Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from this program will:

  • Attain advanced reading, writing, listening and speaking proficiency in the language studied.
  • Obtain a broad base of knowledge and perspectives on the Classical world, or on French-, German- or Spanish-speaking civilizations, and of their respective cultures—literature, the arts, socio-historical, political and economic structures, etc.—within a variety of interpretive frameworks.
  • Understand and articulate cultural practices and process as dynamic elements in the construction of identity, and to appreciate and encourage cultural diversity in human endeavor.
  • Understand aspects of language and culture in the world as part of all human communication, and within interdisciplinary contexts.
  • Develop skills in critical thinking and analysis, including, but not limited to, textual analysis.

General Information

Undergraduate Advisors

French: Gayle Levy
(816) 235-2820,

German: K. Scott Baker
(816) 235-2823,

Spanish: Alberto Villamandos
(816) 235-2324,

Classics: Jeff Rydberg-Cox
(816) 235-2560,

Initial Advising and Placement

A language placement exam is strongly recommended for all students with previous foreign language experience in French, German or Spanish. The placement exam or the recommendation of a foreign language advisor will best determine a student's level, contributing to his or her success. Contact the department office for more information. Placement test website:

Consultation with an advisor is recommended for students who intend to major or minor in foreign languages.

Transfer Credit

Transfer students normally may expect to continue their foreign language study at the next comparable level. On consultation with their advisors or the course instructors, and after taking the placement exam, students may be advised to do either remedial or more advanced coursework. No more than nine hours of transfer credit for 200- to 400-level courses are normally allowed toward degree requirements.  Usually a maximum of six transfer credits can be applied to the minor.

Credit for study at a foreign institution will be granted, provided the courses proposed for study abroad have been approved in advance by a departmental advisor and endorsed by the department chair. When advance endorsement for credit is not obtained from the department, the credit is subject to approval by the department chair.

In cases where students have been engaged in an extended period (e.g., a year) of formal study at an approved academic institution abroad, transfer credit of more than nine hours may be granted, if approved by the department chair.

Credit by Examination

Beginning-level courses (110, 120) are not applicable toward requirements for the major. College credit for them may be earned by examination.

CLEP credit is available for French, German or Spanish (110 and 120). Contact Testing Services to arrange for the exam. A passing score is necessary to receive credit. (No more than 30 of a student's total hours may be earned by examination, and students with senior standing cannot earn credit via CLEP.)

Departmental testing or "Credit by Examination," is also available for 211-level credit. Students should first speak to the appropriate language advisor. The form is available online here. A minimum grade of C is necessary to receive credit.

Attendance and Course Level

Class attendance

The nature of language acquisition is such that regular attendance, throughout the semester, is expected of all students enrolled for credit.

Course Levels

Course levels are generally indicated by the first digit of the course number. For example, 100-level courses are first-year courses, 200-level classes represent second-year courses, etc. Accordingly, students entering a 200-level French course must have completed FRENCH 110 and FRENCH 120, their equivalent, or show proof of second-year skill-level (such as Placement Test score). Successful completion of a second-year course (normally 211 and 221, their equivalent, or proof of appropriate skill-level) is required of all students who want to enroll in 300- or 400-level courses. Exceptions must have the approval of the student's foreign language advisor.

The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures offers a program of study leading to the bachelor of arts in Languages and Literatures with emphases in French, Spanish or Classics.

Learning outcomes are aligned with national and state standards on language and cultural understanding, and on national standards for language skill as reflected in the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language proficiency guidelines.

Program Requirements

Program Specific Recommendations for UMKC General Education Core Coursework

Anchor I 13
Anchor II 13
Anchor III 13
DISC 100Discourse I: Reasoning and Values (Speech and Writing)3
DISC 200Discourse II: Culture and Diversity (Writing and Speech)3
DISC 300Discourse III: Civic and Community Engagement (Speech and Writing)3
Focus A 13
Focus B (Satisfied in program requirements below)
Focus C (May be satisfied by the Constitution course requirement below)
Focus Elective 13
'Total credits' in this section indicates the number of General Education Core credit hours that are not met by the degree specific requirements outlined below.
Total Credits24

Constitution Course Requirement

Section 170.011.1 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, 2015, states that all candidates for a degree issued by a college or university in the state of Missouri must have “satisfactorily passed an examination on the provisions and principles of the Constitution of the United States and of the state of Missouri, and in American history and American institutions.” 

Courses at UMKC that satisfy this state requirement are:

Choose one of the following:3
The Supreme Court And The Criminal Process
U.S. History to 1877 (Focus C) 1
U.S. History Since 1877 (Focus C) 1
Honors American Government (Focus C) 1
American Government (Focus C) 1
Total Credits3

There are a few other ways this requirement can be satisfied for students transferring to UMKC:

  • Take an equivalent course from the list above at a regionally accredited institution.
  • Earn credit for one of the above courses through AP, IB, or CLEP.
  • Take a course that directly satisfies the Missouri Constitution Requirement at another Missouri institution.
  • Have a previous bachelors degree (or higher) from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Have an Associate of Arts degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Complete the 42 Hour Core at a Missouri institution and have it listed on the official transcript.

College of Arts & Sciences Degree Requirements

Students pursuing the bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees must complete a major. Students pursuing the bachelor of liberal arts degree must complete a minor. Additional details are available in the Student Services section of the catalog.

ALEKS Math Placement
Arts and Humanities Division of CAS or any UMKC Focus A course 16
Science and Math Division of CAS or any UMKC Focus B course6
Social and Behavioral Sciences Division of CAS or any UMKC Focus C course6
Writing Intensive Course (300-level or above)3
Foreign Language (3rd Semester Level)9
MATH 110Precalculus Algebra (or any 200-level or above Math/Stat course) 23
or MATH 116 Mathematics For Liberal Arts
or MATH 120 Precalculus
Laboratory Science Experience1
Total Credits34

Major Requirements                                    

Total: 36 credits at or above the 200-level

The Language and Literatures major consists of two parts: an Emphasis and a Breadth Requirement.

Language and Literatures majors must complete 30 credit hours at or above the 200-level in one of the following emphases:

Students must successfully complete the major requirements below with at least 12 hours of the noted upper division (300+) course requirements completed at UMKC.

Emphasis:  French Language and Literature 

Two French 200-level courses or higher 6
FRENCH 315Intermediate Composition and Conversation3
FRENCH 325Intermediate Conversation and Composition3
FRENCH 415Advanced Conversation and Composition I3
Two 300-level French courses or higher6
Introduction to French Literature
Masterpieces of French Literature I
Masterpieces Of French Literature II
Introduction to French Phonetics
Three 400-level French courses9
16th-Century French Literature
19th-Century French Literature
20th-Century French Literature
Early French Theater
Orientalism and Literature
Special Topics
Breadth RequirementSee below6
Total Credits36

Emphasis:  Spanish Language and Literature

Two Spanish 200-level courses or higher 6
SPANISH 315Intermediate Conversation And Composition I3
SPANISH 325Intermediate Conversation And Composition II3
SPANISH 415Advanced Conversation And Composition I3
Two 300-level Spanish courses or higher6
Latin American Civilization
The Search For Mexican Identity
History Of Spanish Literature I
History Of Spanish Literature II
Special Topics
Two 400-level Spanish courses 6
History of the Spanish Language
Early 20th Century Peninsular Literature: From the Generation of 1898 to Surrealism
Medieval Spanish Literature
Cervantes' Don Quixote, Part I
Advanced Conversation And Composition II
Pre-Columbian And Spanish Colonial Literature
Contemporary Spanish Poetry
The Picaresque Novel
Spain's Transition to Democracy: Literature and Film
Spanish-American Short Story
Special Topics
Breadth RequirementSee below6
SPANISH 499Senior Seminar (Capstone)3
Total Credits36

Emphasis: Classical Languages and Cultures

Coursework at 100-level or higher:9
From Cave Paintings to Cathedrals
History Of The Designed Environment I, Ancient And Medieval
Literary Monstrosities
Any GREEK, LATIN, or CLASSICS courses at 100-level or higher
Coursework at 300-level or higher:9
Archaeology of Ancient Disasters
Frauds, Myths and Mysteries in Archaeology
Archaeology as Anthropology: The Development of Human Societies
Concepts of the Hero in Ancient Literature and World Cinema
Bible As Literature
Antiquity and Medieval History
Ancient Philosophy
Any GREEK, LATIN, or CLASSICS course at 300-level or higher
Coursework at 400-level or higher:9
From the Parthenon to the Altar of Peace
History And Principles Of Rhetoric
Archeology and Biblical History
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Greece
Ancient Rome
Late Antiquity: The transformation of the Mediterranean World (200–600 AD)
Breadth Requirement (see below):6
CLASSICS 499Senior Tutorial3
Total Credits36

Breadth Requirement

The Breadth Requirement may be met by completing one of the following:

  1. A second Language and Literatures emphasis;
  2. A minor in another foreign language offered by the Department;
  3. Six (6) credit hours of coursework at the 200-level or higher among foreign language courses outside the Emphasis (including courses taught in English). These classes must focus on language, literary or cultural studies. Appropriate courses offered by other departments (e.g. History of Latin America) can fulfill the breadth requirement with the prior approval of the undergraduate advisor.

Other Requirements and Regulations

  1. A capstone course is required for the completion of the B.A. in Languages and Literatures.
  2. Higher-level courses may be substituted for lower-level coursework, e.g. a 300-level course can be taken instead of a 200-level course. A minimum of two 400-level courses is required for each Emphasis in addition to the Capstone, 499.
  3. A 2.0 grade-point-average in Languages and Literatures courses is required for graduation.
  4. Study abroad is strongly recommended for all departmental majors and minors, but not required for degree completion.
  5. FRENCH 435 does not count toward the major in Languages and Literatures.
  6. Native speakers studying their own languages will complete a minimum of 21 credit hours in courses numbered 300 and above, but normally not including 315 or 325, and they will complete the Breadth Requirement.  A native speaker is defined as a person who speaks the target language fluently and who has completed formal schooling through the secondary school level, or equivalent, in the target language. 

General Electives

Students must take elective credit hours to meet the minimum credit hour requirement for their degree, including at least 36 credit hours of coursework at the 300-level or above. The minimum required by the university is 120 credit hours, of which at least 30 credit hours must be taken at UMKC, but some degree programs require more.

General Electives23

Minimum GPA: 2.0

Total Credit Hours: 120

Tools for Planning and Fulfilling Academic Requirements

UMKC's Major Maps are detailed, semester by semester plans that lead a student to complete all degree requirements within four years.  Plans include benchmarks and critical courses by term that assist a student’s evaluation of progress and major “fit”.  In order to ensure that the appropriate courses are taken, students are encouraged to consult with the undergraduate advisor for this major.

UMKC’s Degree Audit System provides an individual evaluation of all degree requirements (General Education Core, Degree Specific, Major Specific, etc.) for student’s officially recorded (Office of Registration and Records) and “what if” plans of study.  This evaluation is used to certify all graduation requirements.

UMKC’s Transfer Guides provide detailed guidance on recommended transfer coursework, plans of study, transfer timelines, and transfer contact information. To ensure a seamless transfer experience, students are encouraged to work with both their community college advisor and a UMKC advisor when planning their coursework.