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Classical and Modern Languages and Cultures

Come develop your language abilities and study the culture and traditions of various countries. We’ll teach you how to understand the nuances of cultural diversity, helping you to gain a perspective on the products and practices of each region. You’ll communicate effectively with intercontinental peers and understand their point of view as well as the historical context behind it. Plus, you can learn in the country you’re studying through our more than 45 study abroad programs.

Consistent with the University’s mission, the Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Cultures is committed to developing students into responsible citizens of the world.

When you study a language, you will expand your horizons, improve your analytical abilities, and learn to communicate more effectively. Language study enhances any other major, from sociology to pre-health and from political science to international business. Plus, learning a new language is fun!

Why Study a Foreign Language?


Check us out on Instagram @jcu_languages!

language majors Have a lower probability of being underemployed in their first year out of college than those who majored in biology, psychology, or business.
Not only does knowing a second language make resumes stand out with potential employers, but this can drive an increase in salary. Companies today serve a global community and want to hire versatile employees who can speak other languages and can reflect cultural expectations. Once a candidate masters a second language, they do gain an advantage in the job market.

Programs of Study

We offer seven languages, plus courses in international cultures, leading to degrees in Spanish, Italian, and Classics. Flexible course offerings allow students to pair a language major or minor with a degree in another discipline. Our graduates leave John Carroll with both content knowledge and intercultural skills, giving them an advantage in the global job market.



Classics is an interdisciplinary field, encompassing the languages, literature, art, archaeology, history, philosophy, mythology, and religious lives of the Greeks and Romans in the broader ancient Mediterranean world.

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Courses in Italian Studies lead to a thorough understanding of the Italian language, as well as Italian culture and literature.

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The Spanish and Hispanic Studies program prepares you to communicate effectively in Spanish; to understand the cultural perspectives, products, and practices of the Spanish-speaking world; and to act with intercultural competence.

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The French and francophone studies program is designed to help you acquire knowledge of the languages, literature, and cultures of France and francophone countries. You’ll develop the skills to read, write, speak, and understand French.

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The German curriculum will prepare you to communicate effectively in German and to understand cultural perspectives, products, and practices of the German-speaking world.

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Department Highlights

Group photo of students and faculty in Rome.

Italian Literary Parks: IC 164 Students Tour Italy During Spring Break

After learning about Italian writers and the landscapes that inspired them in class, Dr. Luigi Ferri took his students to Italy for Spring Break. Accompanied by Dr. Santa Casciani, students visited Rome and Florence, enjoyed the sites--and the gelato--and earned JCU Core credits!


Students sitting on the steps.

Gazing Women: IC 240 Students Tour France and Italy

Dr. Casciani and Dr. Conrady took 38 students from the IC 240 class to France and Italy during spring break 2022.

To look at some of the highlights, click here!


Photo of Dr. Santa Casciani
A Companion to Medieval and Early Modern Siena
A Companion to Late Medieval and Early Modern Siena

The Department of Classical & Modern Languages & Cultures congratulates Dr. Santa Casciani, Professor of Italian, on the publication of A Companion to Late Medieval and Early Modern Siena. Edited by Dr. Casciani and Heather Richardson Hayton, the book presents "chapters by prominent scholars on the powerful commune that birthed a pope, sheltered saints, built banking institutions that have thrived for nearly 1000 years, and nurtured vibrant communities of artists and intellectuals." The book is available for pre-sale by visiting

Marlene Villa '18 at work in a Boston school.

Marlene Villa '18

Marlene Villa graduated with a double major in Humanities and Italian Studies. She also minored in Spanish!

After graduation, Marlene joined AmeriCorps and spent two years at Cristo Rey Boston, a private, co-educational Roman Catholic high school where she was subsequently hired as an Admissions Coordinator. In this role, Marlene served as the main point of contact for students and their families while also hosting virtual visits at elementary schools and community organizations in the surrounding areas.

Marlene recently received a Master's degree in Higher Education from Harvard University. She is employed as the First-Generation Student Success Coordinator at Michigan State University.

CMLC News & Events

April 6

One student's inspirational journey

May 25

2021 Porter Scholarship

April 29

John Carroll University Senior Lucy Peloso Named 2021 Beaudry Award Winner

October 26

Remembering Father Gerald Sabo, S.J.