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When you know a foreign language, you add value to your employer. You’re a good listener. You know how to write. And, you have strong communication skills.
But you are only as good as your degree. With shady online programs popping up, it’s important to find a reputable and accredited degree.
In this article, we profile 20 most affordable online language degrees. The schools offer dedicated distance learning support services and regional accreditation. They also offer foreign language studies that help you practice your language through:
- Study abroad experiences with native speakers
Few online foreign language programs exist, but they are out there if you know where to look.
Online Foreign Language Programs Methodology
To find the 20 most affordable online foreign language schools, we started with over 60 colleges and universities. These schools offered at least one online foreign language program. But to narrow our pool of schools, we verified accreditation.
We then selected schools that cost less than $21,000/year. We gathered tuition information from NCES College Navigator. We then ranked our selection of schools by raw affordability. The most affordable school and foreign language program earns a #1 spot on our list.
Read on to find the top foreign language degrees.
#20 – Mercy College
Online Spanish Degree
Dobbs Ferry, New York
Undergraduate Tuition: $20,558
Mercy College is a great school for a foreign language degree online. It offers an accredited Bachelor of Arts in Spanish degree program.
This program is for online students interested in Spanish language fluency and culture. It helps you improve your Spanish speaking and listening skills. It also helps improve your writing skills.
You take online education courses that prepare you for teaching opportunities. They combine bilingualism with a foundation in liberal arts. Language classes also prepare you for careers in:
- Health care
- Social work
#19 – Oregon State University
Online Degree in Spanish
Undergraduate Tuition: $11,858
OSU is an accredited school with a bachelor degree in languages. It offers an online bachelor’s degree in Spanish that helps improve speaking skills.
The program consists of 180 credits, which you can transfer in from other accredited institutions. Of these credits, 45 make up Spanish major classes.
In these classes, you study different culture and language topics. They prepare you for a variety of careers. And should you plan to go to grad school? Online courses prepare you for graduate-level foreign language education. Your classes include:
- Cultures of Latin America
- Cultures of Spain and Portugal
- Spanish conversation
- Spanish for business
OSU ranks with U.S. News. Its current rankings include #162 in best national universities.
#18 – Ohio State University
Online Romance Studies Degree
Undergraduate Tuition: $11,518
The Ohio State University is a great school for an online French degree or another language. It offers a major in Romance languages for students interested in:
While you don’t need a background in these languages, previous experience helps. With past school coursework or living in another country, you can take a placement exam. If you pass, you can skip courses. You can finish your foreign languages degree in three semesters through previous language experience.
The school ranks with major publications. U.S. News and World Report ranks it #48 in best national universities.
#17 – Arizona State University
Online Spanish Degree
Undergraduate Tuition: $11,338
Arizona State University offers online language degrees. It has a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish degree program. It is for those interested in Spanish or Latin American society.
This program exposes you to different Spanish-related topics. You learn about language and culture. You also learn how to improve your Spanish speaking skills.
You take classes like:
- Advanced Spanish for bilinguals
- Introduction to linguistics
- Old and new Spaniards (culture and civilization of Spain)
You also complete 120 credits to earn your foreign languages degree. When you graduate, you’re ready for work in a Spanish language field. You are also ready for graduate school.
The accredited school ranks with U.S. News. Its current rankings include #117 in best national universities. It also ranks #6 in best online degree programs.
#16 – Indiana University
Online Degree in Spanish
Undergraduate Tuition: $11,221
Indiana University is a great school for a 100% online language degree. It offers a bachelor’s degree in Spanish with career tracks.
Since Spanish is the official language of more than 20 countries, you get career readiness from earning this degree. You can follow four job tracks, including:
- Spanish for Business
- Spanish for Medical Communication
- Spanish for Travel and Tourism
- Spanish for U.S. Culture
Each track requires at least 120 credits. But you can transfer up to 60 credits from other programs and institutions. When you graduate, you may find work in your area of focus.
The accredited school also ranks with U.S. News and World Report. It currently ranks #68 in best national schools.
#15 – California University of Pennsylvania
Online Arabic Language and Cultures Degree
Undergraduate Tuition: $11,108
The California University of Pennsylvania is a great place for a foreign language degree. It offers undergraduate degrees in Arabic language and cultures.
Taught online, the degree is for foreign language students wanting to learn Arabic language and culture. It caters to those looking for related careers.
In this program, you learn from native speakers. You focus on modern standard Arabic. But you also cover courses in Levantine and Egyptian dialects.
The language degree online options allow you to work or tend to a busy life while going to school. But you don’t sacrifice language practice when learning online. You meet with groups of students to practice what you learn in class.
The school ranks with major publications like U.S. News. Its ranking include #131-#171 in best regional schools in the North.
#14 – University of North Alabama
Online Bachelor in Spanish
Undergraduate Tuition: $10,620
The University of North Alabama is a good choice for students seeking online foreign language degree programs. It offers a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish degree program.
Depending on your goals, the program has three different pathways. You can earn a general education degree or a concentration in:
- Language and culture
- Spanish commerce
You also take a series of electives. Foreign language students must complete a minimum of 120 credit hours to earn the language degree online. But you can transfer credits with prior approval.
The school ranks #27 in best regional universities in the South by U.S. News.
#13 – University of Arkansas
Online Interdisciplinary Studies Degree
Undergraduate Tuition: $9,384
University of Arkansas is a great school for online foreign language degrees. It offers a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies. It also offers minors in:
- African and African American Studies
In the Spanish program, you learn advanced Spanish. You also learn grammar. You take classes that cover cultural readings and Latin American civilization.
The program consists of 120 credits, but you can transfer some from another college.
The school is accredited and ranked. Current U.S. News and World Report rankings include:
- #162 in best national universities
- #168 in best value schools
- #21 in best online programs (undergrad)
#12 – University of Louisiana
Online French Degree
Undergraduate Tuition: $9,070
Students who choose this degree path enter career fields in:
- Foreign Service
- Translation and interpretation
- Travel and tourism
As a top rated school, ULM ranks with major publications like U.S. News. Its current rankings include:
- #299-#391 in best national universities
- #156-#209 in top public schools
Its online undergrad programs also rank #246 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.
#11 – Troy University
Online Interpreter Training Degree
Undergraduate Tuition: $8,908
Troy University has a specialized language degree to become an ASL interpreter. It offers an ASL/English interpretation program.
In this program, you become a certified ASL interpreter. You can follow two different tracks toward certification. These tracks include:
- Internship track
- Master mentor track
The master mentor track is for already certified interpreters. You get more training that qualifies you for national designation. You also complete your training with a certificate as a master mentor.
Due to its strong academics, there is a 97% employment rate for those who graduate. The accredited school also ranks with U.S. News and World Report. Its current rankings include #44 in Southern universities. It also ranks #18 in top public schools.
#10 – Northern State University
Online Bachelor in Spanish
Aberdeen, South Dakota
Undergraduate Tuition: $8,750
NSU is a great school for foreign language degrees online. It offers a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish degree program.
This program prepares you to speak and write in Spanish. It also prepares you with skills needed in business, teaching, and travel. Online students also have access to a four-week study-abroad experience in Santiago, Chile.
Students complete 120 credit hours. But you can transfer some credits from another institution to shorten your time. Of the 120 required credits, you must complete 32 designated program credits. You courses cover topics in:
- Conversation and grammar
- Integrated writing
- Intermediate Spanish
- Introduction to Latin American literature
- Introductory Spanish
NSU ranks with U.S. News and World Report. Its current rankings are #79 in best regional schools in the Midwest and #34 in best value schools.
#9 – University of Maryland Global Campus
Online East Asian Studies Degree
Undergraduate Tuition: $7,560
The University of Maryland Global Campus has online bachelors degree in foreign language programs. It offers a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies with language two focus areas.
You can focus your studies on China or Japan. In these focus tracks, you learn the culture, language, history, and politics of the East Asian region. You also take courses that cover topics like:
- Foundations of East Asian civilizations
- Introduction to modern East Asia
- Issues in East Asian studies
- Religions of the East
Students must complete 120 credits to earn their degree. But of the total credits, you can transfer up to 90. This helps shorten the time it takes to earn your degree.
#8 – Thomas Edison State University
Online International Studies Degree
Trenton, New Jersey
Undergraduate Tuition: $7,182
Thomas Edison State is a great school for bachelors in foreign language degrees. It offers a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies for students who want a broad learning experience.
The program teaches about the connections between global cultures and politics. It also gives you a global understanding through many different disciplines. Your courses cover topics in:
- Foreign language
In the foreign language component, you learn how to communicate. You also learn how to read, write, and speak in a foreign language. You get to choose which foreign language you want to study. Popular choices include French, German, Italian, and Spanish.
#7 – University of Alaska
Online Liberal Arts Degree
Undergraduate Tuition: $6,960
University of Alaska Southeast is a great school for those interested in different cultures. It highlights cultural aspects of a foreign language program. It offers a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts with a focus on Alaskan culture.
Students complete multidisciplinary curriculum with several elective courses. But they work with advisors to create a customized online program. They also take 6-8 credits of Alaska Native or another foreign language. The foreign language components takes one year to complete.
The accredited school ranks with U.S. News and World Report. Its recent rankings include#94 in regional universities in the West.
#6 – Eastern New Mexico University
Online Spanish Degree
Portales, New Mexico
Undergraduate Tuition: $6,648
Eastern New Mexico University is a good school for online language degrees. It offers a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish degree program that is 100% online.
The online program helps you learn how to read and write in Spanish. It also helps you improve your critical thinking skills, as you explore different topics in Spanish literature.
Students take courses like:
- Advanced composition
- Latin American culture and civilization
- Spanish heritage
ENMU also ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. Its recent rankings include #94-#122 in best regional schools in the West and #50-#66 in top public schools.
#5 – Valdosta State University
Online Bachelor in French – Language and Culture
Undergraduate Tuition: $6,583
Valdosta is an affordable school for a language degree. It offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in both French and Spanish.
The programs help you build mastery and competence in a foreign language. You take courses that strengthen your language skills. You also improve your reading and writing skills.
If you want to put your skills into practice, you can take part in a travel abroad experience. Each year, students travel to:
- Costa Rica
You complete a total of 120 credit hours, which you may transfer from an accredited school. But you must get prior approval.
The school ranks with U.S. News and World Report. Current rankings include #299-#391 in best national universities. It also ranks #156-#209 in top public schools.
#4 – Florida International University
Online Bachelor in Spanish
Undergraduate Tuition: $6,565
Florida International University offers an accredited online language degree. You can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish degree.
The program helps you learn how to speak and write in Spanish. It also helps improve your language and grammar through literature and assigned readings.
Students complete 120 credit hours by taking:
- General education classes
- Major courses
By the time you complete the program, you have language skills needed for a career or graduate school. You gain verbal communication skills. You also become an effective Spanish speaker.
The accredited school ranks with major publications. Its current rankings include #162 in best national universities. It also ranks #121 in best value schools.
#3 – University of Central Florida
Online Bachelor in Latin American Studies
Undergraduate Tuition: $6,368
The University of Central Florida is a great school for foreign language degrees. It offers a Bachelor of Arts in Latin American Studies degree you can learn online.
In this program, you gain a deep understanding of Latin culture. You also learn about different aspects of Latin America, such as:
- Human rights
- Popular culture
- Political economy
Students interested in language proficiency in Spanish or Portuguese can travel abroad. The school offers a study abroad experience. You get to travel to Spain or Portugal, where you immerse yourself in the culture.
UCF ranks with U.S. News and World Report. Its current rankings include #148 in national universities.
#2 – Fort Valley State University
Online Bachelor in Organizational Leadership – Spanish for Professionals
Fort Valley, Georgia
Undergraduate Tuition: $5,832
Fort Valley State is a great school for Spanish degrees. It offers Bachelor of Arts and Sciences degrees in organizational leadership. This degree has a concentration in Spanish for Professionals.
The concentration is for students seeking leadership roles that want fluency in Spanish. You learn how to speak Spanish at an advanced level. You also learn various aspects of Spanish culture.
The program prepares you for business jobs that seek Spanish speaking skills. But you also get a deep understanding of Latinx communities and people.
The accredited school also ranks with U.S. News and World Report. Its recent rankings include #9 in top social mobility performers.
#1 – Fort Hays State University
Online Bachelor in Foreign Language – Spanish
Undergraduate Tuition: $5,430
Fort Hays State is an affordable school for a foreign language degree. It offers a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Language degree with a Spanish concentration.
If you’re interested in teaching Spanish, there is an option to earn a dual degree in education and Spanish. You take online courses that cover topics like:
- Beginning Spanish
- Foundations of Education
- Intermediate Spanish
- Latin-American civilization
- Spanish civilization
Your courses prepare you for work as language teachers in either elementary or secondary education.
FHSU ranks with U.S. News and World Report. Its rankings include:
- #108 in best regional universities in the Midwest
- #36 in top public schools
- #107 in best online bachelor’s programs
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I do with an online foreign language degree?
There are many different jobs for foreign language majors and those who’ve learned a second language. But the Bureau of Labor Statistics says health teachers are the top occupation. Other top-employing occupations for foreign language degree holders include:
- Accountants and auditors
- Elementary school teachers
- Post-secondary school teachers
- Secondary school teachers
If you’re interested in teaching, you can use your foreign language degree to launch a career. The job outlook is favorable and should offer good prospects over the next ten years for those with a foreign language education.
BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) reports a 12% job growth for postsecondary teachers through 2030. This rate is much faster than other occupations. Why? Because there is a growing need to replace workers who exit the labor force. About 140,000 openings for postsecondary teachers should result each year.
Kindergarten and elementary school teachers will see a 7% job growth over the next decade. While not as high as other teachers, the rate is still favorable.
But if you’re not interested in a teaching career, there are other options. You can put your foreign language degree to work in business and management. You can also land a job as an interpreter. Other jobs include:
- Interpretation services officials
- Management analysts
- Social workers
How much money can I earn with an online degree in a foreign language?
Foreign language online degree programs can offer strong wages after completion. Foreign language teachers earn an average of $69,920/year. The lowest 10% of earners make $40,970/year on average. But the highest 10% see close to $136,000/year.
There are top-paying industries for teachers with an online degree in a second language. These include:
- Junior colleges
- Professional schools
In junior colleges, there are about 4,700 foreign language and literature teachers. They earn earn $96,440/year on average. But in colleges, universities, and professional schools, these teachers earn $76,950/year.
Teachers prepare online students for the future. Because of this, their jobs tend to be stable. But pay fluctuates depending on where they work. If you want to see the best earnings after you graduate from a bachelor’s degree program in a foreign language online education program, teach at a junior college. It is there that you should see the best earnings. You also get the best return on investment from your online program.
What is the job outlook for an online education in foreign languages?
Earning an online degree in a second language helps in many different industries. You can work in:
- Employment services
- Social services
You can also work as a postsecondary teacher with second language skills. Your language courses should help you land a job where there is growth. Postsecondary teachers should see a 12% job growth over the next ten years. This is a strong and stable growth that means you should find work after college.
Interpreters and translators also show favorable job growth. Over the next decade, this occupation should see a 24% growth in jobs. But since the national average for job growth is 8%, both careers offer strong growth.
Labor Statistics reports 10,400 openings for interpreters and translators each year. The spike in job growth will occur as a result of the need to replace workers who exit the labor force. If you retire, employers must fill your job vacancy. But some languages are in demand. The BLS reports demand for translators in these languages:
Demand is also high for translators and interpreters of Arabic and Asian foreign languages. It is also high for indigenous languages from Mexico and Central America.
Since there are different jobs you can get with degrees in foreign languages, it’s good to know where demand is the highest.
What foreign language online programs are in-demand?
In-demand foreign language programs offer favorable job outlooks and strong earnings potential. Below are several in-demand foreign language majors.
Arabic has gained popularity as a top foreign language to learn. Over 300 million people speak Arabic. Because of this, the language has grown in presence in schools.
Geopolitical shifts and growing Middle East economies have also made this language popular. Industries that hire Arabic speakers include:
- National security
- Nonprofit sector
If your plan is to go into business, you might want to learn Chinese. Knowing Mandarin can set you apart from your competition. Industries that hire Chinese speakers include:
- Global marketing
French is a popular major among foreign languages. It is the official language of many international organizations. From Amnesty International to Doctors Without Borders, these organizations hire French speakers.
Industries seeking French speakers include:
- Hospitality and tourism
In the United States, Spanish is by far one of the most popular languages studied in college. It is a useful language to learn because it’s spoken in major cities like Los Angeles or Houston.
Industries that hire Spanish speakers include:
What skills help you get a job in a foreign language field?
By completing a foreign language online degree, you gain skills most people don’t have. You can communicate in a second language. You can also understand when others speak in a foreign language. The skills you gain in online courses transfer from the classroom to the workplace.
But what skills help you land a job?
Instructors, postsecondary teachers, and translators have certain skills. If you have foreign language skills, you’re even more valuable to an employer.
Foreign language teachers must have a strong command of the language they teach. Online programs prepare you with grammar and syntax skills. They also give you knowledge of the history and culture of the language you’re learning. In these programs, you learn how to communicate in all forms. You get both written and oral mastery over accents and dialects.
Online programs also help you learn to work well with students when motivating classroom learning. Let’s face it, good teachers must be expert communicators.
So, what better way to show a potential employer how well you communicate by getting a foreign language education in:
- Spanish education
- Spanish language
To work in other jobs like translation, you need soft skills like:
It’s important to remember your job is to help others. Doing so takes hard work and a willingness to see others succeed.
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