The Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures


In today’s world, understanding and speaking another language and familiarity with foreign cultures can enlarge your career opportunities in whatever field you pursue. In public service and in the criminal justice system, knowledge of another language is growing increasingly important. Many of the country’s top federal law enforcement agencies, as well as some state and local agencies, give preference to those who have this ability. Recognizing the importance of cultural studies and as part of a liberal arts education – unless otherwise exempt – a one-year sequence in a foreign language is part of the general education requirements for baccalaureate degree students at John Jay College.

Languages Offered
The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures offers courses in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish. For a list of courses for the Spring 2014 semester, click here.


The Department offers an array of courses to accommodate various levels of language proficiency, legal translation and court interpretation, as well as courses in literature, theatre and culture.

For those in law enforcement and related fields, the department offers courses that emphasize the vocabulary and linguistic structures necessary to policing. In addition, bilingual students can avail themselves of the “Spanish for Criminal Investigation” course to complement criminal justice and police science courses.

The Spanish Minor is designed to make students proficient in spoken and written Spanish through language and literature courses that also present a cultural and psychological understanding of the Spanish Diaspora. (Requirements

Faculty Advisor: Silvia Dapía 646.557.4415





Silvia Dapia, Chairperson
524 West 59th Street, Room 7.65.03, New York, NY 10019
Phone: 646.557.4415, Email: