Languages, Literature, and Communication Studies Department


A student entering NSU with previous language experience or preparation may waive entry-level courses to accommodate their skill and ability, based on the outcome of a placement exam. €‹


An understanding of Spanish and of Spanish-based culture in all of its varieties has never been more relevant, whether for travel, academic, or practical application.
Spanish: vital, vibrant, essential
Spanish is fast becoming one of the most vital and vibrant specializations of post-high-school language instruction. In the face of present global flux, an even rudimentary knowledge of Spanish will be an asset to any career path a student may select. Northern offers a major and a minor in Spanish with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Education degrees. Generally, 32 credit-hours are required to complete a major. To complete a minor, a minimum of 23 credit-hours are necessary. Also, prior experience in Spanish may be used to satisfy part of the requirements.


Knowledge of German can also be a valuable career asset, especially when combined with additional education for careers in government, the sciences, the armed forces, travel and tourism, the media, and, increasingly, international business. The German major is offered in cooperation with the University of South Dakota and South Dakota State University. Most courses above the level of German 312 are taught as shared courses by faculty from all three universities by means of distance-learning technology.
For historical, cultural, linguistic, and economic reasons, German is a particularly useful language for Americans. It is one of the three most widely studied languages in the world, it is a medium of communication for travelers, and it is an important research tool for scientists, scholars, genealogists, and others. There is currently a shortage of German teachers in the Midwest. Got 10 minutes? Watch this video to learn why a major or minor in German might be right for you.
  • Study abroadAll students of German are encouraged to study at a university in a German-speaking country for at least one semester. Northern State University has exchange agreements with universities in Magdeburg, Lüneburg, and Schmalkalden, Germany, which enable students to study there for little more than the cost of studying at NSU. Hochschule Magdeburg has also offered our lower-level students the opportunity to participate in a very inexpensive, four-week, intensive German course offered in the summer. Our students may also participate in exchange programs provided by the University of South Dakota at German universities in Oldenburg and Jena.

  • ScholarshipsModest scholarships are awarded annually in the name of the German Club to students who exhibit excellence in German studies at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels in their German courses at Northern. For details, contact Dr. Ginny Lewis.

  • Online courses: NSU'€™s German program offers a variety of courses online for students who would otherwise lack access to opportunities to study German. Contact Dr. Ginny Lewis for information on current online German courses.

  • German Club: German Club gives you a chance to enjoy German culture, language, and heritage, even if you can'€™t say anything beyond €œ"Gesundheit€" and €œ"Kino der Toten.€"

Germany Making Choices Conference

“Germany Making Choices: A Celebration of Business Relations Between Germany and South Dakota” will be held  Oct. 23-26, 2017, at NSU. Events will include the South Dakota German Business Summit, round table discussions, Internship/Study Abroad in Germany Info Fair, and a student field trip to AKG Northern American Operations in Mitchell, S.D. The events are being funded primarily by the Federal Republic of Germany.  LEARN MORE




Northern's English major provides a solid foundation for a wide variety of careers by preparing you to read, think, and write critically. Studying English at Northern, you'll learn to understand and appreciate the literary expression of human thought.
  • Career paths: With an English degree from Northern, you'll have the communications skills needed for positions in business, industry, and state and federal service. You'll also be prepared for professional schools in law, journalism, and medicine, as well as graduate studies in English or linguistics. If you're planning to teach at the secondary level, pursue the Bachelor of Science in Education, which provides certification by the S.D. State Department of Education.
  • Literature: Expand your understanding Literature courses offer you access to new ways of looking at and making sense of the world; composition courses help you process information and communicate your views effectively and persuasively; linguistics courses help you understand the rules that make language intelligible.
  • Internships: An internship through Northern's English Department gives you a chance to explore your career preference, applying your English skills within the context of a practical challenge.
  • Northern Lights Journal: Northern Lights is an online journal of selected original works by NSU students, faculty, staff, alumni and the Aberdeen community. Email written submissions to northernlights@wolves.northern.eduFor information, contact Dr. Pen Pearson.



  • Communicate with skill and confidence: The program is designed to develop your relational and critical thinking skills, and equip you to be an effective communicator in large- and small-group settings.
  • Careers: Courses in speech communication develop skills needed for positions in:
    • Education
    • Law
    • Public relations
    • Journalism
    • Advertising
    • Business, industry
    • Government service
    • With a degree in communications studies, you'll be ready for professional school or graduate studies.
  • Competition: Test your skills on Northern's award-winning Speech and Debate Team.