Modern Foreign Languages (Major)

MFL Department

Rachel Burk, Ph.D.
Thérèse Marie Dougherty, SSND, Ph.D.
Marcela Valencia, Ph.D.

Associate Faculty
Alexandre Labat, M.A.
Alejandro Sánchez-Aizcorbe, Ph.D.
Marta Izquierdo Robredo, M.A.
Joseph Wieczorek, Ph.D.

Degrees offered



Main Campus

Bienvenue à notre programme! ¡Bienvenidas a nuestro programa! Learn to speak two modern languages through individualized attention, integrated technology, and communication-focused coursework. Through language courses at NDMU and schools in the Baltimore College Consortium, students study and demonstrate proficiency in French or Spanish and a second modern foreign language. This Major is excellent preparation for foreign language teaching, working internationally, or studying diplomacy. Our students take their languages from the classroom into the NDMU community and the larger world via study abroad, service learning, language-exchange partners, and internships.


Foreign language courses cover essential language structures, practical communication, and cultural learning. Small classes, close relationships with professors, multimedia technology, and interactions with native speakers encourage general education students to speak, write, listen, and read in a foreign language while gaining perspectives on the larger world. Majors and minors in modern languages refine their language skills in two languages and at the same time immerse themselves in literature, history, film, art, and culture, locally and internationally.

General Education Language Requirement for WOM and CAUS

Native Speakers of English

Women’s College students of traditional age, both first-year and transfer, may fulfill the general education foreign language requirement in one of three ways:

  • AP Exam: Provide evidence of an earned grade of 3 or higher on the Advanced Placement Language or Literature exam
  • Language Department Placement Exam: Place into the advanced level (301) on the language department placement exam. (These students may wish to satisfy the General Education Literature Requirement through a literature course in the foreign language.)
  • Coursework: Complete one course at the intermediate level (103, 233 or 234), preferably building upon foreign language skills acquired at the secondary level.

Students in the Women’s College ages 25 years and older at the time of matriculation, as well as students in the College of Adult Undergraduate Studies, may fulfill the General Education Language Requirement in one of two ways:

  • Exam: Provide evidence of completion of one semester of foreign language study through the Advanced Placement Language or Literature exam or the CLEP test (available in French, Spanish, and German through the College Board).
  • Coursework: Complete one semester at the appropriate level (101,102,103 or higher).

Native speakers of English who are bilingual should consult with the Chair of Modern Foreign Languages for guidance regarding the language requirement.

Language courses that satisfy the general education language requirement are: 103, 233, 234 or any Latin course above the 102-level.

Languages Offered through 103-level

Courses at the 101, 102 and 103 levels in French, Latin, and Spanish are taught regularly on the NDMU main campus. Classes in other languages may be taken via the Baltimore College Consortium to fulfill the general education language requirement and as an elective.

Non-Native Speakers of English

International students may fulfill the general education foreign language requirement in one of three ways:

  • TOEFL Exam: At entrance, provide evidence of a score of 550 or higher on the TOEFL exam, or 213 or higher on the TOEFL: BT Test or 80 or higher on the IBT Test.
  • English Language Institute Placement Exam: At entrance, score on the advanced level on all parts of the language department's English Placement Test.
  • ELI Placement Exam: Complete LEF-203LEF-204 or LCL-331, based on the results of the English Placement Test.

Placement Testing

Placement testing will assure every student studies at a level consistent with her current abilities. Students at Notre Dame must complete one semester of foreign language at the intermediate level (103) or above. The sequence of foreign language courses offered is as follows:


Beginning Spanish I and II (do not fulfill the language requirement)


Intermediate Spanish I (Courses beginning at this level fulfill language requirement.)


Spanish for Oral/Written Proficiency


Advanced Conversation and Composition I and II

Placement result

Courses needed to fulfill the language requirement


101, 102, 103

Start a new language

101, 102, 103


102, 103







Students who have achieved a score of 3 or above on the Advanced Placement Language or Literature Test are considered to have fulfilled the language requirement. No additional courses are required.

Transfer students

Those who have studied a foreign language at the college-level satisfy the requirement with one course at the intermediate level. Beginning, college-level coursework in a foreign language serves as a prerequisite for 102 or 103. Those students who have college level language credit must make this information known to their advisors! Since course numbering varies, failure to do so may result in taking the same course twice and being denied credit.

Programs of Study: Modern Foreign Languages

To declare a Major or a Minor in the Department, a student must have a minimum grade of C in the course that satisfies the General Education language requirement. All courses in the Major and the Minor must be completed with a grade of C or above. Double major programs may be developed through consultation with academic advisors from each department.

The Languages Department strongly recommends that students who Major or Minor in foreign language study abroad. All such courses must be pre-approved by the University in advance of the study abroad year or semester.

The Modern Foreign Languages Major

Through language courses at NDMU and schools in the Baltimore College Consortium, students study and demonstrate proficiency in French or Spanish and a second modern foreign language. This Major is recommended for those who want to become foreign language teachers, work internationally, or study diplomacy.

Required Courses for the Modern Foreign Languages Major

The Modern Foreign Language Major requires 42 credit hours (14 courses) beginning at the 200-level in main language of French or Spanish. Students who place out of LSP-233 and 234 will take 39 credits (13 courses). All Majors, including native speakers, must take LFR/LSP-301 and LFR/LSP-302.

Introduction to the discipline

       LFN 201 World of Language (taught in English)

French or Spanish

       LFR/LSP-233 Oral Proficiency
       LFR/LSP-234 Written Proficiency
       LFR/LSP-301 Advanced Conversation & Composition I
       LFR/LSP-302 Advanced Conversation & Composition II

Second Language

       101 Beginning Language I
       102 Beginning Language II
       103 Intermediate
       233 Oral Proficiency
       234 Written Proficiency


       LFR/LSP-258 Readings in __________ Literature
       3__ Literature Course

Culture and Civilization

       LFR/LSP-358 or 359 Culture and Civilization
       LFN-450 Research Seminar

Options for 300- or 400-level courses

       ** prior departmental approval required**

       Consortium (Loyola, Hopkins, Goucher, Towson, Morgan)
       Study Abroad (strongly recommended)
       Internship or Teaching Apprentice (strongly recommended)
       Notre Dame Study Tour Abroad

Department of Classical and Modern Foreign Languages Course Offerings

Courses in Classical Studies, Comparative Literature, and ESL