• <a href="/live/image/gid/70/width/650/86517_World_Languages_Main_image.jpg" class="lw_preview_image lw_disable_preview" tabindex="-1"><picture class="lw_image lw_image86517"><source media="(max-width: 500px)" type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/70/width/500/height/479/crop/1/86517_World_Languages_Main_image.rev.1607731873.webp 1x" data-origin="responsive"/><source media="(max-width: 500px)" type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/70/width/500/height/479/crop/1/86517_World_Languages_Main_image.rev.1607731873.jpg 1x" data-origin="responsive"/><source media="(min-width: 501px)" type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/70/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86517_World_Languages_Main_image.rev.1607731873.webp 1x" data-origin="responsive"/><source media="(min-width: 501px)" type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/70/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86517_World_Languages_Main_image.rev.1607731873.jpg 1x" data-origin="responsive"/><img src="/live/image/gid/70/width/720/height/690/crop/1/86517_World_Languages_Main_image.rev.1607731873.jpg" alt="Learning a language other than English opens the mind and broadens one's sense of culture and history." data-max-w="500" data-max-h="480" loading="lazy" data-optimized="true"/></picture></a> <div class="hero-split_image_caption collapsable-caption">Learning a language other than English opens the mind and broadens one’s sense of culture and history.</div>

Why Choose a Degree in World Languages?

We know that in an increasingly competitive job market, the mastery of a second (or third or fourth) language can be a key advantage. It opens your mind, broadens your sense of culture and history, and, in an increasingly global society, gives you a postgraduate edge in a wide array of professional fields. In the process of earning a bachelor of arts degree in world languages, you will undertake coursework in two languages—choosing from Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish—and you will discover how your language studies can be applied in careers such as international business, politics, translation, foreign correspondence, medicine, social work, and teaching.

What You’ll Study

In addition to robust course offerings in Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish, Lewis & Clark also provides language courses in Arabic, ancient Greek, and Latin.

Nearly all of our students earn course credit on overseas programs. In addition to general cultural programs that are open to all students, there are programs designed specifically for language study or with a language component in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, ancient Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Swahili. Recognizing the importance of learning the language in an environment where it is spoken, the department requires overseas study of all its majors.

Outside the classroom, the Keck Interactive Learning Center is a language center and community area that is packed with linguistic and cultural resources. The Global Languages and Cultures Living-Learning Community is a unique on-campus housing option with an immersive language-based focus. Our students are supported each year with a visiting international Language Assistant who teaches our conversation courses and offers tutoring support for each of our language sections.

Curriculum

Complement Your Education With One of These Minors

The most popular minors for our world languages majors are history, political science, and religious studies.

What Students Are Saying About Lewis & Clark

  • Martin, in a black blazer and red collared shirt, sitting on an outdoor bench next to a brick wall.

    Introduction to Linguistics expanded my knowledge about how a language works, and I love learning how linguists analyze languages. One day I hope to do it myself!

    Juan Martín López Meléndez BA ’23
    World Languages | Theatre | La Piedad, Michoacán, México/Fresno, California/Las Vegas, New Mexico
    More about Juan Martín
  • Tanner posing outside wearing a leather jacket and button-up shirt.

    I love how I have the special opportunity to learn multiple languages at the same time, as a world languages major. It brings me to make connections with people that I otherwise would not have the chance to interact with, and I feel like I grow as a person when exposed to their different global perspectives.

    Tanner Lee BA ’27
    World Languages (Chinese and Japanese) and International Affairs (double) | Taipei, Taiwan
    More about Tanner
  • Juan Carlos Archila BA '21

    From Portland you have access to so many different landscapes, and for someone like me who craves adventure, it’s super exciting. I’ve also never been to a place that takes its desserts so seriously, but I have had some of the best ice cream in my life here in Portland!

    Juan Carlos Archila BA ’21
    World Languages | Chicago, Illinois
    More about Juan Carlos

What Can You Do With a Degree in World Languages?

Our alumni use their BA in world languages in many endeavors. In addition to receiving Fulbrights and other grants to teach English or do research in countries where they have studied abroad, our students go on to thrive in a wide variety of careers and higher educational paths in education, translation, global relations, and law, among others.

Dedicated Faculty

Our expert professors are your expert mentors. You will learn directly from faculty (no graduate assistants here!) that are nationally recognized in their fields of study and who love to work with and learn from their students. Your professors will inspire you to be a thoughtful and passionate participant in a diverse world. Your small classes will support you as you explore new ideas, find your voice, and speak your truth.

Our faculty’s research interests range widely, from German eco fiction to 21st-century French literature, contemporary Latin American social movements to religious iconography in Soviet Russia.

Invest in Yourself

A private liberal arts education is often more affordable than you think. Last year, Lewis & Clark distributed over $74 million in assistance from institutional, federal, state, and private sources. Additionally, we’re so confident that our first-year students will graduate in four years with their bachelor of arts degree that if you don’t, we’ll cover the extra semester of tuition.

Find Your People

Student-led clubs in each of the languages that we offer organize a wide variety of activities, including conversation groups, movies, karaoke, performances, and game nights. One of the oldest journals at L&C, Polyglot gives the opportunity to students of all levels to publish their work in the language they are studying.


Where Lewis & Clark Will Take You

  • Marcella Chavez BA '21

    L&C taught me the skills to think critically, which will help me throughout my life

    Marcella Chavez BA ’21
    World Languages (Spanish and Russian) | Worthington, Ohio
    More about Marcella
  • Jayana Alvarez BA '19

    I started working as a translator at various tech companies. More recently, I’ve developed new skills in public relations and marketing to round out my communications knowledge.

    Jayana Alvarez BA ’19
    World Languages | San Francisco, California
    More about Jayana

More News and Events →