University of Southern California
Dornsife College

Basic Language Instruction at USC

USC is a university which places great importance upon the ability of its students to function successfully in a global, multi-cultural environment. We want undergraduate students to have extensive exposure to cultures other than their own, including to the languages of those other cultures. We encourage students to integrate opportunities to study abroad into their overall USC experience, and students may choose from over 80 study abroad programs of varying experiences and durations, including "Problems Without Passports," research-based courses and language immersion programs.

A marked degree of fluency in the language of other cultures is an essential tool to developing an in-depth understanding of them. The ability to speak, listen, read, and write in other languages therefore is an imperative for students to have in this global age.

In order to accomplish this goal for USC students, language programs are proficiency-oriented and standards-based. By proficiency orientation we mean students learn to speak, listen, read, and write in ways that are immediately useful when that student is immersed in a real-world setting in another culture. Standards-based refers to the national standards on foreign language learning that relate not only to mastery of the language itself, but also to connections that students make between languages, cultures, and various academic areas; to comparisons between languages and cultures; and to a knowledge of communities that speak a particular language.

Learn more about the USC Foreign Language Requirement and the standards of achievement at each level of basic language training at USC.