About this Bachelor's Degree

The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures offers four degree plans and a minor, for students interested in teaching Spanish or French. The licensure degree prepares students for a career in secondary education.

The Professional Education Unit at The University of Southern Mississippi is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The B.A. in Foreign Languages (licensure in French or Spanish) is nationally recognized by the American Council on Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).

In-class lessons at the department are supported by a state-of-the-art multimedia center where students may stop in for free language tutoring, computer access for online practice, or simply to watch foreign language satellite TV and relax in the lounge area.

This student-friendly center is also the gathering place for many extracurricular activities sponsored by the Spanish or French Club: foreign language movie nights, study group meetings and Spanish/French conversation roundtables.

Other exciting opportunities to get real-world language practice include Spanish-language radio broadcasts, a Spanish-language dining club, "language exchange" partners from the English Language Institute and foreign language community service-learning placements.

Gulf Coast

On the Gulf Park campus, Spanish language instruction is available through the 300-level. However, all of the four programs leading to a degree in foreign languages are available only at the Hattiesburg campus.

Previous language experience

Students with previous language experience (high school study, heritage speakers, experience abroad) are encouraged to begin at higher levels, as they may receive academic credit for lower-level language courses through examination.

Students can earn up to 12 hours of credit in Spanish, French or German through Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) high school degree programs, or through a College Level Examination Program (CLEP) test.

Fulfilling language requirement

Students seeking to fulfill the language requirement for a B.A. degree are likewise encouraged to begin at higher levels if they have studied a language in high school. This will significantly reduce the hours needed to satisfy the requirement.

Student Learning Outcomes / Program Objectives

  • The students will be able to read prose on a variety of topics. Examples of texts include short stories, short novels, newspaper and magazine articles, personal correspondence and technical writing, particularly if presented with a clear underlying structure.
  • Students will be able to understand main ideas and most details of connected discourse on a variety of topics in most informal and a limited number of formal conversations on activities related to school, home, leisure and work. They will be able to understand such discourse in all major time frames (past, present and future).
  • The students will be able to write routine social correspondence and join sentences in simple discourse of at least several paragraphs in length on familiar topics. Good control of morphology and the most frequently used syntactic structures is required.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the practices, products and perspectives of the cultures of foreign society.  
  • The student will be able to participate actively in most informal and a limited number of formal conversations on activities related to school, home, leisure and work. They will demonstrate the ability to narrate and describe in all major time frames (past, present and future).