Modern Languages and Literature

Students develop language competencies, explore a variety of literatures and cultures, and prepare for a productive role in a rapidly changing global environment.  Modern Languages and Literatures promotes diversity of thought and experience, multicultural awareness, international perspectives and respect for others. Study abroad opportunities support personal, in-depth exposure to another culture and language. Students choosing this major often combine it with another program for a double major.

Career Fields

Language Translation/Interpretation and Cross Cultural Communication

  • Book and magazine translation and editing
  • Bilingual trade, technical and professional journals and newsletters
  • International bodies (e.g., UN) and humanitarian agencies (e.g., Red Cross)
  • Translation agencies and services
  • Internet and web translation and editing
  • Travel agencies and organizations

Strategies: Become very fluent in a language or languages; study abroad; participate in international student organizations and projects; become well-versed in international affairs and cross-cultural communication; consider choice of double major related to the professional needs (e.g., Political Science, History), conduct informational interviews with alumni and other professionals in the areas of career interest.

Government and Non-governmental Organizations (NGO’s)

  • State Department
  • Foreign Service
  • Customs and Immigration
  • Peace Corps volunteer
  • United Nations agencies and programs
  • International NGO’s, such as Save the Children, Doctors without Borders, Amnesty Intl.
  • State and local governments

Strategies: Do internships in government agencies and NGO’s, become active in local branches of international NGO’s; study abroad; double major and/or minor in a relevant field; attend the annual fall governmental job fair on Duquesne’s or local college campus; conduct informational interviews with alumni and other professionals in the areas of career interest; join and become active in international groups and organizations.

International Business and Commerce

  • Foreign firms operating the US (e.g., Bayer)
  • US corporations with operations and offices abroad (e.g., Westinghouse; UPMC)
  • Corporate communications for multi-national companies
  • Import-Export firms
  • International Trade Associations
  • Human Resources recruiting for international company
  • Intercultural communications trainer for executives going overseas
  • Travel and tourism companies and organizations (e.g., airlines; hotel chains)

Strategies: Consider obtaining a certificate in Business while at Duquesne; complete internships in business settings, especially companies with international presence; study abroad; job shadow and conduct informational interviews with business professionals, including Duquesne alumni.

Teaching and Learning

  • Elementary and secondary education in bilingual programs
  • High school teaching of foreign language in public or private school
  • Professional foreign language schools such as Rosetta Stone
  • Post-secondary teaching in a college, university or community college
  • Train multi-national company employees in foreign language(s)
  • Work in literacy programs for new immigrants

Strategies: Gain teaching certification to teach in public schools; be prepared to relocate to states with high demand for teachers; plan to earn an advanced degree (PhD) for college teaching; volunteer with foreign language communities and organizations; tutor high school students; attend academic conferences and international speakers on campus.

Non-profit and Education Administration

  • Director of foreign exchange programs
  • Manage Study Abroad program in university
  • Administration of American schools and colleges with campuses abroad
  • Admissions departments of colleges seeking international students
  • Non-profit organizations with international reach (.e.g., YMCA International)

Strategies: Gain experience interning and volunteering in non-profit organizations; attend the annual non-profit job fair at held annually in Pittsburgh); conduct informational interviews with professionals in international programs on Duquesne’s campus.