The program is open to undergraduates in all departments. Students concentrating in Language and Literature departments, including Comparative Literature, as well as those pursuing Area Studies Certificates, will be eligible for the Program in Language and Culture provided that: (a) the linguistic base for the Language and Culture Certificate is different from the linguistic base of the concentration or the Area Studies Program, and (b) the work required for the Certificate in Language and Culture does not duplicate the requirements of the major or the Area Studies Program. For example, students majoring in Comparative Literature with French as their major foreign language cannot obtain a Certificate in French Language and Culture but can do so in Italian.

Interested students are welcome to consult our Director of Undergraduate Studies at any time. To enter the Program in French and/or Italian Languages and Cultures, students must complete an application form and return it to the Undergraduate Program Administrator (Kathleen Varra) in East Pyne 303. A separate application must be completed for each language in which a Certificate will be pursued. See “Timetable” below for details and application deadlines.


Members of the junior and senior classes are encouraged to apply to the Program in Language and Culture. In alignment with University mandated deadlines for declaration of minors, interested students must submit an application by the beginning of spring of their junior year. Following admission into the program, students are assigned an adviser with whom they establish contact by the end of their junior year to discuss their independent work. By the start of the second semester of their senior year, all students must submit to their adviser a brief document finalizing the type and topic of Independent Work that they will pursue, and a list of the courses taken in satisfaction of the certificate requirements.

The completed Independent Work must be submitted to the Department, regardless of the home department deadline, by Tuesday, April 30, 2024. Requests for extensions for medical reasons must include a letter from a doctor or Dean. Requests for extensions recommended in consultation with the student’s adviser must include a letter from the adviser.

Although not required, it is strongly recommended that students spend some time in the country, or one of the countries whose language and culture they are studying. This may be done through a study abroad program approved by the Department or through a similarly approved summer program of work and/or study. NOTE: One course taken and passed in an approved program of study may be counted toward the requirements for the Certificate.

Certificate of Proficiency

Students who have met all the requirements of the Program as outlined above will receive upon graduation, with their diploma, a Certificate of Proficiency in the appropriate Language and Culture. The Certificate of Proficiency will also appear on the official student transcript.