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The major is a part of the Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures, an academic unit within the College of Arts and Letters.

Students can earn both a B.A. in Modern Foreign Languages and a minor in a specific language. Currently the department provides:

  • Four years of instruction in Arabic, French, German, Italian and Spanish.
  • Three years of instruction Chinese and Japanese.
  • Two years of instruction in Ancient Greek, Latin, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian and Swahili.

The minimum requirement for a major in languages is 33 upper-division credit hours in a specific language.

Degrees Offered










Business French

Business German

Business Italian

Business Spanish





Law Enforcement Spanish

Legal Spanish

Medical Spanish



Translation and Interpretation (Spanish)

Declaring the Major

New Freshmen and Transfer Students

Currently Enrolled Major Changers 
Current students wishing to declare or change a major, minor or pre-professional program must complete a request through MyMadison. Additional department specific information will be available when that academic plan is selected.  Follow all directions and steps necessary to execute your request. Once all necessary steps are completed, the department will either approve or deny your request or contact you for additional information.

For additional assistance making this request, view the Change/Declare a Major/Minor tutorial in MyMadison or on the tutorials website.

Progressing in the Major

If students have had two or more years of language study in high school or at a previous institution and have not taken the SAT II in that language, students are required to take the JMU Foreign Language Placement exam if students plan to continue study in the same language at JMU.

Information about the foreign language placement exam can be found at:

To progress in the major students should remain in good academic standing with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.0.

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