The Foreign Languages major enables students to compare the structure and function of different languages. It differs from a single language major in which textual analysis, literary history and culture are studied in considerable depth. The Foreign Languages major enriches the liberal arts experience by enabling students to communicate in two languages, to satisfy graduate school requirements, and to acquire transferable skills that will facilitate the study of other languages unavailable at Ripon.

Ripon College’s language programs develop students’ understanding of and appreciation for the world through the study of foreign languages and literatures, linguistics and cultural phenomena. Students gain skills that allow them to communicate with native speakers; they learn critical and theoretical approaches to texts and build cross-cultural perspectives from which to evaluate global issues. The study of foreign languages enhances students’ self- awareness as world citizens and also helps improve their communication and critical thinking skills in their native language.

Ripon College also offers majors in Spanish; and minors in Classical Studies; Ancient, Renaissance and Medieval Studies; Francophone studies; French and Spanish.

Ripon College offers a major and minor in Spanish; and minors in Classical StudiesAncient, Renaissance, and Medieval Studies, Francophone studies and French.

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Geoff Guevara-Geer

Guevara-Geer, Geoff

Associate Professor of Spanish

Dominique Poncelet

Poncelet, Dominique

Professor of French and the Marie Zarwell Uihlein Chair in Classical Studies and Chair of the Department

Timothy Reed

Reed, Timothy

Professor of Spanish and Associate Dean for the Catalyst Curriculum


Ripon College faculty and professional staff are dedicated to helping you reach your goals, whatever they may be and however often they may change along the way. It’s part of our value statement to you.

As a student at Ripon, you will be assigned a faculty adviser based on your area(s) of interest. You will meet with your faculty adviser throughout your time as a student to discuss your current aspirations, plan your course schedule and plot a future trajectory. We also work collaboratively with Ripon College Career and Professional Development to help match your interests and skills to concrete goals and construct a plan for professional success offering personalized career counseling, off-campus learning opportunities and an online job board with potential to connect with local, national and international employers.

Advising at Ripon


Requirements for a Major in Foreign Languages
Total Credits minimum 36 credits
Prerequisites Requirements for the revised major:
Minimum number of credits required for major: 36
16 credits in French or Spanish at the 211-level or higher starting at level of placement
16 credits in another language at the 112-level or higher starting at level of placement
4 credits of LIN 532 (Introduction to Linguistics) in which a student completes a capstone project whose breadth and depth go beyond normal course requirements and which will be designed and executed in consultation with the instructor.
Elective Courses Required to take 3 distribution courses with laboratories, one in each area of organismal, cell and molecular, and ecology and evolutionary biology, and at least 9 additional electives. Two courses toward the major must be taken at the 300 level.
Additional Criteria All majors are encouraged to study abroad in an approved program. Students who desire a study of foreign language in a literary framework that includes analysis, culture and history should consider the standard Spanish major or a self-designed majors in French; such students should not pursue the Foreign Languages major.

Career Tracks

Foreign language study can lead to careers in a variety of areas, including government, industry and commerce, travel and tourism, interpretation/translation, service, education, arts, media and entertainment. Some students go on to complete graduate work in their respective languages, while others pursue professions in communications, business, international relations, medicine, nonprofit management, public health, public policy and theology.

Unique Opportunities

  • Teaching certification in French and Spanish is available in Early Childhood/Adolescence (birth-grade 12) through the Department of Educational Studies.