Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Humanities

Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Humanities

Through the study of the language, literature, and civilization of various cultures, the Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Humanities aims to enrich the education of all students and prepare them for various careers.


The principal objectives are to:

  • prepare students to understand, read, speak, and write a second language;
  • give them an understanding and appreciation of the literature and civilization particular to that language;
  • provide them with a comparative element that will enable them to improve communication skills in their own language.

The department provides diverse courses in Languages, Literature, the Humanities, and English as a second language instruction. Students can pursue Majors in French and Spanish, with opportunities for Minors in Applied Linguistics, Creole, Film Studies, Food Studies, French, Italian Studies, Latin American Studies, Puerto Rican Studies, Spanish, Women's Studies, and World Literature.

Cutting-edge resources, including a digital Language Laboratory and web-supported materials, bolster our instructional approach. The department hosts various annual events to enrich the academic experience. These include poetry contests, student journals, international film festivals, conferences, and colloquia. These events complement the academic curriculum and foster engagement with high schools in the Queens area and the wider Jamaica community.

The Department also offers three Certificate Programs in Creole for Professional Purposes, French for Professional Purposes, Spanish For Professional Purposes, and a Preparatory Program in English as a Second Language (ESL).

Surveys indicate that graduates who can demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language expand their career opportunities. To help students prove achievement in their foreign language studies, the Department grants a Citation of Achievement in French, Italian or Spanish, which can be presented to prospective employers. An intermediate proficiency citation will be offered to students completing 10-14 credits in foreign language with a B average in those courses. Intermediate Proficiency (Credits 10-14) Required Courses to be chosen from the following:

  • French — French 101, 102, 105, 106 or 213.
  • Italian — Italian 101, 102, 105, 106 or 230.
  • Spanish — Spanish 101, 102, 105, 106

Note: Students enrolled in Level 101 language courses may be eligible for a waiver upon completing an exemption examination. Additionally, should an instructor determine that a student's proficiency exceeds the requirements of a specific language course, the student may be asked to transition to a higher-level course.

All Language Courses fulfill Pathways General Education Requirements in the College Option Foreign Language requirement (bachelor's degree programs). Most Humanities and World Literature Courses (all taught in English) give credits for the Flexible Core in each of the five domains (see List of Courses).

"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart." (Nelson Mandela)

Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Humanities
Academic Core Bldg
Room 3C08


Fabiola Salek

Eastman Tsang
CUNY Office Assistant