Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures

The Modern Languages curricula of The Claremont Colleges are based on intercollegiate cooperative arrangements among the five Claremont Colleges. As part of these arrangements, students may register for lower-division language courses at any of The Claremont Colleges, provided the courses have not been closed to further registration. Although Pitzer students normally enroll in courses at their own college, they may register at any of the other four colleges if scheduling requires, or when the specific course is not offered at Pitzer.

Language, literature and culture are the essential components of this interdisciplinary field group which places emphasis on oral and written expression and critical thinking. The field group brings together faculty with expertise in broad areas of international studies.

The Modern Languages, Literature and Cultures Field Group offers a major in Spanish. The Claremont Colleges Coordinated Modern Languages Program provides courses in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and Spanish. The field group also offers courses in Spanish literature and culture and in writing, in English language studies.

For English and other world literature in translation, see English and World Literature.

Asian Languages and Literatures

Chinese, Japanese, Korean

For major requirements and course descriptions, please see appropriate listings.

European Languages

French, German Studies, Language Acquisition Courses, Literature and Culture Courses, Italian, Russian, Spanish

For major requirements and course descriptions, please see appropriate listings.

Spanish Major

The major in Spanish is based on the concept that language is a social practice. It emphasizes the use of language to explore interdisciplinary content, affirms the intrinsic relationship between language and culture, and stresses the participation of three different tracks: one focuses on literature; the second focuses on the interplay between language and culture; and the third incorporates an additional area of study, for example, environmental or urban studies, health, education, art, gender, and feminist studies, or media.

Pitzer Adviser: Juanita Aristizabal


The Portuguese Program at the 5Cs is a collaboration between Pitzer and CMC. The program focuses on Brazil, the largest Portuguese speaking country in the world. Our courses develop students’ proficiency in speaking, listening, reading and writing in cultural context. Students across the 5Cs have traveled to Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Salvador, Roraima and Fortaleza to enhance their language skills and to participate in study abroad programs and study trips, carry out research projects, and engage in volunteer work and internships.

Pitzer Adviser: Juanita Aristizabal

Major In Spanish & Portuguese

This major is designed for students who arrive at Pitzer with a mid to high level of proficiency in Spanish or Portuguese and who are interested in learning either Spanish or Portuguese as a way to further enhance their studies of Latin American communities and cultures and their diasporas. In addition to coursework in both languages, an immersion experience in each one of the languages is required.

Pitzer Adviser: Juanita Aristizabal

Minor In Portuguese 

The minor in Portuguese offers students the opportunity to become proficient in the Portuguese language, study the history and culture of the Lusophone world, and participate in an immersion experience. The minor is an ideal complement for students pursuing majors in Latin American studies or romance languages, and a way to open up access to Lusophone communities for students majoring in a variety of fields.

Pitzer Adviser: Juanita Aristizabal

Student Learning Outcomes


  1. Develop/improve speaking, listening, writing, reading, skills, and integrate these skills to communicate effectively in Spanish.
  2. Gain insights into one or more Spanish speaking cultures and mastery of a body of knowledge to support it.
  3. Enhancement of citizenship skills and increase self-awareness and personal growth.
  4. Value the importance of knowing another language and understand how to become life-long learners.

International Scholars Program

Students will:

  1. Develop the level of academic English and compensatory socio-linguistic strategies needed to be successful learners in their courses and co-curricular activities.
  2. Develop sufficient knowledge of American classroom and campus culture norms and behaviors to function successfully as responsible members of the college community.
  3. Become aware of personal strengths, limits, goals, fears or prejudices, as well as own cultural identity.
  4. Learn to access, question, generate, critique, and apply knowledge from a variety of written, spoken, and visual texts that rely on the medium of English language for expression.
  5. Value and use multiple resources of knowledge (faculty, roommates, host family members, internship contacts, discussants), in addition to traditional instructional materials.
  6. Use cross-disciplinary analysis to process the overall learning experience.
  7. Gain the knowledge and cultural skills to create social ties and engage responsibly with a wide range of people, ideas, and values across campus and in the larger community.
  8. Experience and reflect on rights and responsibilities we share, and impacts we have, as members of multiple communities.