Language Requirement

The requirement aims to assure that students will acquire a usable level of competence in a second language, involving all four skills (listening, reading, writing, and speaking). This competence is demonstrated either (a) through satisfactory completion of fourth-level language (fifth-level if Chinese or Japanese) course or (b) through acceptable performance on a standardized or departmentally designed examination.

Students beginning their study of language, as well as those who need more study to complete the requirement, should enroll in language in their first year.

Entering students may fulfill the requirement by satisfactory performance on a College Board Advanced Placement of Achievement test. Students who have not taken such a test before entering the college should take the language placement examination on-line over the summer. Students beginning their study of language, as well as those who need more study to complete the requirement, should enroll in language in their first year.

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From the Campus Handbook (last updated Jun 29, 2017)

Students may meet the language requirement in four different ways:

  1. by testing out with an appropriate score in the CEEB Advanced Placement examination, International Baccalaureate examination, or in another standardized examination selected by the faculty of a particular language in consultation with the Associate Dean of the College; or
  2. by satisfactory completion (grade of S, C- or better) on the fourth-level courses (fifth-level in the case of Arabic, Japanese and Chinese); or
  3. by passing a proficiency examination designed or selected by the faculty of the particular language in consultation with the Associate Dean of the College; or
  4. by passing a special examination with speaking and reading components (if a written language), prepared by an expert for those languages not taught at Carleton. Arrangements are made by the Associate Dean of the College Andrew Fisher.

A student must begin to fulfill the language requirement before the fifth term at Carleton. In sequential language courses, a student must earn a C- or better to progress to the next course.

Please note that the on-line exam is for diagnostic purposes only; it cannot exempt you from the language requirement, and you may also be required to take a written exam on campus.

Click for more information on the Language Placement Test.

For more information regarding the courses needed in German please refer to your catalog or speak with the section head, Professor Juliane Schicker.