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Language Requirement

High school language requirement 

Effective for all entering freshmen in Fall 2000 or later (Fall 2002 for transfer students) the following language requirement must be completed for graduation.  This requirement may be satisfied by:

  • Successfully completing in high school the third year of a language other than English;
  • Successfully completing a third-semester college-level course in a language other than English; or
  • Demonstrating proficiency at the third semester level in a language proficiency examination approved by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the appropriate department.

Students without three years of the same language in high school may complete the requirement in college.  One year of high school language is normally equivalent to a semester of college instruction. 
In order to enroll at Illinois in language courses beyond the first level, students must first take a placement test.   If testing shows that repetition is needed, credit will not be granted for college courses more than two college semesters below the high school achievement level.  For example, if a student has had three years of high school foreign language and is placed at the first level, as a result of the language placement test, credit will not be given for the first-level course but will be given for the second-level and higher.  If the placement test is not taken, no credit will be given for repeated course work and only the fourth level of the language fulfilling high school requirements may be taken for credits.

A course taken in college to fulfill the third level of the high school non-primary language requirement must be taken for letter grade.  For lower levels, it is allowed to take courses under the credit/no credit option. 

International applicants, who have attended high school in another country, are normally expected to fulfill the language requirement by taking three years of instruction in English and a minimum of three years in their primary language.  If not, it is possible to fulfill also the primary language requirement on campus by taking a proficiency test, if available.  

Language Credits

Humanities elective credit

Starting in fall of 1994, freshmen must also satisfy the campus general education requirements which include six hours of humanities from the campus list. Foreign languages are excluded from the list. However, foreign language taken as part of the International Minor in Engineering will be used for campus humanity credit.

Proficiency Credit 
Proficiency credit for language courses at the third level or higher can be obtained by proficiency examination (subject to the placement rule described in the previous section). A placement test is required before taking a language proficiency examination. 

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