Through foreign language study, you build a foundation for an international education. You gain an understanding of how language works, both as a mode of human communication and as a way of constructing the world in different social and cultural contexts.
To fulfill the language requirement, students follow different paths.
- Most students complete a course equal to or higher than 201 in any language.
- Some students use a transfer course or a qualifying score on an AP or IB exam. This may need to be supplemented by a placement test (which may include an oral interview) to place into a course above 201, thereby satisfying the language requirement.
- Students whose primary language is not English may receive a waiver of the foreign language requirement.
What do I need to do?
- Start a New Language: If you are planning to start a new language (one you have never studied), select the 101 or 103 course in that language when you make your course selections. A 103 course might be right for you if you wish to accelerate your study of a new language in a class that covers two semesters' worth of material, counts for two courses, and meets every day.
- Continue Studying a Foreign Language: If you are planning to continue studying a foreign language that you’ve already started learning, you may need to take a placement test. You may not enroll in a level below your placement.
- French, German, Latin, Spanish: Complete the online placement test (below) before June 21
- Arabic, Chinese, Greek, Russian: Email the placement contact (below) before June 21
- Use a Test Score or Transfer Course: If you hope to use a test score or transfer course to complete the requirement, you must have your score or transcript sent to the Registrar's Office and may also need to take a placement test. Students may complete the foreign language requirement by equivalent proficiency as determined and certified by the appropriate Davidson foreign language department (see department contacts below).
- English is not your Primary Language: You should complete a Language Waiver Request form at the Registrar’s Office after you arrive on campus.
Placement Contacts & Exam Information