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​Modern Foreign Languages

The modern foreign language major allows you to combine two language minors (French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish) into one major.

Ideal for students who want to develop and demonstrate a mastery of more than one modern foreign language, the degree program provides students the opportunity to:

  • Gain significant knowledge of the literatures and cultures of multiple countries
  • Learn important skills in literary and cultural analysis
  • Gain multicultural awareness

Graduates of the program leave Syracuse well-equipped for employment in a multitude of fields both nationally and internationally, including jobs in government, diplomacy, policy making, medicine, translation and interpretation, journalism, social work, art, film, and fashion.

About the College of Arts and Sciences

The founding college of Syracuse University remains at the center of undergraduate learning. The College is divided into the natural sciences and mathematics, the humanities, and the social sciences, with the lattermost offered in partnership with the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.


Core coursework covers linguistics, history, and literature. Sample courses include:

  • Community Outreach: Language in Action
  • Structure of Spanish
  • French Phonetics and Conversation
  • Advanced German
  • Russian Literature

View official major requirements .

Practical Experience

Seize opportunities to volunteer and intern professionally on campus, off campus, or internationally. Academic counselors and faculty advisors will guide you in aligning your interests and academic path with opportunities for growth.

Join one of more than 300 recognized student organizations at Syracuse University such as the Russian and Slavic Cultural Society, La Société Francophone, and the German Cultural Society.

Study Abroad

Syracuse Abroad  features more than 100 programs in 60 countries. You may choose semester, summer, short term, and yearlong options for international study. 

Modern foreign languages majors most often go abroad to language-intensive programs, available in Florence, Madrid, Santiago, and Strasbourg; and at the following World Partners: Kansai Gaidai University (Osaka), Korea University (Seoul), Sciences Po (Paris), Colgate Freiburg University, Bard-Smolny Program (St. Petersburg), School of Russian and Asian Studies (St. Petersburg or Moscow), CET Brazilian Studies and Portuguese Language (Sao Paulo), AMIDEAST Area & Arabic Language Studies (Amman, Jordan or Rabat, Morocco).

Summer programs of interest may include the Florence Summer Session and the Madrid Summer Session.

Life After Syracuse University

With a major in modern foreign languages, you can explore such careers as:

  • Translator
  • Foreign service officer
  • Interpreter
  • News correspondent
  • Professor
  • Marketing manager

You can also pursue graduate degrees in areas such as education, business, linguistics, music, and journalism. Recent graduates of the program have attended some of the top graduate schools in the U.S.