May 29, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

International Language and Culture Studies

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Colleges, Schools, Division and Departments

Department of International Language and Culture Studies
College of Liberal Arts 

Liberal Arts Building 267 ~ 260-481-6836

Jens Clegg, Chair
Ana Benito, Lead Advisor
Alyssa Anguiano, Administrative Assistant
Lachlan Whalen, Program Coordinator for International Studies Certificate

The Department of International Language and Culture Studies offers:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Spanish
  • Minors
    • French
    • German
    • Spanish
    • Spanish for the Professions
  • Four-semester basic language sequences
    • Arabic
    • Japanese
  • International Studies Certificate.  This certificate can be earned and awarded separate from any other degrees students may be pursuing. 
  • Advanced and intermediate courses in culture and cultural production, literature and cinema, linguistics, language and intercultural relations in an international and global context.
  • For further details on all of these programs, see Program Descriptions in this Catalog.
  • For details on advanced and intermediate language courses offered in the department, see Course Descriptions in this catalog and review the following prefixes:  FR, GER, SPAN, NELC (for Arabic), EALC (for Japanese). 
  • Visit the Department of International Language and Culture Studies (ILCS) in LA 267 for details on the Language Lab, cultural events, and other opportunities.
  • For details on pursuing a secondary education second degree (BSEd) to teach Spanish in middle school/high school, click on the links to the Secondary Education - Second Degree  Program and the School of Education page in this catalog.  Note:  The BSEd as a second degree in these programs cannot be earned without completion of the bachelor’s degree in the content area from the College of Liberal Arts.

ILCS Department Placement Process

Students interested in taking an international language course at PFW (Spanish, German, French, Arabic, Japanese) can enroll in any first semester course in their target international language if they have no prior experience with that language (i.e. the first semester course would be the first time the student has ever engaged in speaking, listening, reading and writing in the target language; the student has no high school or university courses in the target language).

The Department of International Language and Culture Studies (ILCS) is committed to student success. For that reason, ILCS requires students who have prior experience with their target international language to complete the departmental placement process before enrolling in First-Year (Elementary Language) or Second-Year (Second-Year/Intermediate Language) courses.

Some examples of prior experience include: previous experience speaking, listening, reading or writing in the target language; previous completion of courses in the target language at the high school or university level; significant time living or going to school in a context where the target language was used on a regular basis, among others. If students have credit for a university course in their target language listed on their official university transcript and if that course matches the listed pre-requisite for a more advanced course, they may enroll in the more advanced course, though they are also strongly advised to complete the departmental placement process before enrolling. If students have previous coursework that does not match listed pre-requisites, they are required to complete the departmental placement process. If you are uncertain, complete the placement process.

The aim of the placement process is to provide students with information and to help students identify the right place for them to begin study in PFW programs. Our goal is to keep you engaged, to help you be successful and to have the learning experience in the classroom be valuable to you.

Because each student’s international language journey is unique to them, we utilize a survey (the International Language Placement Questionnaire) that is evaluated by a faculty member who knows our program and can help students find the right place to begin.

The International Language Placement Questionnaire is located in Go PFW under the “Enrollment” tab within the Placement Test block in a link entitled “Take the International Language Placement Questionnaire”.  Students will receive an email with their placement, and the information will be inputted into official university record keeping systems so that students have regular access to this information.

Questions? Contact the Department of International Language and Culture Studies: or 260-481-6838

Independent Study Policy for the Department of International Language & Culture Studies:

The objective of an independent study is to accommodate students who, for reasons beyond their control, have been unable to take a course required for their major within the 4-year plan framework.

  • Independent study courses are designed to accommodate advanced students only. A student should have completed at least 40% of their program before taking an independent study and have a GPA of 3.0 or better. 
  • An independent study will only be allowed in exceptional cases when the Department or program has been unable to provide a course needed for graduation.
  • Students who are unable to take a course due to scheduling conflicts are not eligible to take an independent study unless special permission is granted by the faculty in their major and in consultation with the chair of ILCS.
  • Each independent study should be roughly equivalent to 64 hours of work (based on the model of one hour per week of contact time and three hours of additional work in a 16-week semester). The ratio of contact time to independent work will be decided by the individual instructor.
  • Students may not take lower-division courses (100 or 200 level) by independent study.
  • An independent study can be one credit or more, however the typical independent study is three credit hours. In general, no more than three credits of independent study may count towards graduation. Exceptions are rare and will only be granted to students in extraordinary circumstances.

Study Abroad

Both majors and non-majors are encouraged to study abroad.  Programs are available at all levels to study a variety of international languages, culture, literature, film, linguistics, and nearly any other field.  Students can take courses in language and culture, content area courses in a host language, or a mix of English and host language courses.  Students have the option of over 600 programs in over 90 different countries for anywhere between two weeks and two semesters; plus financial aid applies.  Pay PFW tuition and housing and study in over 50 countries with ISEP exchange.  There are also many generous scholarships for students to study a language abroad, and opportunities to meet many different scheduling needs.  For further information you can contact the Director of Study Abroad, in Liberal Arts Room 264, at, or phone 260-481-0322.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Colleges, Schools, Division and Departments