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Modern Languages

Chaired by Domenic Maffei, Ph.D.

Our dedicated and creative instructors and scholars share a commitment to excellence in teaching Spanish, French, Italian and American Sign Language. We prepare our students to participate in a global world by providing them with proficiency in these languages, as well as an in-depth study of literature, history, fine arts, social and business practices. Our graduates have careers in tourism, banking, marketing, teaching, translation, healthcare, law enforcement, social services and communications. Caldwell University students develop critical thinking skills needed to explore other cultures, historical periods and what makes them relevant today.

The department offers a B.A. in Spanish as well as minors in French, Italian and Spanish. American Sign Language courses are also offered.

The major is available as follows:

1. The 300-level and above (called advanced) courses are offered in the DAY only, usually mid to late afternoon. Therefore, Continuing Education students must be available during the day if they wish to major in a modern language.

2. External Degree students may major in Spanish if they are already fluent in the language. Before admission into the program, fluency will be evaluated in an oral interview as well as in a writing sample. Arrangements for courses are to be made with the Department Chair.

3. Spanish majors are required to meet the modern language requirement, in addition to their major requirements. This can be done in a number of ways, e.g., through three credits of a second language, through an extra 300- or 400-level course in Spanish, or through three credits of linguistics (LA 301 Introduction to Language). Consult the Department Chair for individual options.


The minors in Spanish, Italian or French consist of 18 credits (6 courses) with a grade of C or better in all courses. Consult the Department Chair for help with course selection.

NOTE: Spanish majors and department minors are encouraged, or sometimes required, to study abroad in order to obtain the necessary fluency. Fluency will be evaluated in an oral interview as well as in a writing sample. Departmental faculty recommendations will also be taken into account. Our majors have studied in Grenada and Segovia, Spain and in Rennes, France, among other places.

Academic Standing

At the end of any semester during the junior or senior year, the cumulative average of all courses taken in the major must be a 2.0 or above, otherwise the student will be placed on academic probation.