Introduction

All students are required to demonstrate that they have completed work in a foreign language through the intermediate level. Because of our commitment to global study, most students complete the language requirement via study of language at Dickinson. For those students who do not intend to continue the study of language at Dickinson, the following describes the other possible ways for a student to fulfill this requirement:

For Students whose First Language is not English:

 - If the student took the TOEFL test, Academic IELTS or MELAB exams, send scores to the Registrar. The TOEFL confirms a language other than English as first. Acceptance of these scores by Dickinson is verification that the student has completed a foreign language (English) equivalent to the intermediate level.

  • The Registrar will review the information and provide written notification to the student, the student's advisor, and will update the student’s official record.
  • In this case, the language requirement is fulfilled but no academic credit is posted to the student’s record.

- If the student did not take the TOEFL test, Academic IELTS or MELAB exams, but if there is appropriate documentation confirming that the student completed academic work (this must be at the high school level) in his/her native language, this can serve as confirmation that a language other than English is the student’s first language. Acceptance of these scores by Dickinson is verification that the student has completed a foreign language (English) equivalent to the intermediate level.

  • The Registrar will provide written notification to the student, the student's advisor, and will update the student’s official record.
  • In this case, the language requirement is fulfilled but no academic credit is posted to the student’s record.

- If the student’s native language is one offered at Dickinson but the student does not have TOEFL score or documentation of academic work in that language, he/she can consult with the department regarding placement evaluation.

  • The Department will provide written notification to the student, the student's advisor, and the Registrar regarding results of the placement evaluation. The Registrar will update the student’s official record with the appropriate placement or fulfillment of the requirement.
  • In this case, the language requirement is fulfilled but no academic credit is posted to the student’s record.

For Students whose First Language is English:

- If the student has completed an Advanced Placement course in high school as well as the AP test, the student must authorize the College Board to send the official score directly to the Registrar’s Office. Consult the AP information on the Registrar’s Web Page to determine if the score qualifies for placement only or both placement and credit.

  • The Registrar will review the score and, if it fulfills the requirement, will update the student’s official record.
  • In this case, the language requirement is fulfilled and academic credit is posted to the student’s record.

- If the student’s score on the College Board SAT II foreign language subject test is sufficiently high, it may fulfill the requirement. Consult the SAT II information on the *Registrar’s Web Page*

  • The Registrar will review the score and if eligible for fulfillment will provide written notification to the student, the student's advisor, and will update the student’s official record.
  • In this case, the language requirement is fulfilled but no academic credit is posted to the student’s record.

- If the student’s score on the on-campus language exam places them beyond the intermediate level, the language requirement is fulfilled.

  • The department will inform the Registrar of the score and the Registrar will update the student’s official record.
  • In this case, the language requirement is fulfilled but no academic credit is posted to the student’s record.

NOTE: First-year students who take the on-line placement test prior to course request and who score high enough to fulfill the language must re-take the exam in a proctored setting once on campus. The score from the on-campus re-take will be used to determine language placement/fulfillment.

- If the student has studied or is fluent in a language other than those offered at Dickinson, the student should contact the Registrar Karen Weikel in these matters to obtain information regarding the procedure to be tested in that language. The student must identify and recommend a qualified examiner to Ms. Weikel who will provide the approved tester guidance to confirm intermediate level language completion. Any costs associated with such testing are the responsibility of the student.

  • Tester will inform Ms. Weikel of the outcome. If confirmation of intermediate level is received, she will inform the student, the student’s advisor and will update the student’s official record.
  • In this case, the language requirement is fulfilled but no academic credit is posted to the student’s record.

NOTE: American Sign Language CANNOT be used to fulfill the foreign language requirement in any program when advanced language is required (e.g., International Business & Management, International Studies, etc.).

- Dickinson accepts the transfer of coursework for language (including American Sign Language) equivalent to the intermediate level of language from an accredited institution. NOTE: languages not offered at Dickinson (including American Sign Language) can be used to fulfill the requirement.

  • The student must consult with the Registrar regarding transfer of the credit associated with eligible coursework.

Incoming students may continue with a language from high school or begin a new language at Dickinson. The following languages require completion of three courses to achieve the intermediate level (consult the Academic Bulletin for additional information):

French
German
Italian
Modern Hebrew
Russian
Spanish

The following languages require completion of four courses to achieve the intermediate level (consult the Academic Bulletin for additional information):

Arabic
Chinese
Ancient Greek
Japanese
Latin

Also see specific languages as listed alphabetically in this handbook. NOTE: Dickinson’s current offerings in modern Greek do not fulfill the language requirement.

For incoming students, up-to-date information regarding language placement exams can be found on the Orientation web site.

Some majors require course work in languages beyond the intermediate level. If you meet the college’s language requirement through any of the above options but have chosen a major with additional language requirements, be sure to review the language requirements on the departmental web page and discuss with your major advisor.

Advice for first-year students

A. Students who plan to continue with a language studied in high school should request it for Fall semester. It is important not to lose language skills from lack of use. Detailed information regarding placement exams and/or guidance for all languages is available on the Orientation web site.

B. Students starting a new language should select the first course in the language sequence. All languages offer the first course in the fall. French and Spanish also typically offer the first course in the Spring semester.

C. Students who have been exempted from taking a foreign language in high school (due to a disability) will NOT be exempted from meeting the language requirement at Dickinson and are encouraged to discuss their options for meeting the language requirement with the Director of Disability Services.

Students should consider the connections languages have to other programs. For example, Physics students who study German may be able to participate in the Physics summer program in Bremen. Students planning to study social sciences or art in Italy may wish to begin Italian. The International Studies and International Business & Management majors require additional language study usually related to a geographic concentration (e.g. Japanese and Japan).

Some Dickinson study abroad programs require language beyond the intermediate level as a prerequisite. Consult the Center for Global Study and Engagement web page.