5 HBCUs for World Language Lovers

by Jillian Cener

What’s one way you can distinguish yourself when applying for a job? Speaking a second, a third, or even a fourth language! Employers are increasingly looking for multilingual candidates, and research is constantly showing the benefits of speaking multiple languages on your mental well being. Today’s Monday Morning MSI Line Up showcases 5 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) whose world language departments offer more than just the typical Spanish and French classes.

1) Southern University and Agricultural & Mechanical College — Baton Rouge, LA


The Department of World Languages at Southern University and A&M College offers courses in Spanish, French, German, and Chinese, with the ability to minor in Spanish or French. Along with courses, the institution offers summer language camps, conversation exchanges for Spanish and English speakers, and a study abroad program to Orizaba, Mexico. The department prides itself on its graduates, who have gone on to careers in education, law, and business.

2) Lincoln University — Lincoln University, PA


The Foreign Languages & Literature program at Lincoln University allows students to complete a major, in French or Spanish, or a minor in Arabic, Chinese, French, Japanese, or Spanish. The institution believes in developing both a student’s oral and written proficiencies in a language, allowing them to be “effective citizens in today’s global society.” Language students at Lincoln University participate in language clubs on campus and numerous study abroad programs off campus.

3) Spelman College — Atlanta, GA


Students at Spelman College have a wide variety of languages to choose from, including Spanish, French, Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese, and Latin. The Department of World Languages and Literature is proud of its Spanish and French language students who have been awarded Fulbright grants to teach English abroad. While still at Spelman, students can take advantage of the Language Resource Center, which offers free tutoring and movies, newspapers, and dictionaries in French, Japanese, and Spanish.

4) Howard University — Washington, D.C.


Howard University aims to attract a large population of language students with its numerous major and minor offerings. Students at Howard can take classes in French, German, Spanish, Russian, Swahili, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Portuguese, Wolof, Zulu, and Yoruba. A noteworthy feature of Howard undergraduate courses is the incorporation of the historical, social, and cultural contributions of African Americans and Africans. For students who wish to pursue learning beyond Howard’s campus, they can take advantage of the school’s study abroad programs in Latin America, Europe, and Africa.

5) North Carolina A&T State University — Greensboro, NC


The Department of Liberal Studies (with Foreign Languages and Philosophy) offers a plethora of classes in French, Spanish, German, Russian, Japanese, and Portuguese. With so many course offerings, students at North Carolina A&T can learn a language no matter what their starting level. Some examples of courses include: Afro-French Expression, Contemporary French Literature, Latino Culture in the United States, Spanish for Law Enforcement, Afro-German Studies, and Literature of American Communism and Soviet Russia.

Do you know of other HBCUs that offer classes or degrees in unique Foreign Languages? Share in the comments below!


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