2023-2024 Undergraduate General Catalog

Languages, Literatures and Cultures

An essential part of a liberal arts education is the study of world languages, literatures and cultures. In addition to preparing students for careers in teaching or for advanced language study at the graduate level, knowledge of a world language is a strong asset and an increasingly essential skill in many career fields. Proficiency in one or more world languages can provide students with a significant competitive edge in the global job market. The Department therefore encourages students to combine their major in Business Administration, Economics, Education, English, Government, History, Journalism, Nursing, Psychology, or Sociology, for example, with a second major or minor in French or Spanish. Students may continue studying a language begun in high school, or may select a new language.

Advanced Placement (AP), CLEP, and Placement Exams

The Department accepts Advanced Placement (AP) and CLEP credits. See the Department website for additional information. New students who do not have AP, CLEP or transfer credit, who have a background in French or Spanish take a free language placement exam that specifies at which level they should continue their language study.

Study, Work and Teaching Abroad

Residence in a foreign country allows students to achieve higher levels of proficiency and to gain insights into a country's rich culture and customs. Dozens of opportunities to study and to work abroad are available to Augustana students and the majority of language majors spend at least one Interim or semester abroad. Post-graduate assistantships are available to teach English. Augustana faculty also lead Interim and Spring Break courses abroad.


Students who plan to teach with a major or minor concentration in a world language should be aware that the minimum number of credit hours necessary for certification in South Dakota is 18. Since minimum requirements in most other states are higher, students who plan to teach are strongly advised to obtain a language major.


The Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures has set student learning outcomes for its language majors based on proficiency guidelines established by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). The department continually reviews the applicability of those guidelines. Additional information can be obtained by visiting the department’s website. For information on single language majors or minors, see French or Spanish.