Philosophy, Languages, & Religious Studies

Contact Information

phone: (716) 839-7677


Mark Warren
(716) 839-7677

Degree Offered

PLEASE NOTE:   There are multiple pathways to dual and double degrees with language and another discipline.   See the Modern Language website (Program Highlights) for options and information.


Mission Statement

The Department of Philosophy, Languages, and Religious Studies is primarily a service department committed to supporting the core curriculum and contributing to close professional and collaborative relationships in the university community.   It supports the core by providing core electives, by actively participating in learning communities, and by supporting service learning.  It contributes to collaborative relationships by supporting programs (especially the Honors Program) and majors (especially in the Health Sciences).

Additionally, our mission is to prepare our students to meet the demands and expectations of linguistic and intercultural competency for university graduates entering the workforce where appreciation and understanding of diverse perspectives merge with the linguistic abilities that offer them short and long-term viability in a variety of professions. We advocate the study of language through culture and culture through language via coursework that concentrates on Language and Linguistics, Literature and Culture. We promote skills development through emphasis on Interpretive (reading, writing), Interpersonal (person-to-person communication, and Presentational (writing, speaking) communication through exploration of the Perspective, Practices, and Products of the communities that speak the language of study, with World-Readiness Standards (Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, Communities) interwoven into the curriculum.

Information for Philosophy and Religious Studies Pathways:

Learning Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  1. Identify ethical issues and distinguish them from other sorts of issues and other interpretive frameworks.
  2. Recognize the complexity of multiple ethical perspectives.
    • Identify their own point of view, and the culture in which it developed, or family/religious/societal influences on their ethical perspective.
    • Recognize other points of view and discuss them with empathy and respect.
    • Offer a critique of a variety of different perspectives.
  3. Examine evidence in a thoughtful and informed way.
  4. Construct a well-reasoned argument.

Information for Languages Pathways:

Our students are able to combine their love of language and culture with the coursework and internships that lead to professional success.  The Modern Languages Department offers three innovative tracks for majors:

  • An Education Track for those who seek adolescent education certification in languages other than English.  Education Track students working toward provisional secondary certification have coursework, observation, and practice in classroom methodology and technology.
  • A Professional Track for those with an interest in applying their language and cultural fluency to their career.  Professional Track students participate in an internship Junior and/or Senior year – locally, during their study abroad experience, or during a semester with the Washington Internship Institute.
  • Dual-Degree BS/Double-Major BA Track in language and another discipline.  Studies show an increasing desire among students and employers for preparation in a specific field of study coupled with proficiency in one or more languages other than English.

Regardless of which track is chosen, our students are strongly encouraged to complete an external Language Testing and Assessment prior to graduation.

Daemen University General Education Curriculum

All degree programs require completion of the General Education Curriculum. A complete description of the GE curriculum and its requirements is available in the General Education Curriculum section of the Daemen catalog. Courses that satisfy a GE requirement will have such a designation indicated after the course title.

Most of the courses offered through the Modern Languages Department are GE Courses. Students looking for interesting ways to examine the GE learning outcomes may accomplish this through the content we offer.  We invite all students to explore our course offerings delivered in Spanish, French, and English.

Further information about +Plus programs is available from the Modern Languages Department on the +Plus program Catalog page.

Language Content Courses

Major: 37 credits

15 credits in courses designated as Language & Linguistics
15 credits in courses designated as Literature & Culture

4 Credits Senior Project Sequence (442 = 1 credit, 443 = 3 credits)

3 Credits Internship


All Majors are required to complete one 3-credit internship; two are recommended.  Internships may be local, regional, national, or international. Placement is based on career-specific interests and objectives of the individual major. Opportunities through the Washington Internship Institute and study abroad internships approved by the department satisfy this requirement.

Service Learning

Daemen University graduates complete a service learning experience.  The Department of Modern Languages offers FRE/SPA service learning opportunities.  Placements may be local, regional, national, or international.  Courses are  FRE/SPA 299, 399, 499.

Secondary Language

All majors are required to demonstrate a minimum level of intermediate proficiency in a language other than the major language of study.  Our majors are strongly encouraged to pursue advanced-level courses in their second foreign language in order to increase each student’s marketability. The requirement may be satisfied through the completion of university-level coursework or the successful completion of a proficiency examination.

International Experience

All majors are required to complete an international experience in a country where the student’s major language is an official language. Majors should complete one long-term experience (minimum of one semester but preferably one year).  Dual degree/double majors may choose 2 short-term experiences (inter-semester and/or summer terms), the combination of which must total a minimum of 7 weeks of experience.

Most study abroad programs require a minimum GPA of 3.0 in language courses.

Courses taken abroad must be approved by the Modern Languages Department. Official transcripts from the universities abroad must be sent directly to the Registrar’s Office at Daemen University. All students must visit the Global Programs Office for information, advice, and clearance.
Note: Depending upon how the study abroad experience is structured it might be applied as progress in Language & Linguistics courses, Literature & Culture courses, Service Learning, or Internship.  12-15 credits required in the major are to be fulfilled through Study Abroad.

Senior Project

All majors complete a senior project. In the first part of the sequence, FRE/SPA 442 (1 credit) students select the topic for research and make substantial progress under the direction of the Modern Language faculty members.  Students may not enroll in the second part of the sequence, FRE/SPA 443(3 credits), until they have successfully passed 442.  In 443, students complete their project, demonstrating mastery of the language in the context of literary, cultural studies, or professional applications. Students present their work, in the target language, in a public defense.
Note: ALL 443 projects must reflect work completed in 442; substantial changes in topic or content may require a student to repeat 442 before enrolling in 443.

Note:  In order to be fully prepared to enter the teaching profession, student-teacher candidates must showcase their preparedness in the 442-443 sequence prior to approval/recommendation for student teaching.

Admission Requirements

Enrollment at the appropriate course level will be determined by previous foreign language instruction and/or interview with the Modern Languages Department. In general, students will be placed in courses in language studies according to the following guidelines.  However, students may request advice on their proficiency levels, from the Modern Language faculty, to ensure the best placement.

  • Placement in course 101: No previous language experience or  1-2 years of middle or high school language study.
  • Placement in course 102: Credit for college-level Elementary  Language I study, or 3-4 years of high school language study, with an average of 80% or above.  A passing grade in Daemen College 101.
  • Placement in course 105: Credit for college-level Elementary Language II, or 3-4 years of high school language study, with an average of 80% or above. A passing grade in Daemen College 102.
  • Placement in course 106:  Credit for college-level Intermediate Language I with an average of 85% or above. A passing grade in Daemen College 105.
  • Placement in 200-level courses or above: 4+ years of middle and high school language study with an average of 85% or above.  A passing grade in Daemen College 106.
  • Heritage Speakers are likely to be placed at the 200 level or above.

Any student with questions concerning placement is urged to consult with the Department Chair.

If a student is interested in majoring in French or Spanish but needs to complete courses at the 100 level, up to 6 credits of coursework may be credited as Free Electives taken in the major; any additional credits completed will be over and above the minimum program requirements.  Please note that coursework in the major language at the 100 level does not count toward completion of the major.

Admission to Upper Division

By April 1st of the second semester of the sophomore year, the student is required to make an application in writing to the Modern Languages Chair for admission to the upper division. Normally the student should have accrued at least 6 hours of credit at the 200 level or above before applying to upper division.

  • Overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.0.
  • A grade point average (GPA) of 2.80 in major language courses.
  • Progress towards demonstrated proficiency through the intermediate level of a second foreign language.
  • Study Abroad plan for junior or senior year must be approved by the Modern Languages Department and the Global Programs Office.  Most Study Abroad programs require a 3.0 GPA for admission.

Admission to Upper Division – Adolescence Education majors

  1. An overall grade point average of 2.75 or better for all completed university courses.
  2. A grade point average of 2.75 or better in all education courses (ECSE, EDU & SED prefix).
  3. For Modern Language Students:  Most Study Abroad programs require a 3.0 GPA, in language courses, for admission.
  4. A Dispositional Interview
  5. Compile and submit, for Education Department faculty review, a comprehensive emerging e-portfolio, the contents of which include the following exhibits: artifacts, facsimiles, projects, and grades. Projects must be scanned originals submitted to the professors and, therefore, include the professors’ comments/ corrections/annotations.
  • A researched, scholarship-based paper submitted for EDU 203.
  • An outline of an instructional unit, including a fully designed 3-lesson learning segment, prepared for EDU 237.
  • A researched, scholarship-based paper submitted for SED 270.
  • A written emerging professional resume.
  • A written emerging philosophy of education.
  • A written emerging, comprehensive, reflective narrative detailing perception of current status, skills gained during coursework, targets or goals for continuing professional development, and expectations for the future (i.e., intended career choice).
  • A completed Disposition Self-Assessment (DSA) containing narrative reflection showing examples to support the ranking of each of the criteria.

The absence of any of these items or an overall GPA lower than 2.75 will constitute an incomplete submission, and the portfolio will not be accepted for review. If you are missing assignments, please see your advisor before the submission date to seek advice about your options.

  1. Traditionally admitted students (non-transfer students) who are seeking admission to upper division status must apply by March 19th of the second year of study.
  2. Transfer students must apply by March 19 during the semester in which they are completing EDU 267 or ECSE 280. Transfer students who enter Daemen University with an associate degree must submit a portfolio that includes an emerging professional resume, a written emerging philosophy of education, a comprehensive reflective narrative, and, if available, artifacts from comparable courses taken at other institutions, indicating where they were taken and the grade earned.
  3. In the event of a resubmission due to extenuating circumstances approved by the department chair, the GPA will be considered closed as of the end of the spring semester. The review process will be complete by August 31  before the start of the new fall semester.

Requirements For Admission To Student Teaching (Adolescence Education Majors)

  1. An overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.75.
  2. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 in one’s major language.  For Modern Language Students:  Most Study Abroad programs require a 3.0 GPA, in language courses, for admission.
  3. Application for Student Teaching, usually at the end of the third year.
  4. Recommendation for student teaching from the Chairs of both the Education and Modern Languages Departments.
  5. Study Abroad must be fulfilled.
  6. FRE/SPA443 Senior Project must be completed before the student teaching semester.   443 Projects must reflect work completed in 442. Substantial changes might require a student to repeat 442 before enrolling in 443.
  7. It is strongly recommended that the student teacher candidate take and pass the required Teacher Certification Exams and the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) before student teaching begins.  In addition, students are strongly advised to complete New York State’s Bilingual Education Assessment (BEA).

Graduation Requirements

An overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.00.

Teacher Certification Majors: Minimum GPA of 2.75.

Specific Requirements Based on Track Chosen:

All majors are admitted into Upper Division through the application process described above.

Dual Degree/Double Majors – Students on this track automatically have a content area specialization through the declaration of the dual degree/double major.  Typically the dual/double area specialization fulfills free elective courses.

Professional Track Majors – Students choose at least one disciplinary minor or one interdisciplinary +Plus pathway.  This choice should be made based on clearly established career goals. While only one minor is required, many students choose multiple minors. Note: Some courses required of a +Plus or a discipline-based minor may have prerequisites. Courses that carry a competency may be credited under core electives or free electives.

Adolescence Education Track – FRE/SPA BA

All adolescent education majors must be admitted into the Education Department through the upper-division application process described above. No student may pursue this major without meeting the Education Department’s requirements. Students must specify BA-French or BA-Spanish.

Note: A student who has earned a B- or less in EDU 237/L in the first two attempts will not be allowed to pursue the teacher certification program. Students must have a minimum of a 2.8 in their major language for Modern Language approval for student-teacher candidacy.  In addition, grades in their major language courses must demonstrate improvement as the student progresses through the program. 

Additional Information

  • Official transcripts from a foreign institution must be sent directly to the Daemen University Registrar to ensure credit approval.
  • Additional courses to satisfy certification requirements to prepare those who wish to teach modern languages at the secondary level are offered through the Education Department.
  • Bilingual or multilingual students may meet the foreign language requirement for some Daemen degrees.  Access the following link for details or contact the Modern Languages Department: Languages Other Than English.