Carnegie Mellon University

Why Study Languages & Cultures?

The study of modern languages and cultures creates opportunities, broadens horizons and allows you to engage more deeply with our diverse and multicultural world.

No matter your field of study—arts, humanities, science, business or technology—studying language and culture provides valuable insight into why others think, communicate and act the way they do.

Whether you want to learn a new language, better understand your own heritage or discover new cultures, try a course and see how LCAL can open the door to lifechanging experiences.

View LCAL Courses

Did you know? 49% of CMU students take a course in LCAL even though there is no university-wide language requirement

LCAL Can Help You...

Enrich Your CMU Experience

  • Take our innovative courses to learn valuable skills and discover new interests
  • Study abroad and immerse yourself in a new culture
  • Connect with others interested in international language and culture
  • Learn from fellow CMU students and their diverse experiences
  • Conduct groundbreaking research and work with renowned faculty

Expand Your Career Opportunities

  • Gain a competitive edge in your job search through fluency in an additional language
  • Unlock more professional opportunities in your chosen field
  • Engage thoughtfully with international colleagues and peers
  • Build your professional network beyond your native language
  • Explore additional career paths such as translation and interpretation, international consulting, and positions abroad

Discover New Skills and Interests

  • Learn to appreciate the diverse world around you
  • Deepen your understanding of your own language, culture, and identity
  • Gain access to a world of media and experiences in an additional language
  • Communicate with others in their native language, at home or while traveling
  • Build resilience and communication skills through the experience of language learning

LCAL Is For Everyone

Only Speak English?

Already Speak a Language Other Than English?

  • Gain insight into your native or acquired language from new perspectives (linguistic, historical, cultural)
  • Start learning an additional language to expand your skillset
  • Meet others to practice your language skills

The LCAL Experience at CMU

Two students play with a virtual reality headset in the Kenner Room

Innovative Technology

Explore innovative virtual reality projects that showcase the importance of language learning and cultural awareness in the Askwith Kenner Global Languages and Cultures Room.

Visit the Askwith Kenner Global Languages and Cultures Room

Students hold up examples of their Chinese calligraphy work

Unique Courses

Students in the LCAL course "Chinese Calligraphy" showcase their work at the end of the semester. 

Discover LCAL Courses

Students travel to the Dominican Republic for a week-long service trip with Juntos, a CMU student organization

Outreach Programs

Through community outreach courses, educational and social programs, and consulting and research, we seek to learn, grow and enhance the quality of life in our region with the bridges we build with local communities and institutions in Pittsburgh, Western Pennsylvania and beyond.

Learn About Our Outreach Programs

Students and instructors pose for a group selfie during a study abroad trip in Costa Rica

Study Abroad

Explore, engage and immerse yourself in one of our study abroad programs in a wide variety of countries around the world. In collaboration with the Office of International Education, LCAL faculty members work with students to help select a program that best meets their educational and personal goals.

Learn About Our Study Abroad Opportunities

Prepare For a Future in Any Field

Engineering and Technology

"I have been able to tap into more professional opportunities because I am fluent in another language. Not many professionals in the U.S. have strong technical credentials and the fluency of a second language."

Erika Bañuelos
College of Engineering, 1996
Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, 1996

Humanities and Social Science

"No matter what field you are in, it's beneficial to learn from all the different humanities fields in order to understand other people who you’re working with, to understand the human experience."

Meredith McConnochie
Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, 2004


"Even though English is the default language of science, it's still good to be able to hear people’s opinions in their own words."

Maya English
Mellon College of Science, 2022
Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, 2022


"As a double major in Business Administration and Hispanic Studies, I was equipped to manage multicultural settings in the workplace, thanks to the curriculum taught within the Languages, Cultures & Applied Linguistics department."

Alyssa Rodriguez
Tepper School of Business, 2019
Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, 2019