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Academic Majors


Modern Languages

French, German, Spanish

Learning a foreign language is a personally enriching experience. The study of another culture leads to new insights and perspectives on one’s own history, society and values, while increasing an understanding of other people. As networks of international cooperation and exchange grow in complexity, those who possess foreign language proficiency are increasingly in demand.

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Background Information

The Department of Modern Languages recognizes the vital need for college graduates to be able to speak and write effectively. More and more, employers are requiring and rewarding strong verbal abilities in their hiring and promotion practices. These employers realize the value of foreign language training in developing such competence. Furthermore, the knowledge of a second language can be the key to advancement in one's chosen profession or the critical qualification for a unique position of responsibility. In today's economically and politically interdependent world, knowledge of a foreign language and culture opens up opportunities that were practically non­existent 30 years ago, such as export manager, international consultant, foreign service officer and agricultural consultant. Foreign language skills will be even more essential for success in the future than they are now.

The Program

French and Spanish majors are offered by the Department of Modern Languages. German is offered through the intermediate level. Through the Tri-College University, NDSU students also may study Japanese and Chinese. 

The emphasis in our classrooms is on developing proficiency in the four communication skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Small classes at the advanced levels of instruction permit highly individualized approaches to language study.

Study Abroad

For the person who seeks the experience of living in a foreign country in addition to gaining linguistic mastery, individual programs can be designed for study abroad. Study abroad is required for French and Spanish majors. A number of direct exchange programs with foreign universities are available.

Language Placement

The department will place students according to their high school language background, but changes may be made upon recommendation by the instructor.

Students who complete and earn a grade of B or better for their first two consecutive semesters of foreign language at NDSU may be eligible to receive up to 14 hours of credit for those lower level courses waived through departmental placement. 

Students are encouraged to contact the department for instructions prior to registration. See Language Placement in NDSU’s catalog for more specific information on receiving college credit for language background.

Career Preparation

Several major universities now have a master’s degree in international business, which completes preparation at an advanced level for this career by concentrating on both business and language skills. NDSU provides the essential undergraduate curriculum necessary for entrance into this kind of professional program. 

Many language students who do not yet have definite professional plans may find that their language interest lies within the traditional bachelor’s degree with intent to teach. They may combine the degree with electives in accounting, economics, management and/or marketing, which provides them with the flexibility needed to make later career decisions.

Career Opportunities

Our faculty work closely with students to arrange programs that fit their particular career interests and personal goals. We strongly advise students to combine their language curriculum with study in other fields that will improve their competitiveness in the job market. The broad range of fields in which the foreign language student will find career opportunities includes international transportation, communication, foreign trade and banking, science and technology, government and library services. Because of the renewed interest in foreign language studies on the elementary, secondary and college level, the employment outlook for the best qualified students in the teaching profession is very good.

Course Offerings For The General Student

Elementary and Intermediate French, German and Spanish

French For The Advanced Student

Conversation and Composition
French Literature and Culture:

Approaches to Literature      
French Literature and Culture before 1800      
French Literature and Culture since 1800      
The French-Speaking World      
Women in French Literature      
Contemporary France

Introduction to French Linguistics and Pronunciation
Translation: Practice and Theory
Studies in Language and Style
Special Topics in French (e.g., translation)
Individual Study

Spanish For The Advanced Student

Conversation and Composition
Introduction to Spanish Civilization
Introduction to Spanish American Civilization
Approaches to Literature
Traditions in Spanish Literature
Traditions in Spanish American Literature
Contemporary Spanish Literature
Contemporary Spanish American Literature
Spanish American Women Writers
Spanish Women Writers
Hispanic Cinema
Chicano Literature
Individual Study

Major/Minor Requirements

A major consists of a minimum of 28 credits beyond the intermediate level. A minimum of one year of a second foreign language at NDSU, or the equivalent, is required. The required capstone experience for the language major consists of a senior thesis.  All language majors must study abroad for at least one semester.

A minor necessitates completion of a minimum of 18 credits beyond the intermediate level. At least nine of these credits must be in advanced language (normally conversation/composition). 

For the major, 15, and for the minor, nine, of the total credits must be taken residentially (i.e., excluding study abroad and Tri-College enrollment).

Sample Curriculum


Sample First Year




(French Major)



ANTH 111 - Introduction to Anthropology



BIOL 124 - Environmental Science



ENGL 110, 120 - College Composition I, II



FREN 101, 102 - First-year French I, II



GEOG 161 - World Regional Geography



HIST 101, 102 - Western Civilization I, II



MATH 104 - Finite Mathematics



Wellness Elective




This sample curriculum is not intended to serve as a curriculum guide for current students, but rather an example of course offerings for prospective students. For the curriculum requirements in effect at the time of entrance into a program, consult with an academic advisor or with the Office of Registration and Records.

Transferring Credits
View NDSU equivalencies of transfer courses at:


Minard Hall
Room 318

Minard Hall is located on the south end of campus on Albrecht Boulevard (Campus Map)

Contact Information

Department of Modern Languages
North Dakota State University
Minard Hall 318
Dept #2345, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108 - 6050

Tel: (701) 231-7887 / Fax: (701) 231-5681

Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Ceres 114
Dept #5230, PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050

Tel: (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802



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Office of Admission
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-8643 / Fax: (701) 231-8802
Campus address: Ceres Hall 114
Physical/delivery address: 1301 Administration Ave., Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 5230 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: NDSU Webmaster

Last Updated: Friday, October 06, 2017 11:47:00 AM
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