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College of Arts & Sciences

Foreign Language Requirement

The College of Arts & Sciences requires that all candidates for a B.A. degree successfully complete the 2120 college level of foreign language or equivalent. Equivalent credit can be Advanced Placement (AP) or college transfer credit. Students who have prior knowledge of one of the languages listed below must take the placement test before enrolling in these courses. (The placement exam does not count as college credit.) If a student tests into the 3000-level or above, the foreign language requirement is considered fulfilled. Students who place at or above the 3000-level are encouraged to take that course for college credit. Language courses at this level will count both in the humanities academic area and in the A&S 2000-level or higher requirement, as well as toward a minor, or a language major.

All students in A&S must complete a foreign language requirement by taking college-level courses or testing out of the requirement. Students who have prior foreign language knowledge and would like to continue that language to meet their foreign language requirement should take the appropriate placement exam. The placement exam will determine which course they need to enroll in to continue with their foreign language requirement. Students who have no prior background in a foreign language or would like to begin with a new foreign language do not need to take a placement exam but should register for the beginning course (1110) in that language.

B.A. Foreign Language Requirement

Students pursuing a B.A. in Arts and Sciences must successfully complete 2120 (or its equivalent). Equivalent credit can be Advanced Placement (AP) or college transfer credit.

Students who take the placement exam and test into the third year of foreign language will have fulfilled their foreign language requirement for the B.A. in Arts and Sciences. The placement exam does not count as college credit. Students who test into the third year of foreign language are encouraged to take the course they placed into for college credit. These higher-level courses will count as humanities courses (and A&S 2000-level or higher), as well as towards a minor or major in the field.

B.S. Foreign Language Requirement

Students pursuing a B.S. in Arts & Sciences must complete 1120 (or its equivalent). Equivalent credit can be Advanced Placement (AP) or college transfer credit. Students taking the placement test and who test into 2110 will have fulfilled their foreign language requirement for the BS degree. The placement exam does not count as college credit.

Contacts for Test-Out and Placement

Students who have prior knowledge of one of the following foreign languages should contact the academic departments listed below for test-out and placement information:

Akan (Twi), Hindi/Urdu, Indonesian, Khmer, Malaysian, Thai, Vietnamese, and Wolof: Contact the Center for International Studies at 740-593-1840, international.studies@ohio.edu, Yamada International House, 56 E. Union St.

American Sign Language: Contact Teresa Tyson-Drummer at tyson-dr@ohio.edu, 740-593-0309, Grover Center W218

French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Russian: Contact the Modern Languages Department at 740-593-2765, Gordy Hall 283, modlang@ohio.edu.

Greek and Latin:  Contact the Classics and World Religions Department, Dr. Bill Owens at owensb@ohio.edu, 740-597-2101, Ellis Hall 210.

Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, and Swahili: Contact the Linguistics Department, Dr. Chris Thompson at thompsoc@ohio.edu, 740-593-4564, Gordy Hall 383.

A&S students who have prior knowledge of a foreign language not offered at Ohio University can opt to take the NYU Foreign Language 12-Point exam (approximate cost $350) to complete their foreign language requirement.

  • Students must earn 12 Points to waive two years of foreign language (BA-2120).
  • Students must earn 6 Points to waive one year of foreign language (BS-1110).

Please contact the College of Arts & Sciences Office of Undergraduate Student Affairs at 740-593-2845 for more information.

Choice of Degree Options

For the limited number of majors that offer a choice of either the B.A. or B.S. degree, the student may choose which degree to pursue. Be certain to consider the appropriate language requirement.

International Students

For international students whose first or native language is not English and who completed high school where the first or native language was the one primarily used for instruction, the foreign language requirement may be satisfied by demonstrating competence in English. This must be approved by the assistant dean in the College of Arts & Sciences, and it generally requires the successful completion of at least one or more courses in English as a foreign language, specifically ENG 1610.

A student also may satisfy the foreign language requirement by taking a foreign language other than his or her own first language at Ohio University, or by successfully completing the NYU foreign language exam. Students must earn 12 points to waive two years of foreign language (BA -2120). Students must earn 6 points to waive one year of foreign language (BS-1110).

Enrollment in the beginning or intermediate level (under 3000) of your own first language(s) will be considered a noncredit course, where permitted.

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