Modern and Classical Languages
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Concentrations

BA in Foreign Languages

The BA in Foreign Languages prepares students for teaching, graduate study in languages and cultures, research, professional work, as well as service in government, nonprofits, or business. Our graduates are particularly valued for their multilingual and cross-cultural knowledge. Majors are encouraged to complete a minor or a second major in another field. Concentrations are offered in Arabic, Chinese, French and Spanish. Minors are offered in Arabic, Chinese, Classical Studies, French, German Studies, Italian Studies, Japanese Studies, Latin, Russian and Spanish.

Double majors in foreign language and another subject should plan a program of study with advisors from both disciplines and follow the steps outlined in AP.5.3.3 Second Bachelor's Degree.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Degree Requirements

Total credits: minimum 120

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

Concentrations in the Major

In addition to the other college and university requirements for a degree, provided in the tabs below, students pursuing this degree complete a 30-33 credit concentration chosen from the following:

Available concentrations
  • Concentration in Arabic (ARBC)
  • Concentration in Chinese (CHIN)
  • Concentration in French (FRN)
  • Concentration in Spanish (SPN)

Concentration in Arabic (ARBC)

The concentration in Arabic has an emphasis on developing strong language skills, including literacy and oral communication, along with an in-depth understanding of modern Arabic culture and society. Students concentrating in Arabic are expected to gain fluency in Modern Standard Arabic and a working knowledge of at least one Arabic dialect. Additionally, students will graduate with a strong background in Arab intellectual history, literature, and culture.

Students pursuing the concentration in Arabic must complete a minimum of 30 credits in Arabic at the 300 level and above, each with a minimum grade of 2.00. Only two courses (6 credits) taught in English may be applied to the major. Students are highly encouraged to participate in study abroad.

A minor in Arabic is also offered, which can easily and effectively be combined with majors in other disciplines, such as global affairs, international relations, government, journalism, philosophy, and religion.

Core Courses  
Select eight courses from the following: 24
Reading and Conversation I  
Reading and Conversation II  
Media Arabic I (Written Media)  
Media Arabic II (Spoken Media) (Mason Core)  
Study Abroad - Arab World  
Arabic Dialects  
Translation Methods: Arabic to English  
Survey of Arabic Literature  
Advanced Arabic Grammar  
Topics in Arabic Religious Thought and Texts (Mason Core)  
Independent Study  
Electives  
Select two courses from the following: 6
Major Arab Writers/Stories (Mason Core)  
Topics in Arabic Cultural Production  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total Credits 30
1

Requires approval of advisor and the director; relevant courses only.

Concentration in Chinese (CHIN)

The concentration in Chinese prepares students for research and professional work in government and private enterprise, teaching careers at the secondary school level, and graduate study in Chinese. Language majors with the Chinese concentration are encouraged to complete a minor or, if possible, a second major in another field.

Students pursuing the concentration in Chinese must complete a minimum of 30 credits in Chinese at the 300 level and above, each with a minimum grade of 2.00. Students are expected to complete a balanced program that includes courses in language, culture and civilization, and literature. Only two courses (6 credits) taught in English may be applied to the major. Students are highly encouraged to participate in study abroad.

A minor in Chinese is also offered, which can easily and effectively be combined with majors in other disciplines, such as global affairs, international relations, government, journalism, philosophy, and religion.

Core Courses  
Select eight courses from the following: 24
Reading Skills Development  
Advanced Grammar and Syntax  
Chinese for the Business World  
Introduction to Classical Chinese (Mason Core)  
Readings in Chinese Poetry and Poetics (Mason Core)  
Readings in Chinese Fiction after Mao  
Chinese Popular Culture (Mason Core)  
Fourth-Year Chinese I  
Fourth-Year Chinese II  
Electives  
Select two courses from the following: 6
Survey of Chinese Literature (Mason Core)  
Modern Chinese Literature in Translation (Mason Core)  
Contemporary Chinese Film  
Major Chinese Writers (Mason Core)  
Asian American Women Writers (Mason Core)  
Special Topics in Chinese Studies  
Internship in Chinese Studies  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total Credits 30
1

Requires approval of advisor and the director; relevant courses only.

Concentration in French (FRN)

Students pursuing the concentration in French must complete a minimum of 33 credits in French at the 300 level and above, each with a minimum grade of 2.00. No more than one course (3 credits) conducted in English may be used to fulfill requirements for the concentration. Students are expected to complete a balanced program that includes courses in language, culture and civilization, and literature.

Advanced Language Course  
FREN 309 Reading and Writing Skills Development 6
Literature and Civilization  
FREN 370 French Civilization, Culture, and Literature: Ancient Gaul to 1789 3
FREN 371 French Civilization, Culture, and Literature: 1789 to the Present 3
FREN at the 300-level or Above  
Select three courses in FREN at the 300-level or above 9
FREN at the 400-level or above  
Select four courses in FREN at the 400-level or above 12
Total Credits 33

Concentration in Spanish (SPN)

With more than 400 million people speaking Spanish worldwide - nearly 40 million in the US - and the growing influence of Hispanic cultures around the globe, knowledge of Spanish and the Spanish-speaking world has never been more important. The Spanish courses and degree programs provide students with the opportunity for language development and interdisciplinary study of the cultures, film, history, linguistics and literature of the 20 Spanish-speaking countries, including the United States. Students can also receive Spanish credit through participation study-abroad programs.

Students pursuing the concentration in Spanish must complete a minimum of 33 credits in Spanish courses at the 300-level and above, each with a minimum grade of 2.00. Only one course taught in English (3 credits) may be applied toward the concentration.

Core Courses  
Select one or two courses from the following: 6
SPAN 305
& SPAN 306
Spanish in Context I
and Spanish in Context II
 
Intensive Spanish in Context  
Spanish for Heritage Speakers (and one additional 3-credit SPAN course)  
Additional Required Courses  
SPAN 370 Spanish Writing and Stylistics 3
SPAN 385 Introduction to Spanish Linguistics 3
SPAN 390 Introduction to Hispanic Literary Analysis 3
Spanish at the 400 Level  
Select four courses in Spanish at the 400 level 12
Electives  
Select two courses from the following: 6
 
Multilingualism, Identity, and Power (Mason Core)  
Total Credits 33

Writing-Intensive Requirement

The university requires all students to complete at least one course designated "writing intensive" in their majors at the 300 level or above. Students majoring in foreign language may fulfill this requirement by successfully completing CHIN 480 Fourth-Year Chinese I, FREN 309 Reading and Writing Skills Development, or SPAN 370 Spanish Writing and Stylistics.

Upper Level Requirement

Students seeking a bachelor’s degree must apply at least 45 credits of upper-level courses (numbered 300 or above) toward graduation requirements.

College Level Requirements for the BA Degree 

In addition to the Mason Core program, students pursuing a BA degree must complete the coursework below. Except where expressly prohibited, a course used to fulfill a college level requirement may also be used simultaneously to satisfy other requirements (Mason Core requirements or requirements for the major).

Philosophy or Religious Studies
Select 3 credits from the following: 3
 
 
1

Note that the following courses may not be used to fulfill this requirement:

  • PHIL 323 Classical Western Political Theory 
  • PHIL 324 Modern Western Political Theory 
  • PHIL 327 Contemporary Western Political Theory 
  • PHIL 393 Humanities College to Career 
  • PHIL 460 Senior Seminar in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics


Additionally, PHIL 253 Philosophy and Literature (Mason Core) and RELI 235 Religion and Literature (Mason Core) cannot be used to fulfill both the philosophy/religious studies requirement and the Mason Core literature requirement.

Social and Behavioral Sciences
Select 3 credits of social and behavioral sciences from the following (additional to the Mason Core social and behavioral sciences requirement) 1 3
ANTH  
CRIM  
ECON  
GOVT  
HIST 2  
LING  
PSYC  
SOCI  
Or choose from the following GGS courses:  
Major World Regions (Mason Core)  
Human Geography (Mason Core)  
Introduction to Geoinformation Technologies  
Political Geography  
Geography of Resource Conservation (Mason Core)  
Population Geography (Mason Core)  
Economic Geography  
Urban Geography  
Geography of the United States  
Geography of Latin America  
Geography of Europe  
Geography of North Africa and the Middle East  
Geography of the Soviet Succession States  
Structures in Urban Governance and Planning  
Geography of Virginia  
1

The two courses used to fulfill the combined college and Mason Core requirements must be from different disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences. 

2

HIST 100 History of Western Civilization (Mason Core) and HIST 125 Introduction to World History (Mason Core) may not be used to fulfill this requirement.

Foreign Language
Intermediate-level proficiency in one foreign language, fulfilled by: 1  
 
Or achieving a satisfactory score on an approved proficiency test
 
Or completing the following ASL three course sequence:
 
American Sign Language (ASL) I  
American Sign Language (ASL) II  
American Sign Language (ASL) III  
1

Students who are already proficient in a second language may be eligible for a waiver of this requirement. Additional information on waivers can be found at the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

Non-Western Culture

Select 3 credits of an approved course in the study of a non-Western culture (additional to the Mason Core requirement in global understanding)

Select 3 credits (additional to Mason Core Global Understanding requirement) 1  
ANTH 114 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 300 Civilizations 3
ANTH 301 Native North Americans 3
ANTH 302 Peoples and Cultures of Latin America (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 303 Peoples and Cultures of the Andes 3
ANTH 306 Peoples and Cultures of Island Asia (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 307 Ancient Mesoamerica (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 308 Peoples and Cultures of the Middle East (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 309 Peoples and Cultures of India (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 313 Myth, Magic, and Mind (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 314 Zombies 3
ANTH 316 Peoples and Cultures of the Caribbean (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 323 Digging and Dealing in the Dead: Ethics in Archaeology 3
ANTH 330 Peoples and Cultures of Selected Regions: Non-Western 3
ANTH 332 Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Globalization (Mason Core) 3
ANTH 381 Medical Anthropology 3
ANTH 383 Cities of the Global South 3
ANTH 396 Issues in Anthropology: Social Sciences (Mason Core) 3
ARAB 360 Topics in Arabic Cultural Production 3
ARAB 420 Survey of Arabic Literature 3
ARAB 440 Topics in Arabic Religious Thought and Texts (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 203 Survey of Asian Art (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 204 Survey of Latin American Art (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 206 Survey of African Art (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 318 Art and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt 3
ARTH 319 Art and Archaeology of the Ancient Near East (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 320 Art of the Islamic World (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 382 Arts of India (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 383 Arts of Southeast Asia (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 384 Arts of China (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 385 Arts of Japan (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 386 The Silk Road (Mason Core) 3
ARTH 482 RS: Advanced Studies in Asian Art 3
CHIN 318 Introduction to Classical Chinese (Mason Core) 3
CHIN 320 Contemporary Chinese Film 3
CHIN 325 Major Chinese Writers (Mason Core) 3
DANC 118 World Dance (Mason Core) 3
ECON 361 Economic Development of Latin America (Mason Core) 3
ECON 362 African Economic Development (Mason Core) 3
FREN 451 Topics in Sub-Saharan Francophone Literature and Culture 3
FREN 454 Topics in Caribbean Francophone Literature and Culture 3
GGS 101 Major World Regions (Mason Core) 3
GGS 316 Geography of Latin America 3
GGS 325 Geography of North Africa and the Middle East 3
GGS 330 Geography of the Soviet Succession States 3
GGS 399 Select Topics in GGS 3
GOVT 328 Non-Western Political Theory 3
GOVT 332 Government and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa 3
GOVT 333 Government and Politics of Asia 3
GOVT 340 Central Asian Politics 3
GOVT 341 Chinese Foreign Policy 3
GOVT 345 Islam and Politics 3
GOVT 432 Political Change and Social Development in Sub-Saharan Africa 3
GOVT 433 Political Economy of East Asia 3
HIST 251 Survey of East Asian History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 252 Survey of East Asian History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 261 Survey of African History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 262 Survey of African History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 271 Survey of Latin American History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 272 Survey of Latin American History (Mason Core) 3
HIST 281 Survey of Middle Eastern Civilization (Mason Core) 3
HIST 282 Survey of Middle Eastern Civilization (Mason Core) 3
HIST 326 Stalinism 3
HIST 327 The Soviet Union and Russia Since World War II 3
HIST 328 Rise of Russia (Mason Core) 3
HIST 329 Modern Russia and the Soviet Union (Mason Core) 3
HIST 353 History of Traditional China 3
HIST 354 Modern China 3
HIST 356 Modern Japan (Mason Core) 3
HIST 357 Postwar Japan (Mason Core) 3
HIST 358 Post-1949 China (Mason Core) 3
HIST 360 History of South Africa (Mason Core) 3
HIST 364 Revolution and Radical Politics in Latin America (Mason Core) 3
HIST 365 Conquest and Colonization in Latin America (Mason Core) 3
HIST 366 Comparative Slavery 3
HIST 367 History, Fiction, and Film in Latin America 3
HIST 387 Topics in Global History (Mason Core) 3-6
HIST 426 The Russian Revolution 3
HIST 460 Modern Iran (Mason Core) 3
HIST 461 Arab-Israeli Conflict 3
HIST 462 Women in Islamic Society (Mason Core) 3
HIST 465 The Middle East in the 20th Century 3
JAPA 310 Japanese Culture in a Global World (Mason Core) 3
JAPA 340 Topics in Japanese Literature (Mason Core) 3
KORE 320 Korean Popular Culture in a Global World 3
MUSI 103 Musics of the World (Mason Core) 3
RELI 211 Religions of the West (Mason Core) 3
RELI 212 Religions of Asia (Mason Core) 3
RELI 240 Death and the Afterlife in World Religions 3
RELI 272 Islam 3
RELI 313 Hinduism (Mason Core) 3
RELI 314 Chinese Philosophies and Religious Traditions 3
RELI 315 Buddhism (Mason Core) 3
RELI 337 Mysticism: East and West 3
RELI 365 Muhammad: Life and Legacy 3
RELI 374 Islamic Thought (Mason Core) 3
RELI 375 Qur'an and Hadith 3
RELI 379 Islamic Law, Society, and Ethics 3
RELI 387 Islam, Democracy, and Human Rights 3
RELI 490 Comparative Study of Religions (Mason Core) 3
RUSS 353 Russian Civilization (Mason Core) 3
RUSS 354 Contemporary Post-Soviet Life (Mason Core) 3
1

A course used to fulfill the Mason Core global understanding requirement may not be simultaneously used to satisfy this college-level requirement. A course used to fulfill this requirement may be used simultaneously to fulfill any other requirements (Mason Core requirements, college-level requirements, or requirements for the major). Additional information on waivers can be found at the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

Mason Core

Note: Some Mason Core requirements may already be fulfilled by the major requirements listed above. Students are strongly encouraged to consult their advisors to ensure they fulfill all remaining Mason Core requirements.

Foundation Requirements  
Written Communication 6
Oral Communication 3
Quantitative Reasoning 3
Information Technology 3-7
Core Requirements  
Arts 3
Global Understanding 3
Literature 3
Natural Science 7
Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
Western Civilization/World History 3
Synthesis/Capstone Requirement 1  
Synthesis/Capstone 3
Total Credits 40
1

minimum 3 credits

Additional Elective Courses

Any remaining credits may be completed with elective courses to bring the degree total to 120.  
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