Modern Languages and Cultures

The curriculum in modern languages offers basic and advanced training in the languages, literatures, and cultures of France, Germany, Spain, and Latin America, China, and the Middle East.

The courses are designed to enable students to learn to speak and understand, read, and write a foreign language with an acceptable degree of fluency and correctness. Students are introduced to literary masterpieces, and through these they become familiar with the history, thought, and civilization of the countries where the language is spoken.

Degrees and Programs

Major(s): Modern Languages and Cultures

Degree(s): Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish

To graduate with honors in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures a cadet must be a modern language major, have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 in courses taken in the major (exclusive of subjects taken in the 4th Class year), and have permission of the department head.

Cadets must complete ML 498 and ML 499 and produce a thesis which is written in the student's major foreign language, as appropriate.

The thesis must achieve a language ranking of "Advanced-High" and adhere to MLA specifications.

Modern Languages and Cultures in the News

Find out more about the department's cadets and faculty in recent VMI news.

Dr. Sabrina Laroussi, associate professor of Spanish in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures

Laroussi Part of “With Good Reason” Segment

Dr. Sabrina Laroussi, associate professor of Spanish in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures, discusses books about the world of Latin American drug trafficking called “narconovelas” on the public radio program, “With Good Reason."

Dakota Birdsong ’24, a cadet at Virginia Military Institute, poses with his bagpipe and VMI Pipe Band uniform, which includes a tartan.

Birdsong Excels with Bagpipes

Dakota Birdsong ’24, a modern languages and cultures major, has taken his skills with bagpipes from VMI Spirit Night, to Lexington events, and even to Troy, Ohio, where he is the piper for the American Legion. This March, he will look to add to his collection of medals for his musical skills..

VMI: Forging 21st Century Leaders