Students jumping in front of Shanghai skyline

World Languages and Cultures

Welcome! ترحيب 欢迎 Bienvenue! Willkommen בברכה! Benvenuto! 歓迎! 환영! добро пожаловать!

Why study a World Language and Culture at MSU?
Knowing another language opens up a WORLD of job opportunities, a WORLD of travel opportunities, and offers real advantages in the MULTI-CULTURAL WORLD of the humanities, the arts, government, and the sciences.  Knowing another language allows for a greater understanding of cultural diversity and allows for better communication skills and social interaction.  Students interact with their peers in a language class more than in other classes and learn about others precisely because they consistently engage in “small talk” in the language to achieve mastery.  Students find friends in language classes which serve as a better welcome/retention tool than any other.

Why study a World Language EARLIER rather than later?

Because students want to learn more about the world and to widen their horizons when entering MSU.  Because students come to know what it means to really communicate in another WORLD LANGUAGE only after being exposed to it and if that comes too late in their time in college, it is too late for them to major or minor in a WORLD LANGUAGE or even double major in a WORLD LANGUAGE and another related discipline.  Opportunities to explore the WORLD and its CULTURES are most meaningful to students when offered to them EARLY so they can decide to go further with their study of WORLD LANGUAGES and CULTURES while they are still at MSU.  PLEASE make this possible and do not recommend waiting to begin a WORLD LANGUAGE as far too many students are being told to do.

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head.  If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”   – Nelson Mandela

Our Programs

We offer a diverse range of programs spanning nine languages. In addition to language study, students focus on the literature, cinema, music and other cultural aspects of the countries in which these languages are spoken. Students can major or minor, or even double major or minor, in our diverse areas of study.

Programs of Study


A language degree is incredibly versatile. Our students have landed spots in top graduate programs, with some going on to pursue careers in academia, international relations and government. They’ve also found success in a wide variety of fields such as business, civil service, translation, interpreting and public relations, among others.

Careers in World Languages and Cultures

Professor Wing Shan Ho in front of white board with Chinese characters written on board

Our Faculty

The Department of World Languages and Cultures faculty are specialized in all aspects of the cultures associated with these languages. Their expertise extends from language pedagogy to history, literature, the visual arts and translation.

Meet our Faculty

Contact Us

Contact World Languages and Cultures
Schmitt Hall 222