General Program Information

The study of languages and cultures is an integral part of a modern, global university education. At the University of Miami, students can choose courses in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Haitian Creole, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish. All majors (French, Spanish), minors (Arabic Studies, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish), and language programs (Chinese, Haitian Creole, Hebrew, Japanese) in the department are articulated through the notion of Global Literacy. Global literacy is the ability to participate in sociocultural practices by both interacting with others in different languages and by creating, presenting, and interpreting ideas through oral and written texts in more than one language. Consequently, global literacy involves awareness about oral and written texts, their conventions and genres, and their social, historical, political, and artistic uses.  It entails linguistic proficiency in a language other than your own. You cannot be global if you only live in one language. Global Literacy includes written and oral communication, critical thinking and social responsibility, and appreciation of cultural artifacts, artistic products, and new technologies in more than one language.

Global Literacy and multilingualism foster success in business, economics, education, law, medicine, natural sciences, politics, social sciences, arts, and humanities. Language study most effectively enriches academic as well as personal experiences when students choose a language based on its relevance to possible careers, to research in particular fields, to personal heritage, or to the understanding of unfamiliar cultures. Students combine advanced modern language study with majors in other fields, such as International Studies, Communications, History, Political Science (and other pre-law fields), Biology (and other pre-med fields), Nursing, English, Finance, Latin American Studies, Anthropology, Psychology, Computer Science, Sociology, and Philosophy.

The Department has Undergraduate Advisors for each language. You are encouraged to consult with them for placement, and must consult with them if you plan to major, minor, or study abroad.  Please visit our Advising page for names and current office hours. If you plan to double major, you must have an advisor from each of your fields.  

Students may qualify for a wide range of departmental awards for excellence in linguistic and literary achievement. The Modern Languages and Literatures Awards Reception takes place annually during graduation week. Some awards are conferred through nomination by professors; others require an application. Students may obtain information on specific awards in the Department office. The annual deadline for applications is usually in early March.