Foreign Language Requirements

Students in Arts and Letters are required to reach intermediate proficiency in a foreign language. Normally three courses must be taken to fulfill this proficiency, but “intermediate proficiency” is defined differently in each of the languages, depending on the complexity of the language itself and the intensity of the course.  

Check with the specific language department or the assistant deans in 104 O’Shaughnessy Hall to determine which courses fulfill the requirements.

Students without Advanced Placement or SAT II credit but who come with some background in the language they elect to study will be placed according to examinations given during Welcome Weekend and prior to spring preregistration. These departmental placement exams are not credit bearing.

Students may receive up to eight hours of credit based on their scores on the AP and SAT II tests. If more than eight hours of credit appear on a transcript, the credits beyond eight will not be counted and will be manually subtracted from the total number of degree credits calculated for graduation.

No matter the scores on these exams, it is impossible for a student to completely test out of the language requirement for the College of Arts and Letters. Every student in the College must take at least one course at the appropriate level that deals with texts in the original language. For the specific details of a given language offering or program, check with the relevant department.

If a student attended high school in another language, a University official must make an assessment of the transcript and determine if the requirement should be waived or if the student needs to take at least one more language class at Notre Dame.