Modern Languages

Admission Type
Open Enrolment - General Admission Requirements


The Associate of Arts Degree in Modern Languages is designed to expand your knowledge in foreign languages and cultures so that you can stand out in a global market. The language courses are taught by instructors in conversation labs and small classes, meaning you’ll receive individual attention and plenty of opportunities to practice. You’ll explore studies in your chosen language while also exploring other topics in Anthropology, History, Communications, Philosophy and Geography.

What language programs does Douglas College offer?

 Choose from six different languages:

  • American Sign Language (ASL) classes
  • Chinese classes
  • French classes
  • German classes
  • Japanese classes
  • Spanish classes

Get paid, full-time work experience during your studies

Put your skills to work by joining the optional Co-operative Education Program, which alternates semesters of study with paid, full-time work in your field. You’ll earn money while gaining experience, building your resume and getting an employer reference, all before you graduate. To participate in Co-op you need to plan two semesters in advance, so we strongly recommend contacting the Co-op Office at the start of your program.

What is an Associate of Arts Degree in Modern Languages?

Associate degrees are two-year programs that concentrate on one area of study, such as an Associate of Arts Degree in Modern Languages. They’re great if you’re planning on going to university because – if you plan your courses carefully with your university program in mind – you are guaranteed 60 credits that transfer. In most cases, an Associate Degree will allow you to enter the third year of a four-year bachelor's degree program. To make sure your courses transfer, use the BC Transfer Guide as it has all the up-to-date information you’ll need to plan your education.

Program Requirements

Curriculum Framework

Graduation Requirements:

  • Successful completion of 60 credits as listed below
  • Require a minimum program GPA of 2.00

(Specializations will be noted on the transcript and will not be noted on the credential)

Course Requirements:

To complete an Associate of Arts Degree with a Specialization in Modern Languages, students must complete:

  • 18 or more credits (of the 60 credits required for their associate degree) in Modern Languages
  • nine of those 18 credits must be considered second-year courses. To qualify as a second-year course, a course must transfer to one of the research universities (SFU, UBCv, UBCO, UNBC, or UVIC) at the second-year level.

The following are the general requirements for an Associate of Arts Degree at any B.C. college:

  • 6 credits (2 courses) first-year English* electives
  • 6 credits (2 courses) Humanities** electives
  • 6 credits (2 courses) Social Sciences** electives
  • 6 credits (2 courses) Arts** electives
  • 18 credits (6 courses) second-year Arts** electives in 2 or more subject areas
  • 3 credits (1 course) Lab Science elective
  • 3 credits (1 course) Math, Statistics or Computing Science elective
  • 3 credits (1 course) Math, Statistics or Science elective
  • 9 credits (3 courses) other University Transfer electives

* English courses can include courses in written Communications and Creative Writing that transfer to one of the B.C. research universities (SFU, UBC, UBC-O, UVic or UNBC) as English credit. A maximum of 3 credits can come from such an equivalent; at least 3 credits must be earned in an actual ENGL course, so-named. For purposes of the Associate of Arts degree, English courses cannot be counted as Humanities courses.

** Arts courses are available in the Faculty of Languages, Literature, and Performing Arts, and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. To confirm whether a course is designated as "humanities" or "social sciences", check with an Academic Advisor. Courses in Economics and Mathematics also may be used as Arts electives toward an Associate of Arts Degree. 


A course is defined by the subject for which it is granted transfer credit at one of the research universities (SFU, UBCV, UBCO, UNBC, or UVic).

  • An Arts course is defined as any course in a subject area for which there is a Baccalaureate of Arts Degree at one of the research universities.
  • A Science course is defined as any course in a subject area for which there is a Baccalaureate of Science Degree or Baccalaureate of Applied Science Degree at one of the research universities.
  • The requirements specified above are intended to provide breadth of exposure to a variety of disciplines in both Arts and Sciences. In some instances there may be some ambiguity as to whether a course is in the Humanities or Social Sciences and is an Arts course or a Science course. Most Physical Geography and Mathematics would be designated as Science courses.
  • A course in an "other" area is defined as any course in a subject area for which there is a Baccalaureate Degree other than in Arts, Science or Applied Science at one of the research universities.
  • first-year course is defined as a course that has assigned or unassigned transfer credit at the 100-level at one of the research universities.
  • second-year course is defined as a course that has assigned or unassigned transfer credit at the 200-level or higher level at one of the research universities.
  • laboratory science course is one in which a substantial component of instruction involves the study of natural phenomena, either in the laboratory or in the field.

For detailed information you should meet with a Student Success Advisor.

Co-operative Education Option:

Students enrolled in this program may be eligible for a Co-operative Education designation. Co-operative Education involves alternating full-time academic and work terms. For information contact the Co-operative Education Office.

Admissions Requirements


You can get an average cost for your program - tuition and student fees, books, uniforms, lab fees etc - on the Program Cost page. 

Only programs approved for student loan funding are listed on the Program Cost page. For all other programs, refer to the Tuition Fee page.

Career Pathways

Career opportunities include:

  • Foreign Service Peacekeeper 
  • Foreign Service Specialist 
  • International Account Representative 
  • Sign Language Interpreter 
  • Certified Court Interpreter 
  • Linguist 
  • National Security Agent 
  • Tour Organizer 
  • Travel Agent 
  • Writer - Feature Writer/Columnist/Media/Novelist

Program Guidelines

Program Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this program and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the program, consider the previous version as the applicable version.


Language labs are part of every Modern Language course at Douglas College. You'll attend weekly conversation sessions with a native speaker of the language for small-group practice and review. Attendance and participation in these weekly sessions is part of your evaluation.

Douglas offers language instruction in American Sign Language (ASL), Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish.

Generally, if you have little to no knowledge of your chosen language, you can register in the introductory course without completing a language assessment. However, students wishing to register in higher-level courses may have to complete a language assessment.

Yes. You can take one course or several courses, individually or as part of the Associate of Arts Degree.

Evening courses are available on a limited basis, depending on the language and semester. 

Modern Language courses will help you to develop a variety of employable skills such as communication, teamwork and the ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds. Becoming bi- or multi-lingual can open the doors to many career opportunities, in fields such as:

  • Hospitality and tourism
  • Diplomacy
  • Translating & Interpreting
  • Economics
  • Banking
  • Teaching