World Languages and Cultures

Browse Majors & Minors

Come Explore the World with Us!

At Alma, you can explore the world with us in French, German or Spanish. We also offer courses in Chinese and occasionally Hebrew, Latin and Greek.

But students learn more than a language at Alma. World Languages and Cultures (WLC) majors study a variety of topics, including:

  • Culture
  • Civilization
  • Literature and Film

Check out our French students using their skills creatively by performing a French play and celebrating with other modern language students during the annual WLC Carnival.


Students who major in a language are required to spend at least one semester in an approved international program. Alma has overseas programs in:

  • France
  • Germany
  • Mexico
  • Spain 

These programs provide you with total immersion in a foreign culture and help you gain fluency in the foreign language.



  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><strong>Q. What can I do with a major in French, German or Spanish? </strong></p><p> A. A sampling of careers pursued by recent Alma graduates with a major or minor in a second language include teaching, translating/interpreting, and other fields, including business services, travel/ hotel services, the Foreign Service, international health services, university international studies offices/advising, International and non-profit organizations, speech therapy, and library science.</p></div>
  • <div class="lw_blurbs_body"><p><strong>Q. Do I need to take a placement exam?</strong>  </p><p> A. Not necessarily.  <a class="file file_421 lw_files_pdf" title="Second Language Advising Guide" href="/live/files/421-second-language-advising-guide">Download information</a> about the Alma College second language literacy requirement, who should take a placement exam, and what language course is best for you.<strong><br/></strong></p></div>


The Department of World Languages and Cultures takes an integrative approach to helping students develop the self-knowledge, intellectual and linguistic skills, and cultural sensitivity vital to their becoming responsible leaders and global citizens. To that end, we have three principle learning outcomes for majors and minors:

1) Gain linguistic proficiency and accuracy

2) Gain intercultural competency and proficiency in critical cultural analysis

3) Gain a deeper understanding of their role in a global society

Alma’s foreign language graduates enter teaching careers or, more commonly, combine a degree in language study with another major to create a variety of career options. 

Satisfactory completion of any foreign language major should enable students to meet the language and literature requirements for teaching and for advanced study in language or other appropriate disciplines.

It also should satisfy standards for acceptance into training programs for the government, social agencies and businesses.

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