Colleges with Foreign Language Requirements for Graduation

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In high school, you’re probably required to take a foreign language. Perhaps you love learning French, Spanish, Mandarin, German, or whatever you’ve chosen to pursue. Or maybe you’re not a big language fan and can’t wait to head off to college where you never have to touch another language again.

 

Either way, there are plenty of benefits to learning a foreign language, both business and personal. But that doesn’t mean it’s everyone’s cup of tea. If you’d prefer to stick to English, it is possible to avoid taking a language in college. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the colleges with foreign language requirements.

 

Benefits of Studying a Language in College

 

1. It can open the doors to some careers.

 

For some career paths, it’s mandatory to know at least two languages, including translation and diplomacy, to name a couple. But even if you’re not considering pursuing a career that requires foreign language skills, they can still be useful for certain other jobs, such as teaching, customer service, journalism, medicine and many others.

 

2. It’s useful for study abroad and other travel experiences.

 

Love to travel? Dreaming of studying abroad in college? (Post-pandemic, of course.) Studying a foreign language will expand your options and be enormously helpful when you get to your destination of choice. That’s what I found when I studied abroad in Florence in my junior fall semester after taking two years of Italian. (Sure, I still ended up getting lost — a lot — but that was more due to my terrible sense of direction than my language skills.)

 

3. You never know when it might come in handy.

 

There are countless ways knowing a foreign language could prove useful to you in the future. It may not seem directly applicable to your career path, but it could help you in your everyday life, whether you make friends who aren’t native English speakers, or want to be able to order your favorite meal at an ethnic restaurant. Knowing another language also connects you to another culture and helps you be a more understanding and open-minded person.

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Colleges that Require You to Take a Language

 

Some schools have a core curriculum with a set of mandatory courses or distribution requirements. Other schools have an open curriculum that allows students to take any courses they want, as long as they fulfill their major requirements. Only 11.5% of colleges surveyed from over 1,000 had a foreign language requirement, according to the 2020 American Council of Trustees and Alumni study.

 

The below institutions have a foreign language requirement (bear in mind that many colleges have foreign language requirements for particular majors and programs, even if they’re not included on this list). We also recommend double-checking before applying, as these policies are subject to change.

 

College

State

Agnes Scott College

GA

Albright College

PA

Asbury University

KY

Austin College

TX

Baylor University

TX

Boston College

MA

Boston University

MA

Brandeis University

MA

Butler University

IN

Calvin University

MI

Campbell University

NC

Carleton College

MN

Catawba College

NC

Catholic University of America

DC

Centre College

KY

Chapman University

CA

Claremont McKenna College

CA

Colby College

ME

Colgate University

NY

College of Charleston

SC

College of St. Benedict & St. John’s University

MN

Columbia University

NY

Converse College

SC

Cornell College

IA

Cornell University

NY

Christendom College

VA

Christopher Newport University

VA

Dartmouth College

NH

Davidson College

NC

Dickinson College

PA

Drew University

NJ

Duke University

NC

Fairfield University

CT

Fisk University

TN

Florida State University

FL

Franklin & Marshall College

PA

Gallaudet University

DC

Gardner-Webb University

NC

Georgetown College

KY

Georgetown University

DC

Hampden-Sydney College

VA

Howard University

DC

Hunter College

NY

Illinois Wesleyan University

IL

King University

TN

Lawrence University

WI

Lewis & Clark College

OR

Loyola University Maryland

MD

Macalester College

MN

Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts

NH

Mercy College

NY

Meredith College

NC

Miami University

OH

Morehouse College

GA

New York University

NY

Northwestern University

IL

The Ohio State University

OH

Pepperdine University

CA

Pomona College

CA

Presbyterian College

SC

Princeton University

NJ

Randolph-Macon College

VA

Rhodes College

TN

Roanoke College

VA

Rollins College

FL

Saint Mary’s College of California

CA

Saint Vincent College

PA

Salem College

NC

Scripps College

CA

Sewanee: The University of the South

TN

Shenandoah University

VA

Soka University of America

CA

Southern Connecticut State University

CT

Southwestern University

TX

Spelman College

GA

St. Bonaventure University

NY

St. John’s College

MD

St. John’s College

NM

St. Olaf College

MN

SUNY–Geneseo

NY

SUNY–Potsdam

NY

Syracuse University

NY

Texas Tech University

TX

Thomas Aquinas College

CA

Thomas More College of Liberal Arts

NH

Trinity University

TX

Tufts University

MA

Tulane University

LA

University of California–San Diego

• Eleanor Roosevelt College

• Revelle College

CA

University of Cincinnati

OH

University of Colorado–Boulder

CO

University of Connecticut

CT

University of Dallas

TX

University of Georgia

GA

University of Hawaii–Manoa

HI

University of Illinois–Chicago

IL

University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign

IL

University of Iowa

IA

University of Mary Washington

VA

University of Maryland–Baltimore County

MD

University of Miami

FL

University of Michigan–Ann Arbor

MI

University of Mississippi

MS

University of Nebraska–Lincoln

NE

University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill

NC

University of North Carolina–Greensboro

NC

University of Notre Dame

IN

University of Oklahoma

OK

University of Oregon

OR

University of Pennsylvania

PA

University of Pittsburgh–Greensburg

PA

University of Richmond

VA

University of Saint Katherine

CA

University of San Diego

CA

University of Southern California

CA

University of Tennessee–Knoxville

TN

University of Virginia–Charlottesville

VA

University of Wisconsin–Madison

WI

Virginia Wesleyan University

VA

Wake Forest University

NC

Washington & Lee University

VA

Wellesley College

MA

Westminster College

PA

Wheaton College

IL

William & Mary

VA

Willamette University

OR

Wyoming Catholic College

WY

Yale University

CT

Yeshiva University

NY

Yeshiva University–Stern College for Women

NY

 

How to Find the Right College for You

 

Foreign language requirements are one factor to consider when you’re searching for the college for you, but they’re not the only one. From the programs offered to the location, there are many angles to take into account when you’re looking for the best fit for you.

 

CollegeVine’s free school-search tool will help you find the right matches based on your preferences, such as size, type, programs offered, and more. And once you find those ideal fits, check out our chancing engine, which will estimate your odds of admission to your dream schools based on your academic and extracurricular profiles. Both tools are free to use!

 


Short Bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where she majored in Creative Writing and minored in History. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She dreams of having a dog.

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