Foreign Language Requirement
Successfully meeting the university’s foreign language requirement entails passing a fourth semester (202-level) language course, or any higher-level language course. If you have not previously studied a language, this means taking 12 credits or four courses (101, 102, 201, and 202) in one language. If you have previously studied a language or are fortunate to speak a language thanks to life experience, you should start at a higher level or could possibly test out of the requirement.
Spanish Placement Test
Level placement is an inexact and imperfect process. Students who have previous experience should consult the department’s placement guidelines or make an appointment with Chairperson Kenneth Reeds.
Students may complete the university-wide foreign language requirement for Bachelor of Arts students at Salem State by passing a 4th semester (202-level) language course or any higher level language course offered by our department. If you have no prior study of a language, this means taking 12 credits, or four courses (101, 102, 201, 202) in one language. If you have studied a language in high school or if you speak the language due to life experience, you should begin at a higher level, and you may only need to take 3 or 6 credits in the language to complete your requirement. See the Language Placement Guidelines page for more information on what course to take to begin your language studies at Salem State. The department regularly offers courses through the 202-level and higher in French, Italian, and Spanish. Students interested in studying other languages to fulfill their foreign language requirement may need to take courses at another university or on a study abroad program to complete the language requirement.
If a student already has intermediate-level or higher proficiency in a language other than English, there are multiple ways to demonstrate proficiency to fulfill the foreign language requirement without taking classes at Salem State, including earning credit by examination, transfer courses, or submission of a diploma from a high school where English was not the primary language of instruction. For more details on other ways to fulfill the language requirement, see the University catalog’s Foreign Language Requirement explanation in the Curriculum Overview section of the current catalog.
Foreign Language Substitution
In special circumstances, if a student has severe difficulty in learning a foreign language, a student may petition for a foreign language substitution, which is a two-semester culture course taught in English, to satisfy the language requirement. This is a serious and lengthy process and should not be undertaken unless the student can prove a severe difficulty in language learning. The process for this petition is outlined in the university catalog.