2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Sep 28, 2021  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Department of Modern Languages & Global Studies

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Christine Garst-Santos, Interim Department Head
Department of Modern Languages and Global Studies
Wagner Hall 121



Marie-Pierre Baggett, María Ramos-García, Eckhard Rölz

Associate Professors

Molly Enz, Christine Garst-Santos, Maria Spitz

Assistant Professors

José Álvarez, Luz Kirschner


Luiza Adamyan, Macarena Escondrillas, Jeremy Rud


Phillip Baker, Patricia Beattie, Karen Cardenas, Anthony Richter, Carl Sunde


The Department of Modern Languages and Global Studies prepares globally-engaged citizens, conducts and disseminates research that advances our understanding of world languages, societies, and cultures, and shares this knowledge to benefit South Dakota, the nation, and the world.

Through rigorous language study and cross-cultural training, graduates can address the challenges of a diverse and changing world with creativity, adaptability, and empathy. Faculty research crosses academic, disciplinary, and geographic boundaries to advance and disseminate knowledge about key global issues that are of vital importance to South Dakota and beyond. As part of our Land Grant mission, the Department connects the university with the community and the world through its outreach. We serve communities at home and abroad in areas such as linguistic and cultural competency, diversity and inclusion, and experiential learning.

The Department provides students the best possible preparation for their future careers in any field. Whether students are taking courses to fulfill a humanities requirement, complete a minor, or obtain a major, they will leave SDSU with proficiency in the target language, intercultural competency, and critical thinking skills. Many degrees prepare you for a specific job; our degrees prepare you for life in a globalized world

Academic note:  The Department encourages students to investigate programs in other academic areas that will complement or enhance their preparation for a specific career (such as a minor, certificate program, or second major). Students are also strongly encouraged to plan a study abroad experience for a summer, semester, or year. A study abroad experience for a minimum of three credits is required to complete the Global Studies major.

Modern Language Placement

Students entering the University with prior courses or family background in modern languages should take the placement exam. Students who test into courses beyond 101 are eligible to receive credit for all previous courses up to 202 (i.e., 101, 102, 201, and 202). Whatever a student’s career goals, a strong background in any second language may make a second major or a minor feasible. Employers in every field seek graduates who are interculturally competent.

Students who are native speakers of a language other than English can apply to get first or second year credit (101, 102, 201, and 202) for their native language. For more information please check the Modern Language Credit policy in the Policies & General Academic Information  section of this catalog.

International Students

International students enrolled at SDSU are strongly encouraged to discuss with their advisor or the Department Head possible variations in requirements for the departmental majors and minors that take into consideration their mastery of a foreign language and previous international experiences. The Department has placement information as well as specific information on all of its programs available in the main office of the Department of Modern Languages and Global Studies and on the department’s web page.





Facilities & Services

The Department has a language resource center for language practice and testing. The Department offers computerized Oral Proficiency Interviews that rank student language proficiency and provide a nationally recognized certificate that can be used when applying to both jobs and graduate schools.

Student Support & Engagement Opportunities

The Department provides numerous opportunities for student involvement through the French, Spanish, German, and Global Studies clubs.  Some of these activities include film screenings, game nights, conversation tables, and meals featuring food from around the world.  Students also have the possibility to become members of the Delta Phi Alpha German Honor Society and Sigma Delta Pi Spanish Honor Society.

The Department provides numerous travel, service, and internship opportunities for students, both locally and abroad.  Faculty-led study abroad programs are offered annually, some of which include a service-learning component.  Many of our language and global studies courses integrate service-learning projects where students can become involved with a local community partner and gain practical experience in their field of study.

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