In today’s world, language learning is more important than ever. The ability to navigate across diverse language, ethnic, racial and cultural​ ​borders allows connection with others, helping create a more inclusive and mutually respectful society. Additionally, employers the world over value the communication skills, cultural competence and practical experiences language students acquire through course work, internships, service learning and study abroad. Proficiency in a second language offers special practical benefits: VCU graduates with language skills are among the more qualified candidates for jobs in international businesses, nonprofits and government agencies. They also qualify for jobs as language teachers in schools, where they often serve as role models, mentors and leaders.

VCU’s B.A. in Foreign Language curriculum allows students to focus on either one or two languages, including the option to combine their major with other disciplines as they work with advisers to plan for their future careers. VCU course work leads majors to explore cultural traditions and historical developments in various parts of the world, and to pursue applied vocabulary and practices that they can use in real-world situations locally, nationally, globally and virtually. Special effort is made to develop intercultural communication competence. 

Becoming a language major is one of the best decisions a student can make! Most will find a seamless transition to VCU from high school or community college programs. Placement testing and the transfer of Advanced Placement, IB and other college-level courses from high school or from a community college can shorten time to degree completion and make it easier for students to pursue dual or double majors and build on minors or certificate programs from across VCU.

Student learning outcomes

  • Development of oral and aural communication skills in context

  • Development of written communication skills

  • Development of critical and analytical reading skills

  • Development of historical, literary and cultural competency


Experiential learning and study abroad

Each student completing a degree program within the School of World Studies is required to complete a World ePass as part of their experiential learning requirement; students are also encouraged to participate in a study abroad program. For more information on the ePass portfolio and study abroad opportunities, students may visit the overview page for the School of World Studies.