Modern Foreign Languages

Professionals use their language skills to understand better the people around them. How do you Lead with Languages?

Our students are enthusiastic participants in the study of world languages, cultures and literatures. The ability to communicate with people of different linguistic and cultural backgrounds is your passport to the world and can enable you to pursue travel and study abroad, to take advantage of global professional and service opportunities, and to gain a competitive edge in your chosen career.

newsMarch 24, 2017: Dr. Fish publishes annotated edition of French literary classic. Read more.

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calendarDiscover what special events, films, student research presentations and guest speakers we're sponsoring by visiting our Celebration of Cultures series calendar.


It is the mission of the Department of Modern Foreign Languages to support and to strengthen a liberal arts education within a Christian context by providing a curriculum that enables majors in the department to continue their language study in graduate programs, to acquire a solid knowledge base and appreciation of a culture different from their own, to develop a reasonably critical view of their own culture, and to gain an astute international perspective and awareness.


The Department of Modern Foreign Languages is located in the Humanities Center on the campus of Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. We offer majors and minors in French, German, and Spanish, as well as a major and minor in Modern Foreign Languages (MDFL), which combines the study of two different world languages. A member of the Association of Departments of Foreign Languages (ADFL), the Department promotes a comprehensive assessment plan, based in part on proficiency guidelines established by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), and follows an annual process in which the applicability of those guidelines are reviewed by the department. Download a MDFL brochure or Advising/FAQ sheet.

Top-notch Preparation

Our majors have received many local, regional and national awards and scholarships, including several prestigious Fullbright Scholarships and Fellowships. Our majors have also been accepted, moreover, to do graduate work at Boston University, Bowling Green State University, Harvard University, the Sorbonne (Paris, France), the University of Indiana, the University of Minnesota, the University of Wisconsin, and Vanderbilt University. Most of those accepted were also awarded fellowships and/or teaching assistantships.

What do our graduates say?

  • "The MDFL program is excellent and the professors show a passion for their studies."
  • "I consider [the Modern Foreign Languages department] one of the best language/culture programs in the region and a huge benefit to a liberal arts education."
  • "The foreign language program far exceeded my personal expectations. My instructors were very qualified and excellent teachers. Thank you!"
  • "Honestly, I would not change a thing [about the MDFL dept.]; the class variety and instructors were superb!"
  • Source: 2013 MDFL Alumni Survey