FAQs: Language Study and Placement

Do I have to take a language while at Dickinson?

Dickinson has a commitment to global engagement. Accordingly, all students are required to demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language through the intermediate level. Language substitutions or waivers are never granted. There are many ways to fulfill this requirement. More information can be found in the Advising Handbook.

Do I have to re-take the language placement exam during Orientation to confirm my score?

Select the language you're interested in below and view a flow chart to determine whether you should re-take the placement exam:

I took a certain language in high school but I am not going to continue with that language. Do I have to take the language placement exam in that language even though I plan to start a new one?

Even if you decide to try a new language, there are still good reasons to take the placement exam in the language you studied in high school. One reason is that you might fulfill the language requirement based on the score you receive. Doing so would not preclude you from studying a new language. Another reason to take the exam is that you may want to return to studying your high school language after trying a new language.

What happens if I don't take the language placement exam in a language I have studied?

If you opt not to take the exam, you may not be able to register for courses in that language. Taking the exam will provide a simple guide for you to determine your appropriate course level.

What happens if I cannot take a placement exam online?

A time during the new-student Orientation period is set aside for those who cannot access the placement exam online.

What happens if I take the exam and don't get the placement I want?

If you feel you have not been placed in the appropriate course/level you can contact the appropriate language department. A faculty member can further evaluate your proficiency to ensure proper placement. In the meantime, be sure to request the language course at the level into which you place.  

What should I do if I don't receive my placement before I have my advising phone appointment or if I have questions about my language placement?

For questions about your Spanish results, contact Professor Abraham Quintanar at quintana@dickinson.edu.

For questions about your French results, contact Maria Whalen, academic department coordinator of French, Italian and German, at 717-245-1819, whalenma@dickinson.edu;  or Professor Linda Brindeau, brindeal@dickinson.edu

For questions about your German results,contact Professor Kamaal Haque at 717-245-1283, or haquek@dickinson.edu

For questions about your Italian results, contact Professor Luca Lanzilotta, lanzilol@dickinson.edu.

For questions about your Chinese results, contact Prof. Rae Yang, yang@dickinson.edu