URI language programs buck national trends

URI emerges as a leader in international languages

Innovative and Distinctive Programs
The URI Learning Experience

Languages on the Rise

The Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures is booming while the number of foreign language majors across the nation has declined. URI’s unique approach to the study of language and culture is attracting attention and increasing enrollment.

Over 10 years, URI’s modern and classical languages department has grown from 335 to 732 majors as the department developed interdisciplinary collaborations, set ambitious proficiency goals, and fostered a culture of immersion.

At the vanguard of this success is URI’s renowned International Engineering Program (IEP), founded more than 30 years ago. It requires language mastery and a year abroad for study and internship. IEP has set the standard for other departments.

The International Computer Science Program and the College of Business offer tracks in German, French, Spanish, Italian, and Chinese. The Chinese Flagship Program challenges students to achieve a B.A. in Mandarin Chinese as well as a bachelor’s degree in a second field.

Students in the International Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design Program can choose Italian or French, and the International Pharmaceutical Sciences Program offers a dual degree in French with the possibility of earning hospital rotations in Rennes, France. The International Studies and Diplomacy Program offers German, French, Spanish, Italian, and Chinese.

One measure of this success is the number of Boren Awards won by our students – URI was the fifth ranked producer of Boren Scholars in the nation. Since 2011, 24 URI students have received a Boren Award. The Boren is a national merit-based scholarship/fellowship to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests.

As URI continues to create engaging academic programs, one impartial academic evaluator said that our “outstanding international programs and collaborations are nationally recognized and represent a significant contribution to the profile and academic standing of the University.”

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