What is a Critical Language?
A critical language is a language the US Government considers vital to national security and prosperity.
Texas Tech offers five critical languages at the undergraduate level: Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Russian. If you are interested in a career with the government, including organizations such as the FBI, CIA, Department of State, or if you want your resume to stand out, having studied a critical language will make a difference. There are also competitive scholarships available through the US government to study a critical language abroad.
Stand out from the crowd! Learn a critical language!
Sample list of US State organizations for which knowledge of a critical language is useful. (However, critical languages are important to all fields, not just governmental.)
- Department of Defense
- Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
- Department of State
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- National Security Agency (NSA)
- Defense Intelligence Agency
- National Virtual Translation Center
- Peace Corps
Funding Possibilities for the Study of Critical Languages
The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is a summer study abroad opportunity
for American college and university students to learn languages essential to America's
engagement with the world.
NSEP awards Boren Scholarships and Fellowships to America's future leaders - undergraduate and graduate students committed to long-term, overseas immersive language study and to public service. Boren Scholars and Fellows, authorized under the David L. Boren National Security Education Act (NSEA), as amended, P.L. 102-183, receive funding (up to $25,000 for Scholars and $25,000 for Fellows) to study the languages and cultures most critical to our nation's security.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program
If you are employed by a U.S. federal, state, local, or tribal government or not-for-profit organization, you might be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.
Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures
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