About the Department

Our departmental mission is to serve our students, our state, our nation, and the world, by embodying and demonstrating the values to be derived from knowing ancient and modern languages and cultures.   We do this by nurturing and supporting the teaching, research, and service missions of a top-quality faculty; by offering and maintaining a comprehensive range of challenging language and professional development programs; by attracting and retaining a diverse student body; and by promoting innovative research among faculty and students.


Our department is housed in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, and we believe ourselves to be central to the fulfillment of the mission of the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, adopted from Senator Fulbright’s writings, as follows:

... the highest function of higher education is the teaching of things in perspective, toward the purposes of enriching the life of the individual, cultivating the free and inquiring mind, and advancing the effort to bring reason, justice, and humanity...

J. William Fulbright was the creator of the renowned Fulbright Scholarship Program, established to promote international understanding and global academic exchange.  We seek to do this by embodying and instilling in our students the values of full-fledged global citizenship, which requires the kind of deep cultural understanding that only truly comes with progress towards mastery of other languages. 

World Language education has been around at the University of Arkansas as long as the university itself, and we are privileged to carry on this long tradition. Over the years, our language programs have come and gone and returned and seen many departmental configurations. Our current configuration as a Department of Foreign Languages dates back to 1949, and we made the change to our current department name in 2009.