Most US doctoral programs have dropped their foreign language requirements.
Being monolingual is a concrete drawback for today’s science professors, too, given that scientists in most other nations are capable of working in multiple languages. Foreign-language proficiency is not essential to get research done, but it does increase one’s options. Most U.S. scientists might believe that knowing multiple languages is not critical, however, I imagine we might get a different answer if we ask their current and potential research collaborators for whom English is a second language. While internationally visible scholarship is primarily published in English, many of the laboratories that generate this work do not necessarily use English on a day-to-day basis in the lab.
- From Vitae: English-Only Ph.D.’s