Jul 20, 2024  
2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog 
2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Modern Languages and Cultures

Ming Feng, PhD, Chair


The language programs in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian Japanese, Spanish, and Latin recognize academic, cultural, and practical purposes:


Language study aims at broadening the scope of the student’s intellectual development by affording both a facility in other languages and knowledge of other cultures. This end is achieved through the major programs in modern languages or double majors that couple a major or minor in a modern language with a major in another field.


Learning about another culture and civilization—its history, geography, literature, and art—through the medium of its language leads to a better understanding of one’s self and the world in which we live. To achieve this goal, all languages are taught in their cultural context. Courses in Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish are taught in the vernacular.


For the university graduate with a specialization in a particular field and with proficiency in more than one language, openings exist in many fields, including teaching, social work, transportation, military, foreign service, international aid organizations, international law, engineering, librarianship, foreign trade, and international business. In addition, many graduate programs in the United States require proficiency in a language other than English.

NOTE: If a student’s native language is a language offered at this University, the student may not receive a degree in that language. This applies to both majors and minors.

Intensive Programs

Intensive programs offered in French and Spanish during the summer allow the student to complete the first-year basic language course (15 credits) in one quarter.

Credit by Examination and Waiver

The Modern Languages Department reserves the right to waive specific courses for students who demonstrate, by examination, achievement at the college level. Courses may be waived, allowing substitution of related electives, or credit may be obtained by meeting the university’s requirements for credit by examination.

Study Abroad

The department offers a number of study abroad programs. In order to be eligible for the French-in-France program in Grenoble, France, students must have completed first-year French or the equivalent. This can be done during the academic year or in the intensive summer language program. Students then spend winter and spring abroad studying language, culture, and civilization at the University of Grenoble.

The Latin American Studies program, offered winter and spring quarters at the Universidad Ibero-Americana in Puebla, Mexico, requires at least one year of college-level Spanish prior to participation.

The Chinese language program currently offers a fall semester study abroad program from early September to mid-December at Suzhou University in the city of Suzhou which is about an hour by train from Shanghai. The program requires one-year study of Chinese at Seattle University or the equivalent prior to participation.

The university has established reciprocal exchange programs with Karl-Franzens Universitäet in Graz, Austria and Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan. Courses are available in both English and the host language. Modern Language and Culture majors are expected to complete one year of German or Japanese language, respectively, prior to participation. Seattle University is a member of the Independent Liberal Arts Colleges Abroad (ILACA) consortium which offers semester-long intermediate and advanced study in Granada, Spain. Eligibility includes six quarters of university level Spanish language (or the equivalent) for fall semester and seven quarters (or the equivalent) for spring semester participation. Students from any major may apply for these exchange or ILACA programs, which allow continued enrollment and financial aid benefits at Seattle University.

Seattle University is also affiliated with the Council for International Educational Exchange, a consortium of colleges and universities which sponsors a variety of academic programs around the world. Federal loans and federal grants can be continued through the Seattle University Financial Aid Office, but no university grants or scholarships are available for CIEE programs.

For a complete list of study abroad opportunities available to Modern Language and Culture students but offered by other departments, see the Education Abroad website (seattleu.edu/studyabroad).

Language Courses

In order to receive full credit for courses in a language they must be taken in the numerical sequence (115 through 235) as listed. A previous course cannot be repeated to improve a grade once a higher course in the sequence is in progress or has been completed. Note: Credit will not be granted for 100 or 200 level courses in a student’s native language.