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  • Proficiency-based:  you will learn to speak, write read and understand French;
  • Interdisciplinary: we teach culture (in a broad sense), history, cinema, literature, social issues; if you minor in French, you can use your skills to acquire knowledge and expertise in your major;
  • International: we cover the whole French-speaking world and have a study abroad program in France;
  • Relevant: we bring contemporary issues into all courses, from day one;
  • Innovative: we use the most recent technological and pedagogical developments to make your learning experience lively and effective;
  • Organized: every course is designed and taught as part of a cohesive program.

 Language abilities

  • Get a real expertise in French communication (oral and written, cultural);
  • Use French as a tool to think, research, debate and get things done;
  • Learn other romance languages fast;
  • Get a initial experience in translation, a growing industry;
  • Write better in your native language.

 Marketable skills

  • Differentiate yourself form the rest of the workforce;
  • Be able to adapt and function in unfamiliar environments;
  • Communicate well with individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds;
  • Negotiate difficult tasks with an acute sense of initiative;
  • Analyze, evaluate, and assess cultural differences in professional settings;
  • Synthesize information;
  • Communicate with French-speaking customers;
  • Be worldly-wise, while knowing who you are.

Source : Alain-Philippe Durand, U. of Arizona, The French Review, Vol.86, N°6, May 2013.


Study abroad

Spend four weeks in Vichy, France and earn 6 university credits.


Live and work in France for a year

The Teaching Assistant Program (TAPIF) offers you the opportunity to work in France for 7 months, teaching English to French students of all ages. Several MSU Denver student have taken advantage of this opportunity. Read


Career paths

Among our alumni are former students who

  • Constantly use the skills they honed while studying with us;
  • Traveled to and lived in French speaking countries;
  • Teach French;
  • Attend and complete Graduate Programs in French, Comparative Literature and International Affairs.

Learn about scholarships and awards for Option I Modern Languages majors at MSU Denver.

Program Options

  • Modern Languages Option I: a major in either Spanish or French. Option I in the Modern Languages bachelor’s degree program at MSU Denver focuses on building proficiency in reading, writing, speaking, listening comprehension and cultural understanding. 42 semester hours and a minor are required.
  • Modern Languages Option II: a major in a primary and a secondary language that include the choice of French, Spanish, German, Italian and Japanese. This is a 60-credit program and a minor is not required.
  • K–12 Option I or II: for teaching licensure with a content area in a foreign language. 

Alternatively, MSU Denver’s Individualized Degree Program allows you to work with a faculty mentor in the Department of Modern Languages and degree specialists in the Individualized Degree Program to create your own degree program.

Benefits of Earning Your Degree at MSU Denver

Immerse yourself in a different culture and sharpen your foreign language skills. The Department of Modern Languages offers study abroad programs in Spain, Mexico and France and awards scholarships to select participants. Also, MSU Denver’s Office of International Studies helps Modern Languages majors find opportunities to explore study abroad programs offered at other institutions.

Stay on track to earn your bachelor’s degree in Modern Languages from MSU Denver. Academic and faculty advisors make sure Modern Languages majors are placed in appropriate undergraduate classes based on their individual skills, interests and goals.

Get involved on campus. MSU Denver offers dozens of student clubs and organizations related to academic majors and interests, including the National Foreign Language Honor Society, Phi Sigma Iota. Depending on your concentration, Modern Languages majors can also participate in French Club or Spanish Club.

Be an active member in the diverse MSU Denver and surrounding communities. The Department of Modern Languages hosts special events throughout the year, including the Translation Colloquium, National Language Week and research conferences.

Career Opportunities for Our Graduates

four images: spanish or french specific, travel guide, travel agent

Modern Languages majors who choose Option I find career success in diverse fields that contribute to local communities and the global economy, from education, law enforcement, government and foreign relations to social services, health care, international business and tourism. These are some examples of Modern Language jobs that could use your fluency skills in French or Spanish:

  • Ambassador
  • Anthropologist
  • Book editor
  • Customs inspector
  • Foreign service officer
  • Immigration inspector
  • Interpreter
  • Journalist or foreign news correspondent
  • Linguist
  • Translator
  • Travel agent
  • Teacher
  • Tour guide
  • Travel writer

Learn more about career opportunities in Modern Languages.


Hear from our students:

“My language courses at MSU Denver provided me with a solid foundation of theoretical knowledge and cultural awareness. Classes were always well organized, interesting and challenging. Furthermore, the faculty’s knowledge and guidance helped me pursue my studies successfully and helped me achieve my goal of becoming a French-to-English translator.”

—Dawn O’Connor (MSU Denver '10), MA, BS, RN


Ann Williams_Modern LanguagesAnn Williams

Professor of French Ann Williams was recently inducted into the Ordre des Palmes Academiques — the French Order of Academic Palms — for her contributions to French education and culture. Also a recipient of the U.S. Professor of the Year Award from Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, Williams shares her love for France and French-speaking countries through courses in French language, literature and culture.


Ibon Izurieta_Modern LanguagesIbon Izurieta

Professor of Spanish Ibon Izurieta is also associate dean of MSU Denver’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. A native of the southern part of Basque Country belonging to Spain, Izurieta still speaks his mother tongue, Basque, which he says has less in common with Spanish than English does. Publishing works on Spanish and Basque literature, film, culture, history and society, Izurieta researches the coexistence of Basque and Spanish languages and cultures in the Basque Country, as well as contemporary aspects of Spanish literature, film and society focused primarily in Spain, rather than Latin America. He also organizes student trips as part of study abroad programs in Cuernavaca, Puebla, Guadalajara and Oaxaca.


Read more about MSU Denver Modern Languages faculty.

Alumni at Work

With a Bachelor of Arts degree in French or Spanish from MSU Denver, Modern Languages majors work in a wide variety of industries and roles including:

  • Elementary school teacher
  • Immigration services personnel
  • Overseas English and Spanish teacher

Sample Classes

french class with ann williams

In the Option I program for Modern Languages, MSU Denver students cover a variety of topics including language, culture, history, literature, cinema and social issues. Depending on whether you choose French or Spanish as your concentration area, these are some of the classes you may take as a Modern Languages major:

  • International French/Spanish
  • French/Spanish Reading and Conversation
  • Cinema in French for Advanced Conversation
  • French Historical Perspectives
  • Contemporary Socio-Cultural Issues
  • Literature, Culture and Translation
  • Conversational Spanish for Travel/Medical Professions
  • Folklore and Culture of the Mexican Southwest
  • Latin American Cinema
  • Contemporary Spanish Literature
  • Spanish-American Essay: 19th and 20th Centuries
  • Introduction to Spanish Translation I and II

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