Language Institute at Penn State

  • Penn State Language Institute

    Language Institute
    at Penn State

    Arabic, Chinese, Comparative Literature, French,
    German, Ancient Greek, Hindi, Italian, Japanese,
    Korean, Latin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and ESL

EQUIP YOURSELF FOR A WORLD OF CHANGE

Arabic | Chinese | French | German | Italian | Japanese | Korean | Latin | Portuguese | Russian | Spanish

One skill that is bound to give you an edge, no matter what path you pursue after Penn State, is the ability to speak a foreign language. It is difficult to overestimate the importance of foreign language skills in the twenty-first century, an era that has already been marked by increasing globalization, dramatic shifts in global power and demographic trends, and ever-evolving challenges in the political arena.

Currently, the fastest growing regions of the world are outside of North America, and are not predominantly English-speaking. Certainly some of the most pressing humanitarian and geopolitical challenges of our era are in non-English speaking areas of the world. These dynamics offer important opportunities for U.S. firms and organizations, as well as for Americans with interests in international careers. More and more U.S. companies of all sizes, as well as numerous nongovernmental and philanthropic organizations, are involved in business and initiatives with countries with different languages and traditions. At the same time, an ever-increasing number of foreign companies are seeking relations and partnerships with U.S. firms, as well as access to US markets. As a result, there is a growing demand for individuals with foreign language skills and international expertise, both in America and abroad.

A foreign language minor provides you with these skills. It can be an important credential for career opportunities in the private industry, the nonprofit and government sectors, as well as for graduate school or academic careers. A foreign language minor also demonstrates an interest in the world beyond your borders, your ability to master material outside your undergraduate major, and an appreciation of foreign cultures. All of these qualities add extra dimensions to your résumé and can greatly improve your employment prospects.

Penn State University Park offers minors in French, German, Italian, Latin, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, and Arabic. Many of the courses required for a foreign language minor are now offered through the Penn State Language Institute and four to eight weeks of summer language study can help you make great strides towards one of these minors. Many of them can be completed with a few additional courses at University Park, an education abroad program in the summer, or during the spring and fall semester.

Students from Penn State Commonwealth campuses interested in summer language study at University Park or in completing a University Park foreign language minor can find more information on our page for Commonwealth Campus Students.

The Language Minor as a credential: When you graduate, completion of a minor is recorded by the Registrar on your transcript, and you will receive an official certificate certifying completion of the minor. (This certificate is given with the diploma.)

 


Arabic ~ Arabic languageاللغة العربية

The Minor in Arabic offers students in any Penn State major the opportunity to study this important world language, which is spoken in more than 20 countries and is recognized by the federal government as a critical language for students in the U.S. to learn. The Minor requires six courses; students typically take Arabic 001, 002, and 003 (those three courses meet the 12th-credit-level proficiency requirement for the B.A. degree and some other majors), and then take three further courses, usually 110, 401, and 402.  See the Undergraduate Bulletin for full details. In addition to courses during the year, Penn State offers intensive Arabic during the summer. Study abroad is also available at multiple sites.  There are several types of scholarships that can support your study of Arabic.  For information about the courses and requirements for the minor, contact Reham Aly, Arabic Coordinator, at rum21@psu.edu.

 


Chinese ~ 中文Chinese flag

With approximately one billion speakers, Mandarin Chinese is the most spoken language worldwide. China is quickly becoming one of the most important markets in the world, and China’s expanding role in world geopolitics is unquestioned. A working knowledge of Chinese would be an asset to students interested in careers in international business, government, or human rights.

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MINOR: 18 credits

Courses offered through the Language Institute at Penn State in summer 2017 are highlighted in boldface and yellow. Please consult with the departmental adviser to plan your minor.

  • CHNS 002 (4) and CHNS 003 (4)
  • CHNS 110 (4)
  • Two CHNS 400-level courses (minimum of 6)

Chinese through Film (CHNS 410) is offered in the Maymester at University Park. Both courses count toward the 400-level requirement in the minor. In addition, CHNS 401 and 499 are available via Penn State–sponsored Education Abroad programs in Taipei, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. Several of these programs are associated with the Whole World Scholarship. Summer study is available in Shanghai.

Visit the Global Penn State website for education abroad programs.

With careful planning and Maymester courses or education abroad, a minor in Chinese can be possible for students at Penn State’s Commonwealth campuses. Please consult with a University Park Language adviser.

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French ~ FrançaisFrench flag

The influence France has had on Western art, music, literature, and culture is undeniable. Today French is the official language in more than 25 countries, including many nations in Africa. French is also an official language in all of the United Nations agencies as well as in many other international organizations.

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MINOR: 18 credits

Courses offered through the Language Institute at Penn State in summer 2017 are highlighted in boldface and yellow. Please consult with the departmental adviser to plan your minor.

  • FR 201 (3) and FR 202 (3)
  • Two 300-level FR courses (6) from two different categories (linguistics, culture, literature)
  • Two 400-level FR courses (6) in consultation with adviser

Students may obtain equivalent credits for one or more of these courses by participating in the University’s education abroad programs in Aix, Paris, Montpellier, Brussels, Besançon, and Sénégal (for more information, please contact an adviser in the French and Francophone Studies Department). Advanced summer courses are available in Besançon.

Visit the Global Penn State website for education abroad programs.

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German ~ DeutschGerman flag

Germany has the third largest economy in the world and is the economic powerhouse of the European Union. German is also the third most popular foreign language taught worldwide and the second most popular second language in Europe and Japan (after English). Since World War II, Germany has re-emerged as perhaps the preeminent economic and political power in Europe and promises to hold this distinction for years to come. The German-speaking countries continue to have far-reaching influences on Western art, music, fashion, and literature. Germany won the second largest number of medals in the 2010 Winter Olympics.

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MINOR: 19 credits

Courses offered through the Language Institute at Penn State in summer 2017 are highlighted in boldface and yellow. Please consult with the departmental adviser to plan your minor.

  • GER 201 (4) (or GER 208Y)
  • GER 301 (3) and GER 302W (3)
  • Additional 300-level GER courses (3)
  • Two 400-level GER courses (6)

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Italian ~ ItalianoItalian flag

For many scholars, Italy represents the birthplace of Western culture and political thought. In recent decades, Italy has emerged as an important center for design and manufacturing, while retaining its traditionally strong influence on the arts. Italy is an important destination for scholars, as well as tourists. A working knowledge of Italian is beneficial to students pursuing advanced study or career opportunities in art, music, the classics, architecture, and archaeology.

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MINOR: 18 credits

Courses offered through the Language Institute at Penn State in summer 2017 are highlighted in boldface and yellow. Please consult with the departmental adviser to plan your minor.

  • 12 credits of IT in consultation with adviser (can include IT 003)
  • Two 400-level IT courses (6)

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Japanese ~ 日本語Japanese flag

Japan is home to some of the world’s foremost technology and manufacturing companies, and has had a significant influence on contemporary art, architecture, and industrial design. Japan’s economy is among the world’s five largest economies, and Japan is an important market in the Asian-Pacific region.

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MINOR: 18 credits

Courses offered through the Language Institute at Penn State in summer 2017 are highlighted in boldface and yellow. Please consult with the departmental adviser to plan your minor.

  • JAPNS 002 (4) and JAPNS 003 (4)
  • JAPNS 110 (4)
  • Two JAPNS 400-level courses

Japanese through Manga (JAPNS 410, counts in the minor) is offered in the Maymester at University Park. In addition, JAPNS 499 is available via Penn State–sponsored Education Abroad programs in Tokyo and Nagoya. Summer study is available in Tokyo.

Visit the Global Penn State website for education abroad programs.

With careful planning and education abroad, a minor in Japanese may be possible for students at Penn State’s Commonwealth campuses. Please consult with a University Park Language adviser.

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Korean

The Korean program provides students with an opportunity to concentrate on acquiring expertise in the modern Korean language and culture. The Korean minor will strengthen a student’s overall skills in internationalism and provide a focus on one of the world’s most important nations.

PRESCRIBED COURSES (8 credits)
KOR 002 (4), KOR 003 (4) (Sem: 1–4)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (10 credits minimum)
Select 4 credits from KOR 110 IL (4), KOR 296 (1-18), KOR 299 IL (1–12) (Sem: 1–8)
Select 6 credits from KOR 401 IL (4), KOR 402 IL (4), KOR 496 (1–18), KOR 498 (1–9), KOR 499 IL (1–12) (Sem: 5–8), KOR 424 (IL) (ASIA 424, CMLIT 424) Transnational Korean Literature, KOR 425 (IL) (ASIA 425, CMLIT 425) Global Korean Cinema

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LatinLatin

Latin is the language formerly spoken throughout the Roman empire and is the language of early art, literature, and political thought. Latin is also the mother of the modern romance languages, such as French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian. Knowledge of Latin can be a great advantage to students interested in graduate study in Ancient History, Classics, Archaeology, Linguistics, Medieval Studies, Comparative Literature, and other fields.

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MINOR: 18 credits

Courses offered through the Language Institute at Penn State in summer 2017 are highlighted in boldface and yellow. Please consult with the departmental adviser to plan your minor.

  • LATIN 001, 002, and 003 or higher level (12)
  • Two 400-level LATIN courses (6)

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Portuguese

Portuguese is the sixth most widely spoken language in the world and is the official language of seven countries on three continents. Courses in the Portuguese Minor develop students’ understanding of the rich literary and cultural traditions of Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) societies around the world, along with advanced written and oral language skills (Brazilian Portuguese).

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MINOR: 19 credits

This minor requires a minimum of 19 credit hours of Portuguese at the PORT 003 level and higher. At least 6 credits must be at the 400 level (including PORT 405.)

Courses offered through the Language Institute at Penn State in summer 2017 are highlighted in boldface and yellow. Please consult with the departmental adviser to plan your minor.

Required courses (7 credits):

  • PORT 003*— Intermediate Portuguese (4 credits)
    or
    PORT 197 — Portuguese for Romance Language Speakers (3 credits)
  • PORT 405 — Advanced Composition and Conversation (3 credits)

Take four courses (12 credits) from this list. At least ONE (3 credits) must be at the 400 level.

  • PORT 197 — Special Topics (Linguistics, Literature or Culture)
  • PORT 199 — Foreign Studies
  • PORT 297 — Special Topics (Linguistics, Literature or Culture)
  • PORT 299 — Foreign Studies
  • PORT 397 — Special Topics (Linguistics, Literature or Culture)
  • PORT 399 — Foreign Studies
  • PORT 476 — Brazilian Literature, The Modern Era (1880 to the Present)
  • PORT 480 — The Brazilian Novel
  • PORT 497 — Special Topics (Linguistics, Literature or Culture)
  • PORT 499 — Foreign Studies

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Russian ~ РусскийRussian flag

The Russian minor is designed for students who want to study the language, literature, and culture of Russia. Russian is spoken throughout the former Soviet Union and widely understood in the countries of Eastern Europe. The Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures offers an array of courses in Russian language, literature, and culture. Study abroad in Russia at St. Petersburg University under the University’s study abroad program is available. For the Russian minor, students must accumulate 18 credits (9 of them at the 400 level) in Russian. The Russian minor leads to various employment opportunities. Recipients of the Russian minor have found employment with businesses having contact with the former Soviet Union; with various agencies of the U.S. Government; in the educational, journalistic, and publishing fields; and in the travel industry.

A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the minor.

Scheduling Recommendation by Semester Standing (Sem: 1–2)

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MINOR: 19 credits

PRESCRIBED COURSES (7 credits)
RUS 100 GH;IL (3), RUS 200 IL (4)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (3 credits)
RUS 141 IL (3), RUS 142 IL (3), RUS 143 GH;IL (3)

SUPPORTING COURSES (9 credits)
Select 9 credits from RUS 400 IL (3), RUS 401 (3), RUS 402 (3), RUS 403 (3), RUS 404 (3), RUS 405 (3), RUS 406 (3), RUS 412 (3), RUS 460 (3)

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Spanish ~ EspañolSpanish flag

With approximately 400 million speakers, Spanish is the fourth most commonly spoken language in the world. The United States alone has well over 35 million Spanish speakers, and Hispanic consumers are one of the fastest-growing U.S. market segments. Knowledge of Spanish is apt to prove an important asset to individuals pursuing careers in business, politics, and human rights in the United States and abroad.

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MINOR: 18 credits

Courses offered through the Language Institute at Penn State in summer 2017 are highlighted in boldface and yellow. Please consult with the departmental adviser to plan your minor.

  • SPAN 100 (3) and SPAN 200 (3)
  • SPAN 215 (3)
  • Additional 200/300-level SPAN course (3) taught in Spanish
  • Two 400-level SPAN courses (6) taught in Spanish

Spanish courses that may be applied toward the minor requirements are also available via summer education abroad programs in Seville, Spain; Madrid, Spain; and Puebla, Mexico.

Visit the Global Penn State website for education abroad programs.

All Spanish minor requirements can be completed via summer study at the Language Institute at Penn State (requires two summers for students who have completed SPAN 003) and the minor can be earned by students at Penn State’s Commonwealth campuses. Please consult with a University Park Language adviser.

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