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Language Schools in California with Degree Program Summaries

There are more than 140 schools within California that have language degree programs. Read an overview of the ten largest schools' programs, requirements and tuition info and find out which school is the right one for you.

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Essential Information

With a large number of public and private not-for-profit schools offering foreign language degree programs, students have numerous options to choose from in California. Degree programs can be found at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Associate's degree programs can be designed for students to transfer to a 4-year school. Many language programs offer students the opportunity to study abroad. The following is a list of the ten largest schools offering programs.


American River College

Students at this 2-year community college in Sacramento can pursue an Associate of Arts in Language Studies, concentrating in French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian or Spanish. Each major typically has elementary and intermediate-level language courses. Students can work with faculty members and counselors to gear their curriculum towards transferring to a 4-year program at a university.

  • Programs Offered: Associate of Arts in Language Studies - various languages
  • Tuition & Fees (2012): $1,104 (in-state)*; $7,200 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; large suburb

California State University - Fullerton

Undergraduate students at California State University in Fullerton can major in French, German, Japanese or Spanish. Students can also minor in all of these languages as well as Portuguese. Master's degree programs are available in French, German and Spanish, and students can take some of their classes at CSU Long Beach. Students at the junior, senior and graduate levels are encouraged to take advantage of the university's study abroad program or participate in one of the language exchange programs offered in conjunction with foreign schools, such as the University of Paris and Fudan University in China. Language courses are also offered in Arabic, Chinese, Italian, Korean, Persian, Portuguese and Vietnamese.

  • Programs Offered: Bachelor of Arts in various languages
    Master of Arts in various languages
  • Tuition & Fees (2012): $6,195 (in-state)*; $17,853 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; midsize city

California State University - Long Beach

Opportunities are available for undergraduate and graduate language students at California State University in Long Beach. Students can enroll in bachelor's degree programs in Spanish, Chinese Studies, French, German, Italian Studies and Japanese Studies as well as master's degree programs in Spanish, French and German. Although Russian isn't an available degree program here, it can be taken as a minor. Students can also minor in Greek or Latin or take classes in Arabic, Portuguese, Korean, Tagalog, Vietnamese and Cambodian. M.A. degree programs are available in German, French and Spanish.

  • Programs Offered: Bachelor of Arts in various languages
    Master of Arts in various languages
  • Tuition & Fees (2012): $6,052 (in-state)*; $17,710 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; large city

California State University - Northridge

Cal State Northridge offers Bachelor of Arts degree programs in Spanish and French. Students interested in studying other languages can do so a number of ways. The B.A. in Languages and Cultures has options in Italian, Japanese, Armenian and French. This major involves taking coursework in the student's chosen foreign language along with classes in comparative literature and culture. Students in this program are encouraged to study abroad and even take a second foreign language. Students can also minor in Japanese, Spanish, French, Armenian, Italian, Russian, German or the classics. Students interested in other foreign languages can find courses in Hebrew, Korean, Farsi, German and Chinese. The university also has a Master of Arts degree program in Spanish for individuals who hold a B.A. in Spanish or at least 18 units of Spanish coursework.

  • Programs Offered: Bachelor of Arts in French or Spanish
    Bachelor of Arts in Languages and Cultures
    Master of Arts in Spanish
  • Tuition & Fees (2012): $6,296 (in-state)*; $17,954 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; large city

City College of San Francisco

Students at this San Francisco community college can obtain an associate's degree in French, Chinese, Italian, Japanese or Spanish. All of these degrees are transferable to schools in the California State University system as well as many of the University of California system's schools. Students in these programs have access to an online language lab that contains audio components for course textbooks. Tutoring is available for language students at the school's Learning Assistance Center. Certificates are available in all of the above languages, as well as in Russian, German and Filipino. Certificates are usually around 15 credits.

  • Programs Offered: Associate of Arts in various languages
  • Tuition & Fees (2012): $1,238 (in-state)*; $6,270 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; large city

San Diego State University

Students in San Diego can find bachelor's degree programs in Russian, German, Japanese, French and Spanish at San Diego State University. Several of these programs have student clubs on campus. The Bachelor of Arts in French program requires students to fulfill a study abroad requirement prior to graduation. Students in some of these language programs also have access to exclusive scholarship opportunities, honorary societies and student organizations. Students can minor in Chinese, French, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian or Spanish. Master's degree-seeking students have a choice between French and Spanish.

  • Programs Offered: Bachelor of Arts in various languages
    Master of Arts in various languages
  • Tuition & Fees (2012): $6,578 (in-state)*; $18,236 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; large city

University of California - Berkeley

The city of Berkeley is home to this flagship campus of the University of California system. In addition to more common undergraduate programs like Greek, Latin, Spanish, French and German, UC Berkeley has bachelor's degree programs available in Chinese, Scandinavian, Japanese, Luso-Brazilian language and literature, Iberian language and literature, Russian languages and literatures and more. Several minors are available, including Japanese, Chinese and Korean.

At the master's degree level, students can find programs in Chinese, French, Greek, Latin, Japanese, German, Italian and Scandinavian. Students going on to earn a Ph.D. have options in Slavic languages and literature, Scandinavian, Hispanic languages and literature, Italian, German, French, Japanese and Chinese.

  • Programs Offered: Bachelor of Arts in various languages
    Master of Arts in various languages
    Ph.D. in various languages
  • Tuition & Fees (2012): $12,874 (in-state)*; $35,752 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; midsize city

University of California - Davis

Students at UC Davis can work toward a bachelor's degree program in Japanese, Russian, Italian and Chinese. There are also bachelor's degree programs, master's degree programs and Ph.D. programs in French, German and Spanish. Although the entry requirements for the graduate programs vary from major to major, it is recommended that language students submit GRE scores, letters of recommendation and a work sample. Many of the language programs here offer students the chance to study abroad for a year.

  • Programs Offered: Bachelor of Arts in various languages
    Master of Arts in various languages
    Ph.D. in various languages
  • Tuition & Fees (2012): $13,877 (in-state)*; $36,755 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; small suburb

University of California - Los Angeles

While attending UCLA in Los Angeles, students can major in Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Spanish and Portuguese, French, German, Italian or Russian. The master's degrees offered at this school are typically acquired as part of a Ph.D. program. The available Ph.D. programs include Chinese language and culture, Japanese literary and cultural studies, Spanish and Portuguese, Korean language and culture, Slavic languages and literature, French, German and Italian. Some programs, including German, allow students the option to focus primarily on linguistics. Study abroad options can be found with the majority of the language programs.

  • Programs Offered: Bachelor of Arts in various languages
    Master of Arts in various languages
    Ph.D. in various languages
  • Tuition & Fees (2012): $12,692 (in-state)*; $35,570 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; large city

University of Southern California

Students at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles can obtain bachelor's degrees in Italian, Russian, Spanish, French and East Asian languages and cultures. Each program has study abroad requirements or options. Students in the East Asian language and cultures program can study Korean, Japanese or Chinese.

A new Ph.D. program in comparative studies in literature and culture offers several tracks in which students can study the media, culture and/or literature of several cultures, including Russia, France and Latin America. Students enrolled in the Ph.D. program in East Asian languages and cultures can take an optional certificate program in foreign language teaching. Graduate students interested in Spanish can obtain a master's degree or a Ph.D.

  • Programs Offered: Bachelor of Arts in various languages
    Master of Arts in various languages
    Ph.D. in various languages
  • Tuition & Fees (2012): $44,463*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type and Setting Language Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2012-2013)
American River College 2-year, public; large suburb Associate of Arts in Language Studies - various languages $1,104 (in-state)*
$7,200 (out-of-state)*
California State University - Fullerton 4-year, public; midsize city Bachelor of Arts in various languages,
Master of Arts in various languages
$6,195 (in-state)*
$17,853 (out-of-state)*
California State University - Long Beach 4-year, public; large city Bachelor of Arts in various languages,
Master of Arts in various languages
$6,052 (in-state)*
$17,710 (out-of-state)*
California State University - Northridge 4-year, public; large city Bachelor of Arts in French or Spanish,
Bachelor of Arts in Languages and Cultures,
Master of Arts in Spanish
$6,296 (in-state)*
$17,954 (out-of-state)*
City College of San Francisco 2-year, public; large city Associate of Arts in various languages $1,238 (in-state)*
$6,270 (out-of-state)*
San Diego State University 4-year, public; large city Bachelor of Arts in various languages,
Master of Arts in various languages
$6,578 (in-state)*
$18,236 (out-of-state)*
University of California - Berkeley 4-year, public; midsize city Bachelor of Arts in various languages,
Master of Arts in various languages,
Ph.D. in various languages
$12,874 (in-state)*
$35,752 (out-of-state)*
University of California - Davis 4-year, public; small suburb Bachelor of Arts in various languages,
Master of Arts in various languages,
Ph.D. in various languages
$13,877 (in-state)*
$36,755 (out-of-state)*
University of California - Los Angeles 4-year, public; large city Bachelor of Arts in various languages,
Master of Arts in various languages,
Ph.D. in various languages
$12,692 (in-state)*
$35,570 (out-of-state)*
University of Southern California 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city Bachelor of Arts in various languages,
Master of Arts in various languages,
Ph.D. in various languages
$44,463*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

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