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Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures

Prospective Students

Dancers in front of the Fresno State Library

  • Are you interested in learning your family’s heritage language and culture?
  • Would you like to travel and immerse yourself in another culture?
  • Do you enjoy cultural and linguistic diversity?

Study Another Language, See a New World

Learning another language changes your life.  It gives you an international and global perspective on social, cultural and political issues.  It gives you an opportunity to travel to another country and study art, music, and history.  You become bilingual and bicultural. You get “hands-on” experiences with cross-cultural communication.  You learn to appreciate your knowledge of English even more than you do now.

The United States is a nation of immigrants whose languages form part of our cultural heritage. It is valuable to keep that vibrant cultural history alive by learning the languages and cultures of our ancestors.

When you speak to another person in their own language, you show that you are culturally sensitive and aware of the benefits that diversity brings to a society. Bilingualism is a valuable resource for individuals and for our country.

You can learn to speak, read and write one of several important modern languages spoken in the United States and the world: Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, or German.  For German, French and Spanish, you can also study the important literary works written in those languages.

In addition, you can use your knowledge of languages and cultures to study abroad in a number of programs in Europe, Mexico, and Central and South America. For information on study-abroad programs oriented toward students of the California State University system, please consult the website of the USAC—University Study Abroad Consortium.

Classical Studies

The Classical Studies Program provides students with a basic knowledge of the Classical tradition that is the basis for Western Civilization. Students can minor in Classical Studies, Greek, or Latin, or construct their own major in Classical Studies. Mastery of the ancient languages is followed by courses in Greek and Latin authors, and history, philosophy, art, and literature. Whatever a student’s major, the Classical Studies Minor provides an impressive and valuable complement.


The Humanities Interdisciplinary Minor surveys relationships among philosophy, literature, music, architecture, sculpture, and painting. It also makes some use of science, popular culture, contemporary events, and whatever else relevant that may come to hand in order to explore as richly as possible the interrelationships among arts and ideas. And it does so for entire cultures, subdivided, of course, into their major periods.

General Preparation

Students choosing to study a modern or classical language should be curious about other countries and their people and culture. They should think speaking another language is fun, and at a more advanced level, they should enjoy reading literature, watching films, and studying art and music.  Students who by experience or heritage are already somewhat proficient in another language should augment their proficiency as much as possible. They should see a department advisor for placement in the proper class at Fresno State. 

High School Preparation

Students should meet Fresno State admission requirements in terms of college preparatory course requirements, grade point average, and test scores.

Student Resource Links