Modern Languages Major Opportunities

Modern Languages Majors: Earn Two Credentials at the Same Time

If you are fluent or semi-fluent in French, Spanish or Italian, or just want to learn one of these languages, consider enrolling in our major in Modern Languages or obtaining a certificate in Spanish/English Translation & Interpretation in the Professions at the same time you pursue your current Associate Degree. The Modern Languages program provides a strong liberal arts education with an added credential in a second language, which you may use as a minor when transferring to a senior college. Our majors may choose to complete some of their requirements through study abroad programs in Spain, France, and Italy.

Both the AA degree in Modern Languages and the Certificate in Spanish Translation & Interpretation for the Professions prepare you to work as a translator or interpreter in the legal, medical, business, and/or finance industries and for many other careers. Even if you decide to continue in the Modern Languages major, consider our Translation Certificate as well–you will then have two credentials: one in your major and the other as a translator/interpreter.

You will impress potential employers with a resume listing your A.A. degree in Modern Languages plus your future B.A. in any field at a senior college.

In addition, students who major in Modern Languages develop vital transferrable skills such as:

  • Strong and clear writing
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Interpretation of information
  • Cultural sensitivity
  • Awareness of diversity, equity, and inclusion issues
  • Global literacy

To learn more about our program, contact the program’s advisor, Professor Silvia Alvarez-Olarra at

Honors and Awards

The Modern Language Department (MLD) offers awards of Academic Excellence to the students with the highest GPA, one award for each of specialization—French, Italian, and Spanish. The award is presented during Honors convocation.

Each year, the Modern Language Department grants the Pullés Award to the student with the highest GPA among graduating majors with a specialization in Spanish. The award consists of $500 and is presented during Honors convocation.

Study Abroad Programs

Each summer, BMCC offers study abroad programs ranging from 2-weeks to an entire month in China, France, Italy, and/or Spain, among other countries. These programs are subsidized by BMCC scholarships covering 60% of the cost. Students may also apply to additional scholarships to cover the remaining costs. Study abroad programs count as one course towards the major in Modern Languages. For more study abroad programs within CUNY, visit:

Middlebury Language Immersion Summer Program

Students who need to take their Spanish, French, or Italian to the next level of fluency are encouraged to apply for the Middlebury Language Immersion Summer Program, a seven-week program in which students pledge to only speak the language of choice. The program offers scholarships for community college students, covering up to 80% of the tuition. Students get up to 9 credits at BMCC for completing this program. To apply, they need at least one recommendation letter from a professor at BMCC:

The CUNY/Paris Exchange Program

Students specializing in French are encouraged to participate in the CUNY/Paris program sponsored by Queens College. This program allows students to spend an entire semester in Paris and take classes at the Sorbonne, for which they get credit at BMCC. Eligible students may have the cost of the program covered by financial aid. For more information, contact Jessica Levin, Experiential Learning & Study Abroad Manager, and/or visit

The NYS Court Interpreter Internship Program

Students enrolled in the major qualify to complete either the 20-hrs or the 100-hrs internships. Once they complete the internship, they can take the court system test to become a NYS registered Per Diem Court Interpreter in any language in which they may be fluent. A Per Diem Court Interpreter is called each time there is a need in their particular language and is paid by day of work. This is a great opportunity for those interested in building a career as a legal interpreter.

Potential Careers with a Degree in Modern Languages 

Careers in the translation industry: translator/interpreter, editor, copyeditor, proofreader, quality control, video-subtitling specialist, and project manager working at translation agencies, clinics and hospitals, NYS Court System, and global corporations.

Careers in international relations: foreign service officer (U.S. State Department), international organizations, humanitarian and environmental organizations.

Other exciting careers: law, banking, and finance; travel and hospitality; bilingual media, marketing, and communications; higher education; K-12 bilingual education; international business.