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.

A ‘fanajin’ of jebena with VMI cadets in the background.

VMI Cadets Enjoy Jebena Coffee: A Rich Blend of Culture, Research, and Classroom Engagement

Maj. Jason Schroepfer, assistant professor in the Dept. of Modern Languages and Cultures and director of the National Security Agency funded Arabic STARTALK program credits much of his success in his linguistic field work to jebena, a coffee drink traditionally enjoyed in Ethiopia, Sudan, and Aswan.

VMI cadets stand at heritage map created as part of Language and Cultures Week.

Language and Culture Week at VMI

Cadets, faculty, and staff were able to sample dishes that represent the different language taught at VMI and learn about academic offerings as part of "Language and Culture Week at VMI" hosted by the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures.

VMI: Forging 21st Century Leaders