United States Air Force Academy

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Different Languages for Different Visions


Female cadets at classroom table

Beyond helping you understand cultures and broadening your worldview, studying a foreign language can influence your career. Our global Air Force mission not only demands increased foreign language capability to support national security strategies but also provides challenging assignment opportunities for those looking for experience and diversification. By speaking a foreign language, you become an ambassador—helping shape the opinions that others have of our country and its armed forces…a crucial role in our increasingly interdependent world.

Cadets can study Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian or Spanish—eight of the most important languages in the world. Within each language, there is a broad spectrum of courses, ranging from language skills development to culture, history and literature. Cadets can further their skills development and exploration of other cultures through the Academy’s International Education Programs.

To earn the Foreign Language minor, cadets must complete five language courses beyond the 100-level, in residence, in the same language with a grade of ‘C’ or better, complete the requirements for their major, and take the Defense Language Proficiency Test (DLPT). Cadets who advance place at or above the 300 level may count two of the validated upper-level courses toward the minor and only take three courses in residence. ForArStu 400 and ForArStu 401 (credit earned for study abroad programs) can also fill course requirements for the minor.


Skills Development Courses

  • For Lang 131/132 – Introduction to the Language, Culture, and Civilization
  • For Lang 151/152 – Accelerated Basic: Foundational Language, Culture and Civilization
  • For Lang 221 – Intermediate I: Refinement of Language Skills
  • For Lang 222 – Intermediate II: Continued Development of Language Skills
  • For Lang 321 – Advanced I: Capstone Course for Skills Development
  • For Lang 322 – Advanced II: Follow-on Capstone Course for Skills Development

Enhancement Courses

  • For Lang 365 – Civilization and Culture (contemporary issues)
  • For Lang 370 – Specialized courses in German, French, Spanish and Japanese
  • For Lang 376 – Introduction to Literature
  • For Lang 491 – Specialized Language Course (advanced readings)
  • For Lang 492 – Semester Exchange Program Preparation
  • For Lang 495 – Special Topics
  • For Lang 499 – Independent Study (normally offered to cadets who have completed all courses)
  • Enhancement courses may be taken out of sequence with department approval.
Fall Spring Fall Spring Fall Spring
Arabic 131 132 221 222 321 322
Chinese 131 132 221 222 321 322
French 131 132 221 222 321 322
German 131 132 221 222 321 322
Japanese 131 132 221 222 321 322
Portuguese 131 / 151 132 / 152 221 / 321 222 / 322 321 322
Russian 131 132 221 222 321 322
Spanish 131 132 221 222 321 322

For full program requirements and course descriptions, download the current Curriculum Handbook.


Validation and transfer credit is considered when cadets enter the Academy. Cadets may receive transfer credit for AP courses or courses taken at a previous college or university. Before classes start incoming cadets prioritize the languages they would like to study, as well as take a placement test to determine the appropriate course level. Cadets who score well enough can earn validation and transfer credit for existing language skills.


Dr. Robert Carriedo
Director of Academics
(719) 333-8648