it is without these students, faculty and staff. For Hispanic & Latinx Heritage Month — which is celebrated from Sept. 15, through Oct. 15 — Augustana is featuring Dra. (Doctora, or Doctor in Spanish) Pilar Cabrera Fonte, associate professor of Spanish.

Augustana University is proud to announce that Rachida Mahamed ‘25 has been offered the prestigious 2023 Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program award. A second student, Kelana De Ruyter ‘23, has been chosen as an alternate language ambassador.

Augustana University student Olivia Bertino ‘23 is a journalism, Spanish, business administration and marketing quadruple major from Omaha, Nebraska. She is interning this summer at Levitt Sioux Falls — part of a national network of outdoor Levitt music venues dedicated to strengthening the social fabric of communities through free summer concerts.


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