English Graduate Program Language Requirements

For complete policy details, and the most up-to-date information, please refer to the GSAS Policies and Procedures Guidebook.

View Requirements

Timeline for Fulfilling the Language Requirement

M.A. and Ph.D. students must demonstrate reading knowledge of one language other than English. Ph.D. students must fulfill the requirement before, or at least within, the semester in which the Ph.D. comprehensive exam is taken. M.A. students must fulfill the requirement by at least one month before graduation.

Students may fulfill their language requirements in several ways:

  1. Pass a zero-credit Graduate Reading Courses (see GSAS Tuition and Fees for cost). Students should check my.fordham.edu for the current graduate reading language courses.
  2. Pass an exam with the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences’ Modern Languages and Literatures (MLL) or Classics Departments (see for cost). Taking an exam might be a good option for those students who have studied a language at another institution. Exams at Fordham are not listed on transcripts until successfully passed.
  3. Pass an exam administered by the English Department. Exams in Spanish, French, German, Hebrew, Icelandic, Latin, Swedish, Danish, Irish, and other languages may be taken without fee within the English Department any time during the academic year. Contact the DGS to set up an appointment.
  4. For incoming PhD students who hold an MA, we accept proof of one foreign language requirement fulfilled during the course of their MA work.
  5. For incoming and currently enrolled students, we accept graduate-level foreign language courses (such as "French for Reading") taken at other institutions.  Students must submit a copy of the course syllabus to the DGS for approval.>
  6. We accept an undergraduate degree earned in a foreign language in fulfillment of one language requirement. For instance, if a student's undergraduate school was in Rome and the coursework was conducted in Italian, that student's undergraduate transcript would fulfill one language requirement (no testing is required).

Scheduling An Exam At Modern Languages and Literatures
To schedule an exam download and review the Modern Languages and Literatures (MLL) Assessment Policy and Schedule from under English website Forms and Resources page. For an exam in Latin, contact the Classics Department Chairperson.