Most colleges and universities offer foreign language programs, though larger urban schools offer more variety in languages offered. Other factors to investigate when selecting a foreign language program include opportunities for immersion and teaching.
10 Foreign Language Schools
Foreign language programs are offered at the institutions listed here.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Undergraduate Tuition (2018-2019)*|
|Middlebury College||Middlebury, VT||4-year, Private||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$54,450|
|University of Wisconsin-Madison||Madison, WI||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||In-state $10,555; Out-of-state $36,805|
|University of California, Los Angeles||Los Angeles, CA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||In-state $13,226; Out-of-state $42,218|
|Stanford University||Stanford, CA||4 -year, Private||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$51,354|
|Yale University||New Haven, CT||4 -year, Private||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, Graduate Certificate||$53,430|
|Indiana University - Bloomington||Bloomington, IN||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||In-state $10,681; Out-of-state $35,456|
|Washington State University||Pullman, WA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's||In-state $11,584; Out-of-state $25,820|
|Cornell University||Ithaca, NY||4 -year, Private||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$55,188|
|Valparaiso University||Valparaiso, IN||4 -year, Private||Bachelor's||$40,260|
|Columbia University||New York, NY||4 -year, Private||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, Graduate Certificate||$59,430|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
School Selection Criteria
There are some key things to consider when selecting a foreign language program:
- Seek out programs that offer courses specifically designed for students hoping to become interpreters or translators.
- Studying abroad can provide some skills fundamental to obtaining a career in translation and interpretation.
- When considering master's programs, students may want to look for programs that offer teaching assistant opportunities or even the chance to teach undergraduate classes by themselves.
- Some schools have both undergraduate and graduate programs in the languages they offer, so it would be preferable to attend one of those instead of transferring schools to continue graduate studies.
Bachelor of Arts
Undergraduate degrees in foreign languages typically have very similar (if not the same) degree tracks from language to language. They are 4-year programs that consist of several years of preparatory courses in which the student learns to speak the language. Some schools require a senior project in order to complete the major, and most offer study abroad options to students.
Master of Arts
Graduate degrees in foreign languages are 2-year programs that are designed to provide a high level of proficiency in the language and increased immersion within the culture being studied. By the end of the program, students should be able to demonstrate significant competence in oral and written work in the language. Coursework typically covers advanced aspects of the language. Teaching assistantships are offered in most programs, and some require a final research project, a master's thesis or a comprehensive examination in order to graduate.
The first step in pursuing a career as a translator or interpreter is determining which language to study as well as which school to attend. Some schools offer extensive foreign language options and opportunities for immersion, while others are limited to a few common foreign languages, like Spanish.