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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 and Modern Languages and 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 career advantage
Language study boosts earnings
The Language Learning Center
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Language Learning Center Set for Transformation

Our language lab is undergoing a makeover! We will emerge in 2021 as the Center for Global Languages & Cultures with new opportunities to engage in language learning.

Programs of Study

We offer seven languages, plus courses in international cultures, leading to degrees in Spanish, French, 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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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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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 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

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. She is now employed by the school as an Admissions Coordinator. In this role, Marlene is 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 has been accepted to Harvard University where she will pursue a Master's degree in Higher Education.

Congratulations Class of 2020

We wish we could celebrate with our seniors, but, for now, join us in congratulating the Classical & Modern Languages & Cultures Class of 2020.

Please watch our tribute to some award-winning seniors.

Please watch our tribute to our senior majors.

Please watch our tribute to our senior minors.

Dr. Conrady named Outstanding Part-time Faculty

Nancy Conrady, PhD, Named 2020 Outstanding Part-Time Faculty

Dr. Conrady, who earned her doctorate in modern languages from Middlebury College, has taught French at John Carroll for many years. Her colleagues and students praised her for her innovative teaching and her dedication to student learning. One student commented, “Her passionate and thorough teaching style truly helped me to not only understand the material but to be fully engaged in learning.” Another student wrote, “Her lesson plans were always well organized and her patience with students unparalleled. She was able to incorporate our struggles and interests into her lesson plans with ease.” In addition, her colleagues and students reflected on the many ways Dr. Conrady has extended learning experiences outside the traditional classroom, including the French Club and the Concours de la Maison Franraise de Cleveland (French language contest) at JCU. She has also taken students abroad and helped to facilitate a meeting of JCU students with French officials at the Elysee Palace in Paris to deliver a “Proclamation of Solidarity” after the 2015 terrorist attacks there. About this experience one of her former students wrote, “[Dr. Conrady’s] actions had garnered us a meeting with one of [Francois] Hollande’s closest advisers and a tour of the presidential palace; this is an honor seldom given to French citizens, let alone tourists.”

Harper and Schuman named in Porter selection

Harper and Schuman Honored for Humanities Contributions

Spanish and Hispanic Studies Major Cassie Harper '21 has received the 2020 Roderick Boyd Porter Scholarship, a competitive award given annually to juniors who demonstrate remarkable engagement with the Humanities, both inside and outside the classroom.

Josie Schuman '21, a Spanish and Hispanic Studies minor, received Honorable Mention.

Read more in University News, here.


Photo of Julia Karolle-Berg

Julia Karolle-Berg Receives PCHF Fellowship

Julia Karolle-Berg, PhD, professor of German Studies, has received a fellowship from the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation for a three-month research stay in Berlin to work at the State Library. She will conduct her research during the Fall 2020 semester.

Dr. Karolle-Berg was also named an alternate for a Fulbright Research Grant (2020-2021).

Student making PowerPoint presentation about Chinese lantern festival
Students practice chopstick skills by picking up jelly beans
Mrs. Liu's Chinese language students also explore culture & tradition

Chinese language students celebrated the Chinese New Year with individual class presentations on various traditions and cultural celebrations. Students also enjoyed traditional Chinese dumplings, and practiced their chopsticks skills by trying to pick up jelly beans.

students in class

We average 15-22 students in introductory courses, which allows you to have more time for discussion and interaction with your professor.

CMLC News & Events

April 29

John Carroll University Senior Lucy Peloso Named 2021 Beaudry Award Winner

October 26

Remembering Father Gerald Sabo, S.J.

May 22

2020 Outstanding Part-Time Faculty Award

May 1

2020 Porter Scholarship