Bulletin--Foreign Languages Pgm. Info.

Foreign Languages and Literatures

College of Humanities
Dean: Nancy McDermid

Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures
HUM 475
Chair: Julian F. Randolph

B.A. in Chinese

B.A. in French

B.A. in German

B.A. in Italian

B.A. in Japanese

B.A. in Russian

B.A. in Spanish

Minor in Chinese

Minor in French

Minor in German

Minor in Italian

Minor in Japanese

Minor in Russian

Minor in Spanish

M.A. in Chinese

M.A. in French

M.A. in German

M.A. in Italian

M.A. in Japanese

M.A. in Russian

M.A. in Spanish

Program Scope
Bachelor of Arts

The Department of Foreign Languages offers courses leading to the Bachelor of Arts in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. The department also offers a minor in these languages. Programs are designed for students who are planning to use foreign languages in professional careers, as well as for students who wish to acquire an appreciation of the cultures of other peoples. Students may select courses in language, conversation, composition, reading, linguistics, culture, and literature. Some of the programs offer courses in translating skills and literature and culture courses in English.

Students who have had foreign language experience before enrolling at San Francisco State University should consult with an adviser in the specific language program for placement in the proper course in which they can receive credit.

A multimedia foreign language laboratory is open to all students enrolled in any class in the department. Basic level courses usually require preparation using audio and video cassettes, laser discs, and computer programs, located in the language laboratory.

Major. The Bachelor of Arts requirements for a major in any foreign language are the same for all students, including credential candidates. It is suggested that students intending to major in a foreign language consult with an adviser in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures early enough to assure proper scheduling of essential courses.


For students who wish to take a minor in a foreign language, the requirements for all seven languages are 21 units. The first two years of language instruction (lower division courses) are preparatory courses. A few lower division courses may be applied to the minor but must be approved upon consultation with an adviser. For the specific upper division courses required for completion of the minor, consult the individual language program.

Upper division courses in the foreign language programs are, in general, conducted in the language under study.

Master of Arts

The department offers the Master of Arts in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. The various master's programs provide advanced instruction in culture, language, and literature. A limited number of graduate teaching assistant positions are available for students engaged in graduate study in the programs. The M.A. programs are designed to prepare students for a variety of careers. M.A. graduates often become teachers in private or public secondary schools, in community colleges, or after completing doctoral studies, in universities.

Admission to Programs
Students seeking admission to a master of arts program must have completed an undergraduate major comparable to the major in the appropriate language and literature at San Francisco State University. Applicants without such a major may be admitted conditionally after developing, through consultation with advisers, a program of studies to establish the equivalent of that major. Courses prescribed for equivalency may not be credited toward the master of arts program. Students in all master of arts programs are required to have a GPA of at least 3.0 in their undergraduate major.
Advancement to Candidacy
In addition to meeting all the university general requirements, students prior to advancement to candidacy must:

If students are unable to meet the above requirements for advancement to candidacy, they may be advised to enroll in additional courses prior to being considered for candidacy. In such cases the courses will not be credited toward the master's degree.

Demonstration of Exit-Level Language Proficiency
Professional level of proficiency in the language studied is demonstrated by satisfactory completion of written and oral comprehensive examinations.

Students interested in any of these programs are urged to contact the department office or the undergraduate or graduate adviser.

International Programs
For majors or minors, the department recommends an overseas experience of academic and cultural studies. Students who participate in the International Programs of the California State University may undertake an academic year at certain designated major institutions of higher learning located outside the United States. All students in the overseas language programs should consult with an adviser in the specific language to insure that courses taken abroad can be applied to the major, the minor, or the degree at San Francisco State University. For the Chinese, French, German, and Spanish programs, fifteen (15) of the 30 upper division units required for the major must be taken at the home campus. For the minor, nine (9) of the fifteen (15) to eighteen (18) upper division units must be taken at the home campus. There may also be limits in the other language programs.

Teaching Credentials
A bachelor of arts from San Francisco State University in any of the above languages may be used to fulfill the subject matter requirement for a Single Subject Teaching Credential required to teach in the secondary schools in the State of California. A master of arts in any of these languages may be used to fulfill the state's requirement to teach that subject at the two-year community colleges.

NOTE: While the master's degree may qualify students to teach at the community college level, it will not qualify them to teach at the elementary or secondary levels. A single subject or multiple subject credential is necessary for such employment. (Refer to the section on Credential Programs in this Bulletin for further details.)

Students considering teaching a foreign language and obtaining a teaching credential must see the credential adviser in their language of concentration before planning their program. Specific courses and an assessment of competencies are required for admission to the Secondary Education Credential Program. Students should also contact the Student Service Office in BH 130, (415) 338-7038, regarding teaching credential information.

Special Courses
First year language courses in Cantonese, Filipino, and Portuguese are offered with some frequency. Consult the Class Schedule.

Career Outlook
Some careers require a foreign language as a primary skill. For those employed in teaching foreign languages, culture and literature, and for those who work as interpreters and translators, a high degree of fluency or near-native competency is required. On the other hand, there are a great number of career alternatives open to people who possess good competency in one or more foreign languages. Local and state agencies as well as the federal government (such as the State Department, the Department of Defense, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Peace Corps) often have openings for people with the above skills. Further employment possibilities are in multinational companies with significant global operations (international marketing and accounting firms, international banking, and other international business), advertising, journalism, publishing, communications, and information services, media and entertainment, travel and tourism, the hotel and restaurant industry, health care, as well as in the arts. Competency in one or more foreign languages will open the door to many exciting careers.

Bulletin 1994-96 Table of Contents, SFSU Home Page

last modified June 23, 1995

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