Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
Sixty-six percent of job recruiters in the U.S. (and 90 percent elsewhere) say that multilingualism is crucial.
The Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures offers a Multilingual undergraduate degree in which you’ll study three or more languages, as well as the countries and cultures in which those languages are spoken.
Our department faculty teach Chinese, French, German, and Spanish, and will help you develop your language skills, guiding you through scholarly investigations in topics relevant to our shared disciplines, including: linguistics, literatures, cinema, contemporary culture, and peoples from around the world.
Small classes are led by internationally-recognized and published faculty members hailing from such countries as Austria, Argentina, Belgium, China, Colombia, El Salvador, France, Italy, Senegal, Spain, and the United States.
And you can easily weave multiple study abroad trips into your program—from faculty-led summer intensives to semester-long exchange programs.
Join us and take advantage of:
- A unique focus on three or more languages under one major (most college language majors top out at two)
- Opportunities for you to serve in the community—utilizing all languages—in settings that include schools, medical clinics, legal non-profits, and governmental entities
- Membership in the Consortium of Indianapolis-area colleges, allowing you to study even more languages
- Internships in the United States and abroad, scholarships, and opportunities to present research both on- and off-campus
- Access to a rich international community on campus, as well as outside speakers and performers
- Use of our student Modern Language Center and its wealth of movies, technology, free tutoring, and lounge areas
Browse our course offerings.
Check out the annual Liberal Arts and Sciences $1,000 essay contest (typically due by January), the annual John Weidner Endowed Scholarship for Altruism (typically due by March), and the annual Corrine Welling Scholarship (typically due by April).
For international students, here's some advice and information on Scholarships and Grants set aside specifically for you.
If you encounter a short-term, unforeseen financial hardship or immediate expense that's impacting your academic success, please read about the Butler Emergency Assistance Fund.
You must complete:
- an individual Modern Languages major (Chinese, French, German, or Spanish)
- and at least six more eligible courses across a minimum of two additional languages (note: you must complete at least two courses in each secondary language)
Special Note: high school dual enrollment courses do not count toward the Multilingual Major's secondary languages.
Have questions? Please contact Professor of Spanish, Dr. Terri Carney.
Pre-professional experiences—both in the U.S. and abroad—are vital for résumés and applications. From a liberal arts perspective, experiential education offers time for self assessment and reflection.
Steps to Pursue a Language Internship
- Find an internship. Helpful resources: butler.edu/ics and ascendindiana.com/connect
- Consult with a full-time MLLC faculty member on the internship and how many credits it might be worth; ask them to be your instructor (typically, per credit hour, a student spends a combined 42 hours on site and doing reflection work)
- Apply for the internship
- While awaiting a decision on your application, draft a syllabus (with your instructor), attaching a completed LAS academic internship contract
- Submit the syllabus, contract, and a blue registration card (from our administrative specialist) to the MLLC department chair for their approval and signature
- If accepted into the internship, complete the University student internship agreement form (with signatures from both your instructor and on-site supervisor) and turn it into our administrative specialist
- Then, obtain any remaining needed signatures on your blue registration card and take it to the registrar’s office (Jordan Hall 133); note: it may take up to two weeks for the internship course to appear in my.butler and Moodle
If the deadline to add a course for credit passes, it might still be possible to enroll in the Internship course during the same semester. In addition to signatures from the MLLC department chair and your primary advisor, please also acquire a retro-dated signature from the dean's office of your primary major.
Special Note for Business Majors
You can request that your three-credit Modern Languages Internship (overseen by a language instructor) count as one of the two required internships for all Lacy School of Business (LSB) majors. To make the request, please visit the LSB dean's office.
More Info from Butler's Internship and Career Services
Please visit butler.edu/ics and click “Internship and Job Search Resources” in the main body for the following:
- internship databases
- a professional guide to success
- job data
- a calendar of networking events
More Info from Ascend Indiana
- visit ascendindiana.com/connect and introduce yourself
- receive an invite for a 1:1 meeting with Ascend when the right opportunities are available
- choose a time to discuss your career interests and passions with Ascend
- explore their network and connect with top Indiana employers
Indy Summer Experience
The Indy Summer Experience (ISE) program—coordinated by Butler's Internship and Career Services—offers you the chance to work and play in Indianapolis. You secure and complete an internship (or similar professional experience) with a local organization during the day and, in the evenings, participate in social and cultural events. This is a great opportunity to make Indy connections with employers, have fun around town, and spend the summer getting to know other Butler students.
For more information, please visit the Indy Summer Experience homepage.
|CN 401||1 credit hour|
|CN 402||2 credit hours|
|CN 403||3 credit hours|
|FR 401||1 credit hour|
|FR 402||2 credit hours|
|FR 403||3 credit hours|
|GR 401||1 credit hour|
|GR 402||2 credit hours|
|GR 403||3 credit hours|
|SP 401||1 credit hour|
|SP 402||2 credit hours|
|SP 403||3 credit hours|
|FL 401 (a non-MLLC language)||1 credit hour|
|FL 402 (a non-MLLC language)||2 credit hours|
|FL 403 (a non-MLLC language)||3 credit hours|
Steps to Pursue an Independent Study
You must complete all of the following:
- reach out to and convince any full-time MLLC faculty member (i.e., Instructor; Assistant, Associate, or full Professor) to be your Instructor
- write in full—yourself, with guidance from the Instructor, in English—a complete syllabus that includes all of the following:
- the topic of study
- a detailed description of the plan of study
- justification why you cannot complete these studies in a regular course
- full timeline for completion of work
- how the Independent Study will be evaluated
- bibliography of materials
- reasoning why this Independent Study is important to you
- present the proposed syllabus to the MLLC department chair, requesting their approval
- if approval is granted, ask our administrative specialist for a blue registration card—which is then completed by you (checking the box next to "Enroll student in a non-published class" and acquiring all needed signatures)—and turn it in to the registrar's office (JH 180)
- Independent Studies count as 300-level credit. Chinese and German students, as well as MLLC/Elementary Education double majors, can request in their proposal that the Independent Study be counted at the 400 level. The student must provide justification and have the recommendation of their Instructor. (Elementary Education majors spend a full year student-teaching, making it difficult for them to complete the 400-level courses offered.)
- Students can still enroll in an Independent Study after the “Last Day to Add” deadline. In this case, the academic advisor, the MLLC department chair, and the dean’s office of the student’s primary major must all sign and retro-date the registration blue card (before turning it into the registrar’s office).
|CN 491||1 credit hour|
|CN 492||2 credit hours|
|CN 493||3 credit hours|
|FR 491||1 credit hour|
|FR 492||2 credit hours|
|FR 493||3 credit hours|
|GR 491||1 credit hour|
|GR 492||2 credit hours|
|GR 493||3 credit hours|
|SP 491||1 credit hour|
|SP 492||2 credit hours|
|SP 493||3 credit hours|
Phi Sigma Iota
Phi Sigma Iota, the international Foreign Language Honor Society, recognizes outstanding accomplishment in the study or teaching of any of the academic fields related to foreign language, literature, or culture, as well as Classics, Linguistics, Philology, Comparative Literature, Bilingual Education, Second Language Acquisition, and other interdisciplinary programs with a significant foreign language component.
Phi Sigma Iota is the highest academic honor in the field of foreign languages. There are approximately 180 chapters at institutions of higher learning in the U.S. and at American University in Paris, France.
- Junior or senior undergraduate student of foreign languages
- Have already completed at least one course at the third year
- GPA within all foreign language courses of at least 3.0*
- Cumulative GPA of at least 3.0
- Rank in the highest third of your class in general scholarship
Outstanding foreign language faculty members at college and universities are also eligible. New members are typically inducted each March or April.
Any questions, please contact faculty advisor Professor of French Dr. Sylvie Vanbaelen.
* = For help with this, please see the "Calculate the GPA Within Your Major" section on our Departmental Honors webpage.
Delta Phi Alpha
Delta Phi Alpha, the national German Honor Society, seeks to recognize excellence in the study of German and to provide an incentive for higher scholarship.
The Society aims to promote the study of the German language, literature, and civilization, and endeavors to emphasize those aspects of German life and culture which are of universal value and which contribute to humanity's eternal search for peace and truth.
Butler's Sigma Psi chapter was established in 2012.
Pi Delta Phi
Pi Delta Phi, established in 1906, is the national French Honor Society, for undergraduate and graduate students at accredited public and private colleges and universities in the United States. The purpose of the Society is to recognize outstanding scholarship in the French language and its literatures, to increase the knowledge and appreciation of Americans for the cultural contributions of the French-speaking world, and to stimulate and encourage French and Francophone cultural activities.
Butler's Xi Sigma chapter was installed in 2011.
Any questions, please contact faculty advisor Associate Professor of French Dr. Eloise Sureau.
Sigma Delta Pi
We host the Delta Upsilon chapter of Sigma Delta Pi, the national Spanish Honor Society, which recognizes students who have attained academic excellence in the study of the language, literatures, and cultures of Spanish-speaking people.
- Have already completed a minimum of three 300- and/or 400-level Spanish courses, at least one of which is Culture/Literature
- Have already completed at least 45 credits overall at Butler
- GPA within all Spanish courses of at least 3.6*
- Cumulative GPA of at least 3.2
Butler's Delta Upsilon chapter, founded in 1960, is one of the earliest of the 400 active chapters on college and university campuses throughout the United States. Our chapter traditionally holds one initiation ceremony per school year, typically in March or April. (Note: the national organization does require attendance at the initiation ceremony, with no exceptions granted.)
Any questions, please contact faculty advisor Professor of Spanish Dr. Linda Willem.
* = For help with this, please see the "Calculate the GPA Within Your Major" section on our Departmental Honors webpage.
How You Declare
To add the Multilingual major, simply complete a “Program Change” paper form in the dean’s office of your primary major.
Under "new plan," write "Multilingual major — [primary or secondary]." Then, write in three of the following sub-plans, based upon your languages of study:
- "Chinese first"
- "French first"
- "German first"
- "Spanish first"
- "Chinese second"
- "French second"
- "German second"
- "Spanish second"
- "Chinese third"
- "French third"
- "German third"
- "Spanish third"
Why You Should
The sooner you declare a major or minor, the sooner you can ensure you're on track to complete all requirements.
Obtaining a Secondary Advisor
If your primary major lies outside of Modern Languages (MLLC), it's highly recommended that you contact our administrative specialist, requesting a secondary advisor in our department.
An MLLC advisor can help you find a selection of language courses that complements your other work being done at the University, as well as help you prepare for study abroad programs.
- Orally communicate clearly in the target language on a variety of topics
- Articulate a cogent interpretation of a text regardless of cultures and centuries in the target language
- Clearly communicate in written form on a variety of topics in the target language
- Demonstrate intercultural awareness and competence: the ability to understand, relate to, and empathize with people from other cultures in the target languages
For outside credits to transfer into Butler, you must see the appropriate faculty member to obtain Butler course equivalencies (if any).
- American Sign Language (ASL): see Mary Gospel in Communication Sciences and Disorders
- Greek and Latin: see the Department Chair of Philosophy, Religion, and Classics
- All other languages (including those not offered at Butler): see the Department Chair of Modern Languages
As soon as possible, please bring this faculty member a syllabus and/or description for each course you have/will have completed, along with the appropriate transfer credit request form (if the institution is within the U.S.; the form is located at that link under the first "Are you a Butler student interested in taking a course somewhere else over the summer?" dropdown menu) or study abroad approval form (if the institution is outside the U.S.; the form is available in the study abroad office, JH 133). If you're not certain how to enroll at the other institution, the registrar's office can help you.
All courses must be completed with a "C-" or better.
- Please leave the transfer form's Butler equivalency spaces blank.
- If the syllabus is written in a language that we do not offer at Butler, please obtain a translation of as much of it as possible.
- If you have not already completed a Butler course in the language, you may need to establish your placement level at the other institution. Please contact their appropriate language department about this process.
- Only one, approved language course from another institution may be completed online.
- If the course(s) will be completed during your final 30 hours at Butler, you'll need to also obtain the "permission to intrude" form from the registrar's office.
Only Butler faculty can teach 400-level language courses.
Learn a Language With Us. Take On the World.
Study at Butler and you'll broaden your global perspectives, traveling abroad for immersive language and cultural studies, and engaging with active polylingual and multicultural communities here in Indianapolis.
Check out pictures documenting students' adventures in our department’s Flickr account.
Have pictures of your own?
Each year our student Modern Language Center (MLC) collects submissions for a photo contest, for which winning entries get framed and displayed in the MLC, and small gifts are awarded to the photos’ owners.
Each year’s entries are typically due by April. More information can be found on the MLC's webpage.
Liberal Arts Core Values
We are proud to be part of Butler's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS), working every day to infuse your education with the best the Humanities have to offer.
The College's faculty have put into writing how we intend to do so.
Read our LAS Core Values in English.
Contact our MLLC faculty members anytime.