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.

Latest News

Timothy Reed

Poem by Timothy Reed in national publication

Timothy Reed, professor of Spanish, had a poem published in the spring 2020 issue of The Forum, the official publication of the Phi Sigma Iota […]

Dominique Poncelet

Dominique Poncelet publishes article in The French Review

Dominique Poncelet, professor of French and Francophone studies, is the author of “Le livre comme tombeau litteraire: Franz et Francois de Francois Weyergans et D’autres […]

Cover of Rick Estberg's new book Berlin Daze

Rick Estberg ’75 publishes book about Cold War experiences in West Berlin

Rick Estberg ’75 of Severna Park, Maryland, recently published his first book, Berlin Daze: Tales of a Cold Warrior on the “Island of Freedom”. Estberg […]


Geoff Guevara-Geer

Guevara-Geer, Geoff

Associate Professor of Spanish, Chair of Foreign Languages and Cultures Department

[email protected]

Eddie R. Lowry Jr.

Lowry Jr., Eddie

Professor of Greek, Professor of Latin, Marie Zarwell Uihlein Chair in Classical Studies

[email protected]

Dominique Poncelet

Poncelet, Dominique

Professor of French and Francophone Studies

[email protected]

Timothy Reed

Reed, Timothy

Professor of Spanish

[email protected]


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. Our collaboration with Student Support Services provides tutoring and additional academic and skill development, as well as tools to help with note-taking, exam preparation, goal-setting and time management. Likewise, Mentors in the Franzen Center provide in-depth, one-on-one or group mentoring for students about class projects and college-level writing, and can share problem-solving strategies to overcome academic obstacles.

Advising at Ripon

Off-Campus Study

Studying off-campus, whether internationally or domestically in the United States, is an experience bound to change your view of the world. In general, full-time students in good academic standing are eligible to apply for admission to off-campus programs.

Learn more about Off-Campus Study


Course requirements for a major in foreign languages, 36 credits:

  • 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 either LIN 532 (Introduction to Linguistics) or CLA 560 (Etymology) in which a student completes a capstone project whose breadth and depth go beyond normal course requirements, which will be designed and executed in consultation with the instructor.

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 self-designed majors either in French or in Classical Studies; this major is not available to majors in Spanish.

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.