World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

Prepare for life in a global society through the study of languages, literatures, and cultures.

The Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures houses seven distinct language and literature programs — Arabic, Chinese, Deaf Studies and Sign LanguagesFrench, German, Italian, Russian — and a comparative literature program, Studies in World Literatures.

Students are strongly advised to carefully and intentionally select a language of study early in their academic careers that complements and enhances their undergraduate studies and expands post-graduate opportunities.

The department’s faculty members offer dynamic courses that integrate current pedagogical practices as well as cultural programming beyond the classroom. An essential component of our language courses is the practicum run by foreign language assistants, who come to Holy Cross from all over the globe to share the contemporary culture of their native countries and communities with our students.

Courses include offerings in literature, linguistics, film, and culture, which may be conducted in English or in the target language. Individual programs within the Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures also host events, such as weekly language tables and cafés, film series, lectures, performances and cultural excursions. Study abroad and study away programs enable students to immerse themselves in the language and culture of other countries and communities and to greatly expand their language skills.

Languages and Programs

Information specific to each language program offered at Holy Cross can be found on the respective program pages. Students interested in Spanish should visit the department page.


Arabic track within Middle Eastern Studies concentration

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Chinese Studies

Major, Minor

Students sitting
Deaf Studies and Sign Languages

Minor, self-designed major

German Studies

Major, Minor

Italian Studies

Major, Minor

Russian Studies

Major, Minor

students sitting
Study Abroad/Study Away

Develop 21st century language skills and cultural knowledge through a semester or a year abroad in one of our many study abroad programs.

o'kane hall
Foreign Language Assistants

Our foreign language assistants come from across the globe and help students sharpen their language skills.

students at an event
Cultural Programming

Vibrant programming introduces students to cultural traditions, intellectual perspectives and social practices.

World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures News

collage of faculty headshots
Holy Cross Welcomes 11 Tenure-Track Faculty Members
At the start of the 2020-21 academic year, Holy Cross welcomed 11 new tenure-track faculty members, joining the following departments: biology, classics, English, mathematics and computer science, philosophy, psychology, sociology and anthropology, Spanish, and world languages, literatures and cultures. The …
From Mahjong to Dumplings: A Conversation with an Award-Winning Chinese Professor
How do you take learning a new language, like Chinese, and make it accessible, relevant and fun? If you’re Claudia Ross, professor of Chinese in the modern languages and literatures department, you think start by — literally — writing the …
Sarah Campbell stands in the Jesuit Cemetery on campus
New Book Gives Voice to History of Jesuits on Campus
Hundreds walk by daily, but most would recognize only a handful of the names on the nearly 300 white stone markers at the Jesuit Cemetery. A new book seeks to rectify that, detailing the lives of those interred and, in …