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Modern Languages & Literatures

Modern Languages & Literatures

Union College pioneered the study of modern languages 200 years ago, when other American colleges and universities offered only the ancient languages of Greek, Latin and Hebrew. Today, Union continues to lead the way in this tradition.

We are acutely aware that students’ need for a global, multicultural education is greater than ever in our interdependent contemporary society.

Union teaches language courses both in the original language and in translation. There are full programs leading to a major in Chinese, French, German and Spanish, as well as an interdepartmental major in Russian and minors in Russian and Japanese.

We offer a year of Hebrew; a year of Arabic; a course in Italian for students preparing for the Sicily term abroad every other spring term; a course in Portuguese for those preparing for the Brazil term; and a course in Swahili for the term abroad in Tanzania every other year.

As a modern languages and literature student, you can easily combine a language major or minor with any discipline. You can live in a language-oriented theme house on campus, and participate in language clubs and language tables.

Our extensive library collection and state-of-the-art language laboratory further supports your work.

And you can explore the world and its languages through many term abroad programs, from Argentina to France to Vietnam.

At Union, your study of modern languages and literatures will be an academic journey – deeply personal, unusually exciting, always challenging – that will stay with you for a lifetime.

After Union


Attorney, Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Director of International Student Programs & Services, Columbia University

Visiting research associate, Keio University, Tokyo

Teacher, Plano Intermediate School District

Communications Officer, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study

Patent Examiner, U.S .Patent and Trademark Office

Careers by field:

Life at Union outcomes graphic

Meet some of our faculty


Zhen Zhang

Zhen Zhang

Associate Professor of Chinese
Ph.D., University of California, Irvine
Special interests: Chinese language and literature, Chinese film, cultural studies

Erika Nelson Mukherjee

Erika Nelson Mukherjee

Associate Professor of German
Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin
Special interests: German language and literature, women's studies

Charles Batson

Charles Batson

Professor of French and Francophone Studies
Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Special interests: French and Francophone literature and theater

Stephanie Mueller

Stephanie Mueller

Assistant Professor of Spanish
Ph.D., University of Iowa
Special interests: Spanish language and literature, Catalonia culture and politics, Basque culture and politics