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Modern Languages and Intercultural Communication, B.A. (Madrid)

This is the first major of its kind in a U.S. university, and has been developed in response to a demand from our students. It is aimed at those who have a passion for languages and culture and as a complementary major for those who would like to enhance their communicative skills and career opportunities in an international setting.

Plurilingual and pluricultural competence is essential in today’s globalized society because artificial intelligence can translate words and phrases to express basic ideas, but it cannot help you establish relationships and friendships across cultures.

Students visiting the Plaza Mayor in the center of Madrid.

Major in Modern Languages and Intercultural Communication

Modern Languages and Intercultural Communications B.A. is an undergraduate major, the fruit of a lengthy collaboration between the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures in St. Louis and the Department of ESL, Modern Languages and Education in Madrid. It consists of 32 credits that include three foreign languages, linguistics and intercultural communication classes, and a practicum experience abroad or in a context in which a foreign language predominates. It is broader and more practical than a pure language major and is designed to complement other majors.

Knowledge of other languages and cultures is important to a growing variety of professions, and this major is targeted at students who realize the need to learn more than one foreign language and also to use effective communication skills when speaking to people from other cultures. In addition, employers seek graduates who are able to engage in multiple languages in culturally appropriate ways to further their business goals. 

The major can be completed on either the St. Louis or Madrid campuses or through coursework on both campuses depending on what languages students wish to pursue: for example, Arabic and Portuguese are only offered in Madrid and Chinese, German and Russian are only offered in St. Louis. Our aim for this major is to encourage students to move between the campuses and to facilitate the fulfillment of the Billiken Promise. 

You also have the option to study abroad at the St. Louis campus or at one of our peer AAICU institutions.

For information about the assessment of student learning in this program, please see the University-wide website.

Curriculum Overview

The Bachelor of Arts in Modern Languages and Intercultural Communication from SLU-Madrid requires the completion of a minimum of 120 hours of coursework, including 32 credits in the major.

Language Requirement (18 credit hours)

Students must complete 18 credit hours of language instruction and demonstrate proficiency in three distinct languages:

  • Proficiency in Language 1 can be proved by any of the following:
    • Completion of 6 credits at a 3xxx level or higher.
    • Achievement of ACTFL Intermediate Mid or higher.
    • Achievement of Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) B2 or higher. 
  • Proficiency in Language 2 can be proved by any of the following:
    • Completion of 6 credits at the 2xxx/3xxx level or higher.

    • Achievement of ACTFL Intermediate Low or higher.

    • Achievement of Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) B1 or higher.

  • Proficiency in Language 3 can be proved by any of the following:
    • Completion of 6 credits at a 1xxx level or higher.

    • Achievement of ACTFL Novice High or higher.

    • Achievement of Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) A2 or higher.

Communication Requirement (3 credit hours)

  • CMM 3300 Intercultural Communication

Linguistics Requirement (3 credit hours)

  • ENGL 4110 Introduction to Linguistics

Intercultural Requirement (3 credit hours; choose any one of the following)

  • LLC 1255 Modern Languages and Intercultural Competence
  • ANTH 2200 Cultural Anthropology
  • PSY 4270 Cross-Cultural Psychology

Elective Course (3 credit hours; choose any one of the following)

  • ARTH 2140 - Islamic Art and Society
  • ARTH 2320 - Art of the African Diaspora
  • ARTH 3770 - Art and Politics: From Goya to the Cold War
  • ARTH 4810 - Modern Art in Latin America
  • CMM 3840 Analysis of Popular Culture
  • CMM 4460 - Global Media
  • DANC 2650 Spanish Dance: Flamenco
  • DANC 2660 Latin Dance
  • EDI 4220 Second Language Acquisition
  • ENGL 2750 Film, Culture and Literature
  • ENGL 3500 Literature of the Postcolonial World
  • IB 3160 Cultural Differences in International Business
  • MUSC 1170 - Music of Cultures of the World
  • POLS 1510 Politics of Developing World
  • POLS 1600 Introduction to International Politics
  • POLS 2520 Intro to African politics
  • POLS 2570 Introduction to Latin American Politics
  • POLS 2590 Politics of the Middle East and North Africa
  • SPAN 4790 Spanish Culture & Civilization 1

Capstone Requirement (2 credit hours)

  • LLC 4500 Reflection on Intercultural Experiences 

Practicum experience approval is a prerequisite or co-requisite for enrolling in LLC 4500. Students will need to provide evidence of the practicum experience to the instructor to receive instructor approval to register.

Non-Course Requirements (0 credits but necessary for graduation)

Languages 1, 2 and 3

Once students have fulfilled the 18-credit language requirement and have completed (or validated by way of an official language certificate) a first foreign language at a 3xxx + level, a second foreign language at a 2xxx + level, and a third foreign language at a 1xxx + level, then the program director will check this non-course requirement.


The program director/coordinator will check this non-course requirement once a student has shown evidence of having completed a practicum experience. Examples of approved practicum experiences include the following:

  • A study abroad experience that lasts a minimum of five weeks in a country where one of the student's target languages is spoken.
  • A semester-long service learning/community-based project or internship conducted predominantly in one of the student's target languages.

Students wanting to undertake practicum experiences not listed here must obtain prior approval from the program director/coordinator.


The B.A. in Modern Languages and Intercultural Communication opens doors to opportunities all over the world. Graduates are prepared to work in a variety of contexts that require interaction at an international level, whether in diplomacy, business, the United Nations or education. 

More and more employers seek graduates who can engage in multiple languages in culturally appropriate ways to further their business goals. "The skills needed in the workforce are shifting rapidly. Employers are looking for college graduates who not only have the latest hard skill training, but also possess soft skills such as communication, problem-solving, and collaboration. To set students up for long-term career success, colleges and universities must ensure their degrees and curricular experiences align with changing employment outlook data and market demands." (Hanover Research, Top skills for New Grads in 2023). 


Quality teaching and a passion for language and culture are the foundations of the department. We do not just talk about excellence. Our evaluations from students, semester-by-semester, testify to the delivery of excellence.

Along with enacting day-by-day devotion to teaching, we are committed to being active creators, scholars, linguists and, above all, educators.

Tuition and Fees

SLU-Madrid is committed to providing a quality Jesuit education at an affordable price. Tuition rates at the Madrid Campus are approximately 40% lower than at comparable private universities in the U.S.

If you have questions or would like to speak with a financial aid officer, email us at

Admission to the Major

To be admitted to the major, you must have at least a 2.00 cumulative average and complete a declaration of major form, available in the Office of the Registrar. Upon acceptance to the program, you will be assigned a departmental advisor.

Continuation Standards

A grade of "C" or better is required in every course counting for the major. Students who do not achieve the "C" or better grade in any required course for the major will be expected to repeat the course in an attempt to achieve the "C" or better grade. Students may repeat a required course one time. Students who fail to achieve the "C" or better grade after one repeat attempt will not be permitted to complete the major.

Graduation Requirements

To be certified for graduation, you are required to:

  • Have at least a 2.00 cumulative average, a 2.00 average in the major and a 2.00 average in the minor or related elective hours.
  • Complete 26 of your final 32 credits at Saint Louis University (either the Madrid or St. Louis campus).
  • Complete all the non-credit requirements.
  • Submit the online application for the degree before the beginning of the semester in which you intend to graduate.

Real-World Experience

Our students can communicate relatively fluently in two or three languages and have notions of at least one other.

More importantly, they have the knowledge and tools to communicate effectively and thrive in other cultural settings. These skills provide them with the basis to work internationally as successful businesspeople, health workers, educators or in any other field that they choose.