Why Study Modern Languages?
The study of modern languages 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 Modern Languages can open the door to lifechanging experiences.
Did you know? 49% of CMU students take a course in Modern Languages even though there is no university-wide language requirement
Modern Languages 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
Modern Languages Is For Everyone
Only Speak English?
- Try one of our many courses in English and dive into topics such as race and identity, gender and sexuality, and human rights and social justice
- Start or continue your language learning journey with an introductory course
- Interested in technology? Explore the minor in Immersive Technologies in Arts & Culture
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 Modern Languages Experience at CMU
Explore innovative virtual reality projects that showcase the importance of language learning and cultural awareness in the Askwith Kenner Global Languages and Cultures Room.
Students in the Modern Languages course "Chinese Calligraphy" showcase their work at the end of the semester.
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.
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, Modern Languages faculty members work with students to help select a program that best meets their educational and personal goals.
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 USA have strong technical credentials and the fluency of a second language."
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."
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."
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 Modern Languages department."
Tepper School of Business, 2019
Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, 2019