2023-2024 Catalog


A total of eleven courses is required for the Group Language major: five courses for each half of the major and one course emphasizing methods or theory.


Course requirements for each half of the Group Language major are listed below. For all the languages listed, only two of the five courses may be taken outside the Occidental language departments. Students must receive a grade of B or higher in the 202-level course for both languages to be eligible for the major.

Chinese (5 courses)

CHIN 202 and above (only one of which may be a course taught in English).

French (5 courses)

FREN 202 and four courses numbered 300 and above. FREN 490 is recommended.

German (5 courses)

GERM 202 and above (two of which may be in related areas such as history, art history, politics, language learning/linguistics). Participation in at least one of the GERM 370 seminars is required.

Japanese (5 courses)

JAPN 202 and above (only one of which may be a course taught in English).

Linguistics (5 courses)

LING 301; a second course in linguistics; one semester of a foreign language from one of the following categories: 1) Greek or Latin, 2) Spanish or French, 3) German or Russian, 4) Arabic, Chinese, or Japanese (the course must be in addition to and in a different category from the language used to fulfill the Core language requirement); and two additional courses with a language focus (such as one more foreign language course, another course in linguistics, COGS 330, COMP 331, EDUC 205, or PHIL 344,).

LING 301 must be taken before the senior year.

Russian (5 courses)

RUSN 202 and above (two of which may be in related areas such as history, art history, language learning/linguistics).

Spanish (5 courses)

SPAN 202 or SPAN 211 plus four courses numbered 300 and above. Two of these four courses must be in either literature or linguistics. One must be numbered 340 or above. Only one course may be taken in English.

Methods or Theory Courses:

LING 301Introduction to Linguistics

4 units

SPAN 490Senior Seminar: Genre and Literary Theory

4 units

JAPN 273Popular Culture and Literary Traditions of Tokugawa Japan

4 units

CHIN 273Contemporary Chinese Writers in Exile

4 units

All courses taken outside of the Occidental language departments, including those taken on study abroad programs, must be approved in advance by the appropriate language department. Students combining a language with linguistics must take LING 301 before the senior year.

Honors in the Major

Group Language majors with an overall GPA of 3.25 and a 3.5 GPA for major courses may submit an honors research proposal at the end of the fall semester of the senior year. If the proposal is supported by faculty from both components of the major, the student will enroll in two two-unit Independent Studies in the spring, in which they will develop the comprehensive papers from the fall into two distinguished papers of 20 pages each. Papers for French, German, and Spanish must be written in the target language. The student may instead choose to conduct a comparative study and integrate the two papers into a single paper of 40 pages in English. If one or both of the languages for the major is French, German, or Spanish, the student must also submit a complete version of the paper in one of these languages.