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About Vietnamese

Vietnamese has the most speakers of all the languages in the Austroasiatic languages and is spoken throughout the world.  Vietnamese ranks number six in terms of languages spoken in the United States with approximately 1.5 million speakers.

Vietnamese courses introduce students to the Vietnamese language, spoken by the population of Vietnam and also throughout the world, most notable in East and Southeast Asia, North America Australia, and Western Europe. Vietnamese has been officially recognized as a minority language in the Czech Republic! Students will not only learn the language but will also gain a preliminary understanding of the culture and history of Vietnam.  For graduate students wanting to study the language, there are also graduate-level courses available.


University of Utah students can complete the BA language requirement with Vietnamese or choose to major or minor in Asian Studies with Vietnamese as their language.


The Asian Studies major is designed to provide students with language and cultural competence in a region of Asia (China, Japan, Korea, Russia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia) that can become the foundation for careers in public affairs, public service, business, and many other fields. Students pursuing the major may study Vietnamese as their language and also choose Southeast Asia as their area of focus.



The Asian Studies minor is designed to be paired with another major in a discipline, so that students can combine discipline-specific skills with a degree of language and cultural competency. Students pursuing the major may study Vietnamese as their language.


Vietnamese Courses

All language classes are offered in a series beginning in the Fall semester (1010 and 2010) and concluding in the Spring semester (1020 and 2020).  Students can complete the BA language requirement and the language requirement for the Asian Studies Major with Vietnamese. The courses can also count as electives for the Asian Studies Major and Minor if Vietnamese is a second foreign language.

First-semester Vietnamese for students who have no previous experience with the language. Students must receive a grade of C- or higher to continue in the series. This course develops listening and reading strategies with an emphasis on oral and written forms of communication.

Credits: 4

Second-semester Vietnamese. This course continues to develop listening and reading strategies with an emphasis on oral and written forms of communication.

Credits: 4

Third-semester Vietnamese. Continued emphasis on listening and speaking skills with an increased emphasis on reading and writing skills as well as the culture of the Vietnamese speaking world.

Credits: 4

Fourth-semester Vietnamese. Maintains a strong emphasis on listening and speaking skills. Through readings of more extensive texts and informal writing as a support for speaking, it develops oral fluency toward narration/elaboration and paragraph-length discourse.

Credits: 4

Fifth-semester Vietnamese. Continued development of skills in areas at the paragraph level. Students begin learning to comprehend written and spoken Vietnamese through both edited and authentic written and spoken Vietnamese.

Credits: 3

Transition class to upper division grammar. Emphasis on oral production through discussion of topics drawn from texts and other media. Native-speaking students or those who have acquired proficiency through extended residence (e.g. native speakers, military service, LDS missions) are ineligible to take this class.

Credits: 3

This course is for graduate students who must enroll in a course 5000 or higher. It is in place of the lower-division language courses. Graduate students should enroll in this course and attend the section of Vietnamese that they intend to take, and inform the instructor they are enrolled in 7300.

Credits: 1 - 4


The Southeast Asia track in Asian Studies also includes the following courses:

  • ARTH 3060 Visual and Material Cultures of Buddhism
  • BUS 3233 The Global Indian Ocean
  • ECON 5430 Asian Economic History and Development
  • ECON 5530 Principles of Economic Development
  • HIST 3580 Pre-Modern Southeast Asia
  • HIST 3590 Modern Southeast Asia
  • HIST 4230 Global Islam
  • HIST 4260 French Colonial Empire
  • HIST 4765 The Vietnam War
  • HIST 4865 Race and Gender in Colonial Asia
  • SOC 3741 Migrants & Communities
  • SOC 4674 Global Health
  • SW 3720 Immigration and Resettlement

FLAS Scholarship

Vietnamese is among the less commonly taught languages eligible for Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowships (FLAS).  FLAS is provided by the Asia Center. For FAQs, application, and other information on the FLAS scholarship, click the button below.



The University of Utah offers Vietnamese courses for community members through Continuing Education & Community Engagement. These courses are available for academic non-credit, and you do not need to be a student to register for these courses.

Learn More


Thanh Huynh

Associate Instructor

Huong Nguyen

Associate Instructor
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Last Updated: 3/25/21