Languages and Global Engagement

Students walk along the coast during a field trip

Our Commitment to Languages

UC Berkeley leads among institutions of higher education in the depth and breadth of languages
taught—offering classes in more than sixty languages.  Our language courses equip our students to become global citizens, to engage with local communities, and to interact meaningfully with people and ideas from different regions of our fast-changing world.

Languages Offered

Over a dozen Berkeley departments offer instruction in more than sixty languages. Courses are open to students from all disciplines, and many languages offer majors and minors. Several departments offer classes suited for heritage speakers as well as beginners, and major advisors can help direct you to information about placement exams.

View the full alphabetical list of languages taught below:

Beyond the Classroom

Berkeley students study languages for a variety of reasons: intellectual curiosity, professional development, family connections, and more. Opportunities beyond the classroom help immerse students further into their exploration of language and culture.

Expand the sections below to learn about extracurricular engagement, study abroad programs, and fellowships:

Build Community around Language Study

Join the Berkeley Language Center's undergraduate mailing list to stay up-to-date on the latest news and events.

Search CalLink to view student clubs.

Learn about Study Abroad Opportunities

Study abroad is highly advised for all students studying the Arts & Humanities, especially students interested in majoring or minoring in a language. Financial aid and scholarship opportunities are available. Berkeley Study Abroad also offers advising for undocumented students.

The UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) is the University of California's official study abroad program, offering a wide variety of summer, semester, and year options in over 40 countries.

Berkeley Summer Abroad offers dozens of programs in the summer, including several programs sponsored by Arts & Humanities departments.

The Berkeley Global Internships summer program offers project-based in-person and virtual academic internships in a variety of industries in both domestic and international locations.

Explore Fellowships and Scholarships

Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships provide funding to students to encourage the study of critical and less commonly taught foreign languages in combination with area studies, international studies or international aspects of professional studies. The purpose of the FLAS program is to promote the training of students who intend to make their careers in college or university teaching, government service, or other employment where knowledge of foreign languages and cultures is essential. At UC Berkeley, funding for FLAS Fellowships is available from eight Title VI National Resource Centers representing various world areas: Africa, East Asia, Latin America, Middle East, Russia/Eastern Europe/Eurasia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Western Europe.

The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is a fully-funded overseas language and cultural immersion program.

The Huang Scholars Program(link is external) provides the opportunity for Chinese language instruction at UC Berkeley and in China, covering travel and living expenses as well as partial tuition.

Connect with UC Berkeley's International and Area Studies Institutes and Centers

Research on various regions of the world is facilitated by ten interdisciplinary international and area studies centers and institutes, many of which are in Global, International & Area Studies. These programs support both contemporary and historical research on every region of the world, advancing the work of more than 800 affiliated faculty and visiting scholars, hundreds of graduate students and thousands of undergraduates across the campus.

Read, Watch, and Listen

The UC Berkeley Library provides access to materials in all modern and ancient languages taught at UC Berkeley. In fact, nearly half of its print resources are in languages other than English, more than 400 languages in all. Online, the Library offers e-books, e-journals, streaming video, as well as current and historical newspapers from across the world. Find the most printed material in languages other than English in the Doe Library, Gardner (Main) Stacks and NRLF. Other campus libraries known for their rich language collections are: the Art History/Classics Library, Bancroft Library, C. V. Starr East Asian Library, Ethnic Studies Library, Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library, and South/Southeast Asia Library.

Librarians with linguistic and subject expertise curate these distinguished collections, provide research consultations, and teach research workshops. Librarians also create informative Global and Area Studies subject guides for all regions of the world and their associated languages.

For Non-UC Berkeley Students

Many language courses are accessible to students who are not currently matriculated at UC Berkeley. Explore the possibilities below:

Students Enrolled at Other UC Campuses

The Cross-Campus Enrollment System allows UC students to access a number of high-demand online courses offered across the UC campuses. These courses are developed and taught by UC faculty and instructors and will earn UC unit credit, with the potential for GE, pre-major or major credit based on your departmental and programmatic requirements.

To search for currently available online cross-campus courses being offered, please select the campus where you are enrolled and the Term & Year in UCOPS's cross-campus enrollment catalog: Select the subject area "Languages and Literatures."

Non-UC Students

UC Berkeley Extension's Concurrent Enrollment program provides an opportunity to enroll in UC Berkeley campus courses on a space-available basis without formal admission to the University. Approval of class applications is at the sole discretion of the campus academic departments.

Concurrent Enrollment is available in fall and spring terms. If you’re interested in attending a campus course during the summer, check out Summer Sessions.

Why Study Language & Culture at UC Berkeley?

"As a student at UCB I had the opportunity to study French, Russian, Serbian, Croatian, Irish, and Polish. Language is a window into another culture, a window into another world. This study makes us true citizens of the world."

- UC Berkeley alumna, Claudia Waters

“Learning Swahili has opened the doors to so many avenues in my education and future career in diplomacy. Learning a regional language demonstrates a deeper appreciation for that culture and land."

- UC Riverside student, Katie Fernandez. Katie took Swahili at Berkeley through the UCOP cross-enrollment platform.

"I have taken two years of Korean language classes at Cal now, and every semester, my Korean class is the one I look forward to the most everyday. The personalization of my language class is unheard of on such a large campus."

- UC Berkeley student, Cynthia Leu

"I use the training I received through the Spanish and Arabic language programs at Cal every day as a medical student."

- UC Berkeley alumna, Mackenzie Cater