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Why Learn Languages

Do you know that learning languages can help advance your career, feed your brain, deepen your connection to other cultures, boost your confidence, ... and more? Read Top Ten Reasons to Learn Languages

Do you know that "U.S. employers are losing business opportunities because they can’t find employees who are able to communicate in languages other than English?" Read U.S. Businesses Need More Multilingual Employees 

Studying a language as a major, a second major, a minor, or just taking language classes will advance your professional aspirations and strengthen your personal outlook. Students with significant language learning experience typically find better careers with higher pay increases, have more opportunities to travel overseas, connect to a more diverse group of people, and form stronger life-long friendships and professional partnerships. 

Graduate school applications and scholarship opportunities also benefit from language study and language study opens up a wider range of program choices.  

Through language classes at Clemson you will learn and interact with a diverse group of teachers and peers, appreciate other cultures and new perspectives, and engage with a global community that will be better prepared for the professional and personal challenges that lie ahead.

Undergraduate Degrees in Languages

Language students may choose from three bachelors degrees, all of which stress substantive upper-level study in the humanities:

  • B.A. in Modern Languages - Available in American Sign Language, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Spanish.
  • B.A. in Language and International Business - Available in Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Italian, and Spanish. Includes rigorous study in one of the following professional options: Applied International Economics, International Trade, or Tourism. Courses for these options are taught in colleges other than the College of Architecture, Arts, and Humanities (AAH) that houses the Department of Languages.
  • B.S. in Language and International Health - Available in Chinese, French, and Spanish. Administered jointly by the Department of Languages and the Department of Public Health Sciences in the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences.

Study Abroad

Regardless of the degree pursued, all language majors are required to study abroad prior to graduation. Students of French or German modern languages majors are expected to study abroad for at least one academic year, and students of all other majors for at least one semester.


Both L&IH and LAIB programs require the completion of internship prior to graduation.

Minoring in Languages

Students may choose a minor in the following areas: American Sign Language, Chinese, East Asian Studies, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian Area Studies and Spanish. See Modern Languages Program for details.

Engineering + Language

A new collaborative initiative, “Engineering + Language,” is expected to prepare engineering students for a culturally and linguistically diverse workplace that has become more important as companies rely on global trade to make and sell everything from cars and airplanes to tires and washing machines. Students in this envisioned program will take several technical classes in a language other than English, study abroad for a semester, and work an internship with an international company. The initiative is a collaboration between the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences and the College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities. Read more

Language Section Heads

For questions, please contact the language section heads listed below.

ASL: Prof. Bo Clements (
Chinese: Prof. Yanming An (
French: Prof. Kenneth Widgren (
German and Russian: Prof. Johannes Schmidt (
Italian: Prof. Luca Barattoni (
Japanese: Prof. Satomi Saito (
Spanish: Prof. Daniel Smith (