Advance your global career opportunities by building your language expertise through the Language Studies for Professional Purposes specialization.

To address the world’s most challenging problems, we need to understand one another. And there is no better way to understand others than to speak their language. Through this 12-credit specialization for students taking language studies courses, you will greatly develop your proficiency in your target language.

A global workforce needs and rewards professionals who have engaged in serious and transformative language development. 


We offer specializations in the following languages:


These specializations are designed for students currently enrolled in any of the Institute’s degree programs. In total, students will be required to take three language studies courses (12 credits) at the 300 level or higher, obtaining a B+ or higher in all three courses. Successful candidates will complete three of the four professional projects listed below. These projects are built into the regular language studies course work at the 300 level or above.

Professional Projects

In all cases, the specific guidelines for the project will be provided by the instructor of record.

  1. A research-based project written in the target language, addressing an issue in the student’s academic/professional area of interest. Students can choose the most relevant genre for their careers, e.g., academic article, position paper, briefing memo, article for the general public, curriculum proposal, market research, business model, prototype, etc., as long as the artifact includes original primary or secondary research and cites a minimum number of sources first composed in the target language.
  2. A persuasive or informative professional talk in the target language, dealing with an issue or need in the student’s academic/professional area of interest. The presentation should contain original information, be followed by a Q&A, and be open to the general public. Students will be encouraged but not required to use multimedia tools.
  3. A professional dossier for students who desire to expand and strengthen their personal learning network while gaining business correspondence and interpersonal communication skills. This dossier will comprise the following content (all in the target language): a résumé, a professional bio, and at least three interviews with professionals who are highly proficient speakers of the target language and are using this language in their line of work. Students will be responsible for establishing contact with professionals, maintaining formal correspondence with them, and transcribing and synthesizing the interviews. The dossier will include a comprehensive reflection, demonstrating evidence of advanced language and content learning.
  4. A field research project as an outcome of a practicum or immersive professional learning experience in a region where the target language is widely used or needed for the project at hand. Students will be responsible for gathering in-situ data in the target language (detailed field notes, self-reflections, formal and informal interviews, surveys, etc.), corresponding to their professional field. After the experience, students will analyze and present their findings in the context of a language course or independent study. This project will be particularly attractive for students who remain on campus for only two semesters (e.g., International Education Management students) and/or students who aim to maximize immersive learning opportunities.


Contact the program head for your target language for more information.