interest, develop skills and a knowledge base that complement their major, express themselves in a creative
area that is or will likely become an avocation, or learn
more about themselves and/or their heritage. Minors such as those in foreign languages, mathematics and computer science may not only be pedagogically sound but also indicate a skill to a prospective employer.
Most major programs in the College offer corresponding minors as well. A minor is usually half of a major,
generally six to eight courses, depending upon the program. Some programs require specific courses for the minor;
others do not.
Interschool Minors
Interschool minors are offered by the School of Arts and Sciences and one or more of the other schools of the University, including Wharton, Design, Education and Nursing. For more information, please see the Cross-School Programs section for a list of interschool minors.
Any of the minors offered by the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) is open to students in the College. For more information, please see the section of this publication devoted to SEAS programs.
It is not possible to complete a minor in the Wharton School. Students may take Wharton courses as non-College free electives or, if permitted, as part of their major.
Language Study
Recognizing the need for an expanded experience of cultures other than one’s own, and the pivotal role that language can have in this experience, the School of Arts and Sciences offers a wide variety of languages and options for language study. Students in the College are currently offered several choices to guide their study of a language other than English: completion of the College’s Foreign Language Requirement; a major in a language and literature department or program; a minor in a language and literature department or program; and a language certificate. Over 50 languages are offered through standing departments and programs, while many others are offered through the Penn Language Center.
The University of Pennsylvania departments and programs offer instruction in the following languages:
African Studies
 *Amharic, *Swahili, *Twi, *Yoruba, *Zulu and tutorials in various African languages (currently *Kinya-rwanda,
*Igbo, *Shona, *Wolof)
Classical Studies
 Classical/Medieval Latin, Ancient/*Modern Greek
East Asian Languages and Civilizations
 *Cantonese, Classical Chinese, Classical Japanese, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, *Mongolian, *Tagalog, *Taiwanese, *Thai, *Vietnamese
Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
 Akkadian, Amharic, Arabic, Avestan/Old Persian, Egyptian, Hittite, Modern/Biblical Hebrew, Pali,
*Persian, *Turkish
Germanic Languages and Literatures
 Dutch, German, Yiddish, Swedish  
 *American Sign Language, *Irish Gaelic
Romance Languages
 Catalan, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese
Slavic Languages
 *Czech, *Hungarian, *Polish, Russian, *Ukrainian
South Asia Studies
 *Bengali, *Gujarati, Hindi, *Kannada, *Malayalam, *Marathi, *Punjabi, *Pashto, Sanskrit, *Tamil, *Telugu, *Urdu
*Offered through Penn Language Center
The Penn Language Center
In addition to the language courses offered as part of the degree programs in various majors, the unique institution of the Penn Language Center allows the University of Pennsylvania to offer a wide variety of less commonly taught languages, as well as other language courses for special purposes. While students often opt to continue to study the language they studied in high school, the wealth of languages that the University offers is such that many students decide to explore a new culture and area of our globe by beginning a foreign language that they have never before studied. The Penn Language Center can be an invaluable resource for such study.
Language Certificate Program
The language certificate is intended to provide an additional incentive for advanced work for students who want to study language beyond the level of competence established for the Language Requirement, but who do not have the time or the inclination to complete a major or minor. Completion of the certificate will be noted on the student’s transcript at the time of graduation.