Jul 18, 2024  
2023 - 2024 College Catalog 
2023 - 2024 College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

International Languages and Cultures Minor with Concentrations in Chinese, French, or Spanish

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Majors and Minors

View International Languages and Cultures Department website

The Department of International Languages and Cultures is committed to the study of particular societies around the world, with the aim of bringing forth an understanding of the worldview and cultural perspective of peoples who live outside the English-speaking world. We are particularly concerned with promoting the development of both linguistic and cultural literacy. Through the expertise in the Department of International Languages and Cultures, students can gain linguistic proficiency and understanding of a large variety of cultures from Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. 

As human beings, we’re increasingly confronted with the need to live in a globalized context. Patterns of international economic, political, social and cultural exchange increasingly define how we are to live, work and relate to one another. One of the major challenges facing our society is to learn how to work collaboratively with other societies in search of common interests. 

Language is one of the main mediums through which we express our specific cultural identity in relationship to the human race in its totality. In order to understand a culture on its own terms, it’s necessary to approach it through its own linguistic framework.

The International Languages and Cultures (ILC) department currently offers a major and minor in Spanish. In addition to minors in Chinese and French, there is also an option to create a student-designed major in those languages, as well as a student-designed major in Latinx and Latin American Studies. Students majoring in ILC are required to produce an independently designed and closely mentored 8-credit St. Mary’s Project in their senior year. This project may either be in ILC or in another major discipline or a study area. The guidelines established in the selected area apply.  The student should consult with the chair of ILC to discuss how the St. Mary’s Project requirement will be fulfilled.

We strongly advise majors to spend time abroad to gain both linguistic and cultural fluency and confidence. The experience abroad can be pursued in various manners: study abroad with our partner programs (programs we have pre-approved) or with those of other colleges and universities; internships with international organizations or governmental agencies abroad, or “au pair” or other work-related experiences. Some of the experiences noted above can be pursued for credit, others not. It is important that students begin to think about experiences abroad as early as possible during their time at St. Mary’s, and that they discuss their interests with a faculty adviser within the department.

Degree Requirements

Students may receive a minor in international languages and cultures with a concentration in (French, Spanish) by completing a minimum of 18 credits of coursework in the target language, with a minimum of 12 credits of upper-level coursework (300 or 400 level) with a minimum grade of C- and a GPA of 2.0 in the relevant courses. Four of the upper-level credits for the ILC minor with a concentration in French must be taken at St. Mary’s home campus


Students may receive a minor in International Languages and Cultures with a concentration in Chinese by completing a minimum of 18 credits of course work, including a minimum of 14 credits in the target language, and a minimum of 12 credits of upper-level course work (300 or 400 level). 

4 of the upper-level credits can be elective credits chosen from Asian Studies course offerings with a focus on China or the Chinese Diaspora in consultation with the Chinese program director. The list of courses satisfying the elective requirement is as follows:  


  • ASIA 305  Chinese Cinema
  • HIST 351  History of China to 160
  • HIST 352  History of Modern China
  • HIST 394  Topics in Asian and African History (China Focus)
  • PHIL 351  East Asian Philosophies: Confucianism, Daoism, & Zen
  • PHIL 382  Meditation and the Mind
  • POSC 333  Asian Politics
  • ECON 377  China’s Economy


All courses must meet the minimum grade requirement of C- and a GPA of 2.0.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Majors and Minors