Foreign Language major


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Sep 16, 2008
Anyone on ROTC scholarship (any service) with a foreign language major? Questions for ya.....

1. What language?
2. How's it goin? Ya know, do you like it or do you regret choosing that for a major? Is it hard like engineering?
3. Some foreign language degree programs require you to do 1-2 semesters abroad in the country of your major. How can ya do that if you're in ROTC? No detachments in foreign colleges.
4. When you graduate, will your job relate to the language that you studied or do they just give you any officer job based on the needs of the service? Navy has this Restricted and Non-restricted Line Officer term that I'm not quite clear about in regards to ROTC graduates.

Thanx much in advance!
1. Spanish (with a double minor in International Studies and Leadership Studies)

2. I love it. To be honest, it's been the perfect match for me.

Is it hard like engineering? No. It's hard like a foreign language. They're two completely different disciplines, so you can't really compare them, and the required courses for your major will be completely dependent on the school you go to. If you go to a big name liberal arts school, the language program will probably be a heck of a lot more difficult than its counterpart at a big name school that throws all its money and resources into engineering and technology.

I catch on quickly when it comes to foreign languages, but I really struggle with math and hard sciences. So for me personally, majoring in Spanish is easier than majoring in engineering would be. Because I found a major that complements my academic strengths, I've been able to do decently in school, instead of failing out. :)

3. If you haven't chosen a school yet, talk to the officers in all potential detachments. See what their policies are. I spent a semester abroad, and AROTC basically told me to do it spring semester of MSII year. It's hard to study abroad MSIII year and still go to camp that summer. One of my classmates had just contracted when he studied abroad spring semester of MSIII year, but he wasn't taking the MSIII classes, so he would have been a Campbound MSIV this year anyway.

The other branches have different structures, though. I believe AFROTC does their field training during the summer between sophomore and junior year (unlike how AROTC does it between junior and senior year), so they probably recommend against studying abroad during your sophomore year.

My AROTC batallion is really supportive of studying abroad. Those of us who did it completed MS-210 by correspondence.

4. Just like other majors, it will ultimately depend on the needs of the service. You'll likely go through the same job selection process as all of your peers. I know a lot of language majors who want to go Army Intel, but it's tough to get Intel as a 2LT (most transfer in as CPTs these days).

Depending on the language and your level of proficiency, you may be eligible for a bonus once you commission.

In the end, your best bet for accurate, up-to-date information will be the recruiting officers at the ROTC units you're looking at.
I would truly suggest if you are going to major in foreign language be smart and get one with a high demand, Persian, Russian, Chinese, Korean, etc. All AFROTC scholarships must take 3 semesters and our DS is doing Persian. If you look they do pay bonuses for certain foreign languages and plus if you do 5 and dive you will be able to find a good job as an interpreter if it is in one of those languages.