Foreign Language

If you've previously studied a foreign language (Arabic, Latin, Chinese, French, Japanese, Korean, German, Hebrew,  Hindi, Italian, Portuguese, Russian/Slavic, Spanish, or Swahili), and you plan to continue your studies at Northwestern, you'll need to determine at what level to begin. Departments teaching these subjects may also use your scores on the Advanced Placement (AP) Examination and/or SAT II in lieu of a Northwestern placement exam to help you plan an appropriate academic program.

Visit Weinberg's website for more information on the foreign language requirement and language placement exams.

When and Where Do I Take My Placement Exam?

Most languages require placement exams to be taken online between June 1 and August 1, 2013. Please visit the page for your language of interest above to learn about testing specifics.

If you're entering Weinberg College as a freshman or transfer student and have not yet satisfied the college's foreign language requirement via AP scores, SAT II scores, or a qualifying score on a placement exam, you will  begin the necessary foreign language study at Northwestern. Depending on their school, some non-Weinberg students also have a foreign language requirement. Contact your specific school (i.e., Medill School of Journalism, School of Education and Social Policy) to determine its foreign language requirements.

If you're proficient in a foreign language not taught at Northwestern, you may petition the Council on Language Instruction for testing in that language to satisfy the requirement. Consult with the Council on Language Instruction for a list of approved languages for which there are qualified testers on campus.

Foreign Language Placement Exams for Students with Disabilities

If you have a diagnosed and documented disability affecting foreign language acquisition, the Council on Language Instruction (CLI) has established a procedure for which these students may petition. This comprehensive process is designed to appropriately accommodate the disability while maximizing the benefits a student derives from engaging in the study of a foreign language and culture. Visit the Council on Language Instruction's Web site for more information about the procedure for students with disabilities affecting foreign language acquisition.

Petitions are available at the WCAS Office of Undergraduate Studies and Advising or through the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities, and it must be accompanied by recent certification from a qualified physician or specialist. The petition must be submitted to the CLI during your first quarter on campus. The council's Subcommittee on Proficiency will review all petitions quarterly and inform you promptly of its decision so that you'll have ample time to plan for satisfying the Weinberg foreign language proficiency requirement before graduation.