Foreign Languages and Literatures Overview
The mission of the Foreign Languages & Literatures Department is to advance the linguistic and cultural competencies of students in one or more foreign languages. Mastering a foreign language includes speaking and writing proficiency, but also increases one’s appreciation and critical analysis of the cultures that share that language. The Foreign Languages & Literatures Department is part of the Alice Coonley Higgins School of Humanities.
The major is offered in Spanish and French. It is also possible, at the department’s discretion, to major in more than one language, the Combined Foreign Languages major, with a focus on two of the languages we teach at Clark.
There are majors available in Comparative Literature and Ancient Civilization as well. Though based in foreign languages and literatures, these two programs-together with the minor offered by ancient civilization—are described elsewhere in the catalog under their own headings.
For more information, please visit the Foreign Languages and Literatures Department’s website.
The Adviser System
When the student intends to declare a major or minor in a program they should meet with a tenured or tenure-track faculty member in that program to decide on an adviser. Advisers suggest a course of study, discuss and approve related courses and, for majors, identify areas of special interest that could lead to an honors project.
Please use the chart on the department’s main web page to determine what course level to take, depending on how many previous years of the language you’ve had. Consult
Our rule is that regular beginning courses (101-102) are closed to anyone who has had two years or more of that language. The University reviews high school transcripts to make sure you’re not over-qualified for a course. However, in Spanish, we do offer an intensive, one-semester beginning course that builds on the experience you’ve had in high school.
Students with native or near-native fluency in a language cannot take a lower-level course in that language. Native speakers should consult with the coordinator in that language.
Information on study-abroad programs in most of the languages we teach is available at Clark’s Office of Study Abroad Programs.
A minor program in foreign languages and literatures is offered in French, and Spanish.
To qualify, a student must complete six courses in the chosen discipline at a level of difficulty that would count toward a major in that field. Some courses may be replaced by courses outside the field of study but related to it (a course in Latin-American history or art, for example, might be counted as a related course toward a minor in Spanish). Three of the six courses must be taken in residence at Clark. Advanced Topics courses required of majors (FREN 297, GERM 297 and SPAN 296) are not required for the minor, but they may be taken for minor credit with permission of the instructor. Students must declare their intention of fulfilling a minor by the end of the junior year. Only course grades of C or better may be counted toward the minor.