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Language Competency

As a student in the College, you will need to demonstrate competence in a language other than English, by demonstrating reading, writing, listening, and (where appropriate) speaking skills equivalent to one year of college-level study.

NOTE: Students are strongly urged to complete the language competence requirement in their first two years in the College.

Language Requirements (2009 and later)

Students who entered the College during or after September 2009 may meet the language competence requirement in one of the following ways:

  • receiving a score of 3 or higher on an Advanced Placement (AP) examination in French, German, Italian, Latin, or Spanish; or receiving a score of 4 or higher on an AP examination in Japanese; or receiving a score of 5 or higher on a Higher-Level International Baccalaureate Second Language Examination;
  • placing into the second year or higher in a foreign language offered at the University of Chicago, participating in one of the College’s Study Abroad Civilization programs where that language is spoken, and completing (with a quality grade) the language course offered in the program;
  • participating in a College-approved one-quarter foreign language Study Abroad program and completing all required courses with a quality grade;
  • passing a College-administered competency examination; or
  • completing (with a quality grade) a first-year language sequence or higher-level course offered at the University of Chicago.

Other Students (1999-2009)

Students fulfill the specific requirements that are in place when they enter the College of the University of Chicago. For more information on the requirements for students who entered the College between 1999 and 2009, refer to the appropriate archived editions of the College Catalog.

Foreign Nationals

Students who are foreign nationals may meet the language competence requirement if their formal schooling experience in a country other than the United States enables them to demonstrate the criteria of cultural understanding and language competence described above. They must submit a petition to Catherine Baumann (C 502, 702.8008, ccbauman@uchicago.edu). Supporting documentation must also be provided. See our Forms and Petitions page for the petition form.

Advanced Language Proficiency Certificate

After meeting the language competence requirement, students may work toward an Advanced Foreign Language Proficiency Certificate.


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