Cultivate a deeper understanding of yourself and others through critical and creative interaction with languages, literatures, and cultures.

We read, we tell stories, and we study language to understand ourselves and the world around us. The UNI Department of Languages and Literatures gives our students the opportunity to be part of a vibrant intellectual and creative community – one that focuses on connecting them with new cultures, new knowledge and new ideas.

Through impactful experiences inside and outside the classroom, along with collaborative community partnerships, you’ll broaden your horizons and hone your professional skills.

Students in our department gain translating, writing and publishing experiences, which can be complemented by study abroad opportunities. These experiences, along with the skills gained through them, carry our students to successful careers in education, publishing, business, politics, media and beyond.

 

classroom
#1

In the state

for graduating future language arts teachers

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Top Ranked

Our nationally-ranked online TESOL MA program was placed in the top 25% of online masters in education programs in 2021 by U.S. News and World Report

95%

of UNI graduates

are employed or continuing their education within one year of graduation

Merging passion and purpose

Translation Services

Working with the local community is an important part of your experience here. Through different language classes, you will have the opportunity to engage with local immigrant and refugee communities to do things like teach adult English learners, provide after-school support to students, and participate in community activities.

one student tutoring another

Publish Your Work

Through our student-led magazine, Inner Weather, you’ll have the chance to publish your work for the world to see. Published annually, the magazine highlights fiction, nonfiction, poetry and artwork submitted by students, faculty and staff. To submit an article or volunteer for the Inner Weather team, visit the Inner Weather webpage.

Inner Weather 2021 Edition cover

Teaching Experiences

With a highly-regarded teacher preparation program, UNI is a great place to start your journey as an educator. All of our teaching majors undergo an extensive preparation program, including 750 hours of classroom instruction experience – all before graduation. To learn more about teaching at UNI, visit the Be A Teacher website.

A teacher sits at a table with several young students
a student performing at an open mic

Creative Writing

Whether your passion is in poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction, our creative writing minor allows you to work with published authors to develop your craft, and gain exposure to the world of literary publishing.

Cedar Falls boasts a vibrant arts and literary community. Students can attend readings by regionally and nationally-known figures, share their work at regular open mics, take part in poetry slams, and more. Many students volunteer or intern at the North American Review, America’s oldest literary magazine, which is housed at UNI. You can also publish your work, and edit submissions to our student literary magazine, Inner Weather

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

We, the Faculty of the Department of Languages and Literatures at the University of Northern Iowa, stand in solidarity with BIPOC communities and the call to end systemic racism. We acknowledge our own place in systems of oppression. Many of us work with languages connected to histories of colonial power, subjugation, settlement, slavery, and genocide. We cannot sanitize the narratives and linguistic power of our profession. We also acknowledge how neither our city nor our campus is especially welcoming to Black students or people of color. As we uphold peaceful protests, we also acknowledge that additional action and advocacy must happen.