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George Mason University
    George Mason University
  Sep 21, 2017
2016-2017 University Catalog

Modern and Classical Languages

Phone: 703-993-1220


Professors: Berroa, Gilbert, Ricouart, Winkler

Associate professors: Carreño-Rodríguez, Christensen, Leeman, Levine, Markx, Rabin, Roman-Mendoza, Vivancos-Pérez, Zhang

Assistant professors: Back, Greenberg, Hemmann, Olson, Pichichero, Repinecz, Rogers, Serafini, Sun

Term assistant professors: Al Seoudi, Balasch, Dudnik, Fujiwara, Jung, Mircea-Pines, Mulholland, Sweet, Vikis

Term instructors: Ashraf-Hassan, Burns, Chen, Guglielmi


This department offers all courses designated ARAB, CHIN, CLAS, FREN, FRLN, GERM, GREE, HEBR, ITAL, JAPA, KORE, LATN, PERS, PORT, RUSS, SPAN, and TURK in the Courses  section of this catalog.

Some courses are offered in English. Knowledge of a foreign language is not required.

Mason Core and College-Level Requirements

The department offers a number of courses approved to fulfill Mason Core requirements. See Mason Core and College Requirements.

Language courses through the intermediate (200) level can be used to fulfill the college-level requirement in foreign languages for the bachelor of arts degree in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the College of Science. Other courses fulfill the college-level requirement in non-Western culture. See Mason Core and College Requirements.

Undergraduate Programs

The department offers a BA in foreign languages with concentrations in Chinese, French, and Spanish.

The concentration in Chinese enables students to become proficient in listening, speaking, reading, and writing Chinese while learning about Chinese literature, history, traditions, and culture. Students in this program are encouraged to study abroad or to do an internship. Students in Chinese are also encouraged to complete a double major.

The concentration in French is designed for students who want to increase their proficiency in French language and culture while learning about the history, politics, and economics of the many French-speaking countries around the world.  Students can take a study abroad course or spend a summer in Paris or Quebec, earning credit towards their degree.  They can participate in the many French-speaking activities sponsored by Mason’s French Club.

The concentration in Spanish enables students to become proficient in speaking, reading, and writing Spanish while learning about Latin American, Latino and Spanish languages practices, literatures, histories, and cultures. Students are encouraged to do an internship or service learning project, where they can draw on their knowledge of Spanish and gain valuable work experience while working for social change in their communities.  Students have many opportunities to study Spanish abroad for as little as a week and as long as a semester and at the same time, earn credit toward their degree.

All concentrations prepare students for teaching careers at the secondary school level, graduate study in languages, and research and professional work in government and private enterprise.

Faculty in the department participate in the interdisciplinary Russian and Eurasian Studies, BA  and the Latin American Studies, BA .

Foreign Languages with a Second Major

Majors in foreign language are encouraged to complete a second major in another field. Students who want to pursue a second undergraduate major should plan a program of study in consultation with advisors from both degrees and be familiar with the relevant policies on more than one major. See the Academic Policies  section of the catalog.

Comparative Literature Emphasis

The Department of Modern and Classical Languages participates in the BA in English with an emphasis in comparative literature.  This program combines the study of literature in English with the study of one or more foreign literatures and with cross-cultural literary study.  See the English, BA  listing in the catalog.


Language majors are encouraged to complete a minor in another field.

The department offers minors in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Latin, Russian, Spanish, Classical Studies, Italian Studies, and Japanese Studies. They are available to students in any major at Mason. Except for Classical Studies, all the minors have as a prerequisite the completion of 250 (or equivalent) in the relevant language. See Minors and Interdisciplinary Minors  in this section.

Bachelor’s/Accelerated Master’s Programs

The department offers highly qualified undergraduates concentrating in Spanish the opportunity to apply to an accelerated master’s degree program in Foreign Languages with a concentration in Spanish or a concentration in Spanish/bilingual-multicultural education. If accepted, students will be able to earn an undergraduate degree and a graduate degree in Foreign Languages after satisfactory completion of 144-150 credits, sometimes within five years.

Graduate Programs

The department offers a distinctive interdisciplinary master’s degree in foreign languages designed to meet the needs and interests of prospective and practicing teachers and other professionals. It also prepares students for doctoral study at other institutions. Within the master’s degree, students choose one of four concentrations: French, Spanish, French and Spanish, and Spanish/bilingual-multicultural education.


The department has a limited number of teaching assistantships for highly qualified graduate students with excellent language preparation. Students develop valuable language teaching experience by working with faculty experts in language teaching pedagogy.


    Undergraduate Degree(s)Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Minor(s)Undergraduate Minor(s)Bachelor’s/Accelerated Master’s Program(s)Master’s Degree(s)