Language and Culture Core Requirement

"A sequence of foreign language study aims to develop students’ skills in using a foreign language in a variety of tasks, including conversing, reading, writing and listening with comprehension. The language is used as the essential vehicle for coming to a deeper understanding of other cultures. The courses guide students toward a realization that the study of a foreign language provides a comparative basis from which to analyze their own language and culture. Study of the language will allow students to relate course content with that of courses taught in other disciplines." (2008-2010 Undergraduate Catalog)

  • Students with 2+ years of a language in high school must take a placement test for that language. Students with less than 2 years of a language can register for the 111, Elementary I, level of a language without taking a placement test. See the "Placement Exam" page for more details. 

  • The language placement test can only be taken ONCE for the same language. Students can take the placement test and subsequent language class(s) at any time during their tenure at St. Thomas though they are encouraged to take the language placement test and class(s) in their first semesters at St. Thomas. 

  • Students bringing in college credit (i.e. College in the Schools, Advance Placement Exam scores) should NOT take the placement test for the language in which they received college credit; instead they should take the next level of the language for which they received credit (see undergraduate catalog for details on Advanced Placement scores). 

  • Students bringing in International Baccalaureate scores SHOULD take the placement test for the related language to determine their level of competency; the student will receive academic credit for the level(s) below where they placed. 

  • Students whose primary language of communication is a language other than English and who have learned English as a second language are exempt from the foreign language requirement. It is the student's responsibility to present evidence to the chair of the Modern and Classical Languages department to support this exemption request. See the "Language Requirement Waiver" page for details of the evidence necessary for consideration of this exemption. 

  • Students receive no academic credit for levels of a language that are bypassed as a result of the placement test or if they are exempt from the foreign language core requirement.