Explore UAB

Learning a language opens doors in the international community. Our programs foster international perspectives and build communication and critical and creative thinking skills. These skills are invaluable to a variety of career paths such as health, business, education, government, and more. Our students have the opportunity to study in diverse locations including Beijing, Berlin, Jaén, Lima, Paris, Pescara, Salamanca, San Juan, Tokyo, and many more. Whether in Birmingham or abroad, our students have countless opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others.

The study of a language expands the outlook and interests of the educated citizen. By providing insight into the social and intellectual life of other peoples, studying a language fosters humanistic attitudes and cultivates a spirit of tolerance and understanding.

We invite you to browse the pages of the Department of World Languages & Literatures website to learn how the University of Alabama at Birmingham is providing a world of opportunities to students of Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish.

50 Years

Julian Arribas, PhD, Chair, Department of World Languages and Literatures

We have reached a 50 year milestone. Time and fortune have placed me here today to celebrate the 50th anniversary as chair of the Department of World Languages and Literatures, but I am just the most recent of 10 department chairs. Let us not forget the department’s retired faculty, those who have long passed, and those who are around. We all, past and present faculty and administrators, have moved the department forward in waves of progress in order to meet the demands of the times.

Please allow me to hail a couple of the most recent accomplished developments: a concentration in Applied Professional Spanish was added to the departmental offerings in 2018, and another in Japanese language in 2021. The latter, initially, was established with the financial support of the Japan Foundation Los Angeles and presently with the full support of the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. The faculty and I are very appreciative for their support and shared confidence in the future of the Department of World Languages and Literatures. I appreciate all the support that CAS and UAB have offered to us through the years. Thank you.


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