Languages & Cultural Studies

The School of Professional & Continuing Studies offers classes and programs focused on the study of languages and cultures.

Our classes and programs cover American and non-American languages, histories, politics, society and cultures. We generally offer classes in the following categories.

  • Languages: American Sign Language (ASL), English (for Non-Native Speakers), French, Italian, Spanish
  • History: Richmond history and cultural heritage
  • Cultural Enrichment: Classes designed especially for international au pairs
  • Politics and Government: Programs in Campaign Management and Grassroots Lobbying & Advocacy

Our Languages & Cultural Studies classes and programs seek to extend the values and resources of a liberal arts education into studying domestic and international cultural norms, politics, influence, values and languages.

The selections listed in the tabs below represent a portion of what we have to offer. Additional listings are available and include a wide range of classes.


In the tabs below, classes and programs include a registration link. For specific information on how to register for online classes, review the information in the Registering through Online Partners tab below. Procedures differ slightly by partner, but may all be completed online.

Programming Levels

In our Professional Education & Enrichment areas of study, we seek to provide a selection of coursework and programs that meet different enrichment and workforce levels of study. Each is described below:

  • Career-curious and enrichment: Designed to explore a career or expand an interest
  • Career-level: Designed to build skills or shift to a new career
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  • Career-Curious & Enrichment Programs



    Beginning Conversational French

    Online: Prepare for your next trip to France by mastering the basics of conversational French. This course will provide you with proper pronunciation of French words that you’ll use in your travels as well as cultural tips including appropriate gestures and body language. Instructor-led (start dates vary) or self-paced (three months access) through ed2go.

    Conversational Japanese

    Online: Prepare for your next trip to Japan by mastering the basics of conversational Japanese. This course, taught by a native Japanese instructor, will provide you with useful words phrases for conversing with easy and unique cultural insights from a native Japanese instructor. Instructor-led (start dates vary) or self-paced (three months access) through ed2go.

    Discover Sign Language

    Online: Gain confidence in your ability to sign with the Deaf community. This course immerses you in silence to help you gain an understanding of the perspective of the hearing impaired and uses videos to demonstrate not only how to make signs, but how to communicate with facial expression. Instructor-led (start dates vary) or self-paced (three months access) through ed2go.

    English Fundamentals: English “The American Way”

    Online: Explores English “The American Way,” a combined skills course designed to improve basic and intermediate levels of communication in all four skill areas of English: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students will practice new vocabulary in writing and speaking as well as increase listening and reading comprehension. Instructor-led (start dates vary) through SPCS.

    French Level I

    Online: Explores the fundamentals of the French language, equipping you with a range of common French phrases and expressions. Interact with our instructor and enjoy real-time feedback as you build skills for personal or professional use. Through fun and effective lessons, with a good grounding in grammar, students will practice listening comprehension and pronunciation. Offered in live online sessions. Instructor-led (start dates vary) through SPCS.

    Italian: Beginner Level II

    Online: This Beginner Level II course is a continuation of our Italian Level I. It presents a practical approach to learning Italian, with an eye on basic grammar and syntax. This class is designed for students 18 and older. Students should be prepared to purchase an affordable book to be announced. Instructor-led (start dates vary) through SPCS.

    Spanish Level I

    Online: Explore the basics of pronunciation, greetings, and vocabulary for beginners. Live sessions with slide presentations provided. Weekly assignments reinforce vocabulary and essential grammar. Ideal for students who are new to the language, or who want to review the fundamentals and build confidence in conversational skills. Instructor-led (start dates vary) through SPCS.

    Cultural Studies & Enrichment

    Au Pair Education Programs

    Online: UR Au Pair at the University of Richmond School of Professional & Continuing Studies (SPCS) is a program designed to help international au pairs fulfill their required annual educational credits while immersing themselves in the rich cultural traditions of Richmond, Virginia. Instructor-led (start dates vary) through SPCS. Look for these options:


  • Career-Level Programs

    Politics & Government

    Grassroots Lobbying & Advocacy Professional Certificate

    On-campus: Covers the history of lobbying and examines how the legislative process works, key tactics used by groups in order to promote different issues, building coalitions, relationship building and ethical concerns in lobbying and advocacy efforts. Instructional-team led (start dates vary) through SPCS.

    Political Campaign Management Professional Certificate

    On-campus: As a nonpartisan program featuring instructors and guest speakers from both sides of the aisle, the Political Campaign Management Professional Certificate focuses on ethical campaigning and producing professionals who raise the discourse of our politics. Instructional-team led (start dates vary) through SPCS.