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Major Maps

Strategic Enrollment Management and Student Success

Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
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2021-2022

Foreign Language

College of Humanities and Sciences

Concentration(s):
Dual Languages, French, German, Spanish
Program description

Businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies are increasingly looking for employees with real world international experience who are able to communicate in a second language. The Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Language is designed precisely for students to gain this experience and develop their abilities to communicate in a second language. The program offers major concentrations in French, German, and Spanish and minors in French, German, Italian Studies, Russian Studies, and Spanish.


The goal of the program is to broaden students’ multicultural perspective and to develop their ability to communicate across cultures so they can succeed in diverse professional environments. The degree encourages students to develop and utilize their abilities to communicate in different languages and to understand the powerful role that language and culture play in shaping every aspect of society. The curriculum places particular emphasis on the study of language as spoken in and shaped by everyday contexts, including work, rest, and recreation, and in and through popular film, music, and media.


The Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Language provides a strong foundation for understanding language and culture and flexibility for students to pursue their own course of study. As is true with World Studies’ degrees in Anthropology, International Studies, and Religious Studies, Foreign Languages offers students opportunities to engage in real world learning through internships, lab-based and field research, and study abroad programs.

Career opportunities

The Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Language strengthens graduates' preparedness to work in global communications, marketing, public relations, and management; foreign aid and development; journalism; education; foreign service; international affairs, immigration services and the Peace Corps; organizations involved in development, disaster relief, immigration, human rights, and environmental justice advocacy; business and management in a multicultural environment. Graduates of our program will also find opportunities in teaching at home or abroad, as well as in work with a variety of public-service organizations. This degree also provides an excellent background and qualification for admission to graduate degree programs in foreign languages, international studies, international law, diplomacy, business, or journalism.


We encourage students to double major in Foreign Language and another major in the School of World Studies such as Anthropology, International Studies or Religious Studies. Doing so strengthens cumulative knowledge, experience, academic record, and resume for success in whatever path they choose after graduation.

Change of major requirements

Submit a change of major form to declare. Schedule an advising appointment with the School of World Studies' academic advising by calling (804) 827-1111 to request an appointment prior to major approval.


Bachelor-level job titles
  • Bilingual Customer Service Representative
  • Community Organizer Assoc
  • Copy Editor
  • Digital Marketer
  • ESL Teacher - Teaching Assistant
  • Event Planner
  • Flight Attendant
  • Health Systems Front Desk Specialist
  • International Insurance Representative
  • Language Teacher (Private School)
  • Management Trainee
  • NGO Staff
Graduate and professional level job titles
  • Attorney
  • Diplomat
  • Foreign Correspondent
  • Linguistics Specialist
Highest level of math required
  • Quantitative Foundations requirement only
Science required
  • Natural Sciences requirement only
Foreign language requirements
  • Yes
Additional tuition/fees
  • No
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
  • 2.0+ cumulative GPA, 2.25+ major GPA
Department name:
School of World Studies
Building/room location:
312 North Shafer Street
Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
Monroe park
Phone:
(804) 827-1111
Email:
info-sws@vcu.edu

Major map compass icon [View Image]
Major map

Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to explore minors, certificates, and plan your required REAL experience.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide.
  • Talk to professors about your research interests, electives, and strategies for success in your classes.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation classes with the da Vinci Center.
  • Complete all prerequisite coursework for major (through 202-level of language).
  • Explore scholarship opportunities for study abroad and strategies for degree success.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Make friends with diverse perspectives and join a cultural or identity-related student organization.
  • Explore social issues, develop cultural competency skills, and engage with faculty through iExcel pop-up courses.
  • Investigate globally-focused courses in your major by pursuing language coursework or setting language proficiency goals with advisors and faculty.
  • Apply for the Critical Languages Scholarship.
  • Attend the SWS Student Research Conference and other International-related events.
  • Attend OMSA Social Justice Conference. 
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Complete a gap analysis with your career advisor to identify key skills required for your professional field.
  • Seek out practical experience through independent skill-building, internships, shadowing, or part-time work.
  • Explore global career options with a career advisor to set goals for getting your dream job.
  • Organize examples of your academic and professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections in an ePortfolio.
  • Attend career and internship fairs and other professional development events.
  • Pursue a digital badge to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences employers and graduate schools value.
  • Engage in an active process of career exploration through SWS sequences of workshops and via Career Services.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Connect with alumni on VCULink for career advice, industry contacts, and meaningful professional relationships.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of professional interest.
  • Ask a faculty or staff member to be your academic and professional mentor and to provide future letters of recommendation.
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • See your academic and career advisors to discuss graduation progress and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology, and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Complete WRLD 302 and minimum of 15 credits of 300-level coursework in target language.
  • Start developing your World ePass portfolio.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Build language proficiency and cultural competence by carrying out your plans for study abroad, internships, and service-learning.
  • Participate in summer, semester-length or year-long study-abroad experience.
  • Update your resume to include how you have developed your communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Get required REAL experience and effect community change by using iExcel’s Active Citizen’s Toolkit to vote and volunteer.
  • Participate in Foreign Language discussion groups and Conversation Partner program. 
  • Attend OMSA Tunnel of Oppression.
  • Explore new cultures at one of Richmond’s wide array of festivals.
  • Prepare for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams by showcasing your interpersonal skills on your resume.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Take advantage of mock interview opportunities through InterviewStream or meeting with a career advisor.
  • Update your ePortfolio.
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student experience.
  • Start research in preparation to present at the Student Research Conference.
  • Volunteer as a foreign language tutor in area schools, or as a tutor for children and adults learning English. 
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Make a plan with your academic, career, and faculty advisors for applying to graduate school or land a micro-internship.
  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and VCU Career Services about graduate school versus a job.
  • Study for and complete any standardized exams required for graduate school the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • Join job listserv sites that provide access to job postings in desired fields. Revisit gap analysis assessment and continue adjusting strategic career plan with Career Services.

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor the semester before you graduate to ensure that all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Choose REAL electives to diversify your skillset and round out your degree.
  • Take WRLD 490 Senior Capstone.
  • Complete two 400-level courses in major at VCU.
  • Do an internship (FRLG 493) as a world language teaching assistant in local school systems.
  • Complete the World ePass by the middle of your final semester.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Carry out globally-oriented research projects with multilingual faculty and international partners.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Master your answers to interview questions about your experience working with diverse populations.
  • Plan for how you will grow your cultural agility after graduation.
  • Build intercultural competence by becoming a conversation partner to an international student.
  • Complete VCU’s TEFL certificate program, an internationally-recognized credential for overseas employment as an English teacher.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Meet with your academic or professional mentor and identify examples of your experiential learning to share with employers.
  • Publish your original research in Auctus: The Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creativity.
  • Consider becoming an educator through programs like RTR, which prepare graduates from a variety of majors to become teachers in high-need schools.
  • Expand your network and remember that you can network anywhere.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Prepare for graduation by making a plan to complete licensing exams, applications, and self-marketing activities.
  • Single out prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed by Career Services. 
  • Connect with the Office of VCU Alumni Relations at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and the VCULink Industry Network or alumni chapter.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon [View Image]
2021-2022

Foreign Language

College of Humanities and Sciences

Concentration(s):
Dual Languages, French, German, Spanish
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNINGGET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITYBUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCEGET REAL EXPERIENCEPREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
ExploreYear 1
ExperienceYear 2
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to explore minors, certificates, and plan your required REAL experience.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide.
  • Talk to professors about your research interests, electives, and strategies for success in your classes.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation classes with the da Vinci Center.
  • Complete all prerequisite coursework for major (through 202-level of language).
  • Explore scholarship opportunities for study abroad and strategies for degree success.
  • Make friends with diverse perspectives and join a cultural or identity-related student organization.
  • Explore social issues, develop cultural competency skills, and engage with faculty through iExcel pop-up courses.
  • Investigate globally-focused courses in your major by pursuing language coursework or setting language proficiency goals with advisors and faculty.
  • Apply for the Critical Languages Scholarship.
  • Attend the SWS Student Research Conference and other International-related events.
  • Attend OMSA Social Justice Conference. 
  • Complete a gap analysis with your career advisor to identify key skills required for your professional field.
  • Seek out practical experience through independent skill-building, internships, shadowing, or part-time work.
  • Explore global career options with a career advisor to set goals for getting your dream job.
  • Organize examples of your academic and professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections in an ePortfolio.
  • Attend career and internship fairs and other professional development events.
  • Pursue a digital badge to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences employers and graduate schools value.
  • Engage in an active process of career exploration through SWS sequences of workshops and via Career Services.
  • Connect with alumni on VCULink for career advice, industry contacts, and meaningful professional relationships.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of professional interest.
  • Ask a faculty or staff member to be your academic and professional mentor and to provide future letters of recommendation.
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
Year 3
  • See your academic and career advisors to discuss graduation progress and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology, and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Complete WRLD 302 and minimum of 15 credits of 300-level coursework in target language.
  • Start developing your World ePass portfolio.
  • Build language proficiency and cultural competence by carrying out your plans for study abroad, internships, and service-learning.
  • Participate in summer, semester-length or year-long study-abroad experience.
  • Update your resume to include how you have developed your communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Get required REAL experience and effect community change by using iExcel’s Active Citizen’s Toolkit to vote and volunteer.
  • Participate in Foreign Language discussion groups and Conversation Partner program. 
  • Attend OMSA Tunnel of Oppression.
  • Explore new cultures at one of Richmond’s wide array of festivals.
  • Prepare for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams by showcasing your interpersonal skills on your resume.
  • Take advantage of mock interview opportunities through InterviewStream or meeting with a career advisor.
  • Update your ePortfolio.
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student experience.
  • Start research in preparation to present at the Student Research Conference.
  • Volunteer as a foreign language tutor in area schools, or as a tutor for children and adults learning English. 
  • Make a plan with your academic, career, and faculty advisors for applying to graduate school or land a micro-internship.
  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and VCU Career Services about graduate school versus a job.
  • Study for and complete any standardized exams required for graduate school the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • Join job listserv sites that provide access to job postings in desired fields. Revisit gap analysis assessment and continue adjusting strategic career plan with Career Services.
ExcelYear 4
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor the semester before you graduate to ensure that all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Choose REAL electives to diversify your skillset and round out your degree.
  • Take WRLD 490 Senior Capstone.
  • Complete two 400-level courses in major at VCU.
  • Do an internship (FRLG 493) as a world language teaching assistant in local school systems.
  • Complete the World ePass by the middle of your final semester.
  • Carry out globally-oriented research projects with multilingual faculty and international partners.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Master your answers to interview questions about your experience working with diverse populations.
  • Plan for how you will grow your cultural agility after graduation.
  • Build intercultural competence by becoming a conversation partner to an international student.
  • Complete VCU’s TEFL certificate program, an internationally-recognized credential for overseas employment as an English teacher.
  • Meet with your academic or professional mentor and identify examples of your experiential learning to share with employers.
  • Publish your original research in Auctus: The Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creativity.
  • Consider becoming an educator through programs like RTR, which prepare graduates from a variety of majors to become teachers in high-need schools.
  • Expand your network and remember that you can network anywhere.
  • Prepare for graduation by making a plan to complete licensing exams, applications, and self-marketing activities.
  • Single out prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed by Career Services. 
  • Connect with the Office of VCU Alumni Relations at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and the VCULink Industry Network or alumni chapter.
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