Students are required to demonstrate proficiency in one research language other than English, with additional language study strongly encouraged by the department. After matriculating, students should provide documentation demonstrating college level study—a minimum of two semesters within a single language or advanced coursework—or develop a plan with the department’s directors for language studies during the program. Below are some basic resources to pursue language study at Williams.
Languages at Williams
Through the Center for Foreign Languages, Literatures, & Cultures, students can establish or further their studies in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, and a number of critical languages; including Hebrew, Hindi, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, and Swahili.
Placement assessments should be determined early in the semester by contacting either the language department in which you plan to study, or by reaching out to the specific professor with whom you hope to study directly. Department information can be found under the languages linked above, as well as through a guide to courses available here.
Additionally, Williams and the Center for Foreign Languages, Literatures, & Cultures supports a number of language-specific Special Interest Groups—often organized through a GLOW page—that run language tables, events, movie screenings, and other activities for further skill building and language. Each year a number of foreign-language Teaching Assistants also
Please note that language classes are often small within the William Community, meeting regularly and developing a close rapport, requiring significant commitment from students who are discouraged from auditing. Certain languages, such as Chinese, also require a two-semester commitment from beginners. Please consult the department and individual instructors for more information.
Languages Beyond Williams
The Graduate Department in the History of Art also strongly recommends language study beyond campus and between semesters. Coursework through, for example, the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) or Goethe Zentrum can, in certain situations, be supported through the program. Summer intensives, like the Middlebury Language Schools, also provide a number of grants and fellowships. An incomplete list of possible language study can be found here. For more detailed information, consult specific language departments and professors.