CoLA Foreign Language Requirement Guidelines
All students earning a Bachelor of Arts degree within the College of Liberal Arts must complete a sequence of courses in a foreign language (Chinese, French, German, Greek, Latin, Russian, Italian, Japanese, or Spanish) through 202, demonstrate proficiency at the 202 level through examination, or take a six-quarter sequence of courses in American Sign Language (RHB 101, 102, 103, 228, 229, 230). Students with no language background will take 101, 102, 103, 201, and 202; those who have studied previously may begin anywhere within this sequence, depending on their skill level. The rule of thumb for self-placement within the sequence is that one year of high school study is equivalent to one quarter (or sometimes one and a half quarters) of college study. Thus, students with one year of high school language study can start with 102, those with two can start with 103, those with three can start with 201. Skill levels vary widely, however, according to how well the students did and how long ago they graduated.
In order to ascertain their skill level and determine where they should start in the sequence, students may wish to take a placement exam in the Department of Modern Languages. The exam is a computerized multiple-choice test that takes about 20 minutes, and students can come to 325 Millett Hall at any time during regular office hours and take it. There is no charge for the test. For placement in the proper level of classical Greek or Latin, the student's ability will be evaluated individually by the Department of Classics.
It is especially important to fulfill the language requirement as soon as possible. Students sometimes wait until their senior year to begin language study, and if they have trouble with it, their very graduation is jeopardized.
Once students begin the sequence, they are not allowed to skip any of the courses unless they receive permission from the department chair. Permission is occasionally granted if, for example, a student has spent some time in a foreign country and greatly improved his/her skills.
Native speakers of a language other than English do NOT have to take the beginning language classes. They should take a placement test (if they want to take upper-level courses) or a proficiency test in English (if they simply want to satisfy their language requirement). Students wishing to take a test or a 300-level English course to demonstrate proficiency, should contact the English Department at 3136.
For further information, call:
Department of Modern Languages (courses in any modern language), 775-2641
Department of Classics (Greek or Latin), 775-3062
Rehabilitation Counseling Education (American Sign Language), 775-4207