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Language Placement

You may wish to continue studying a language that you began learning in high school or with which you are familiar, or you may choose to begin a new language. Below you will find relevant information about placement in the appropriate course level.

Continuing a Language

If you wish to continue studying a language that you began learning in high school or with which you are familiar:

Arabic, Hebrew, or Japanese
You will be placed into the appropriate course level according to the following number of years that you have studied this language:

  • 4 years of the language and a GPA >3.5 : enrollment in 1502
  • 4 years of the language and a GPA <3.5 : enrollment in 1501
  • 3 years of the language and a GPA >3.5 : enrollment in 1501
  • 1, 2, or 3 years of the language and a GPA <3.5 : enrollment in 1001 or 1002 (if available)
  • Less than 1 year of the language (or if 1002 is not available): enrollment in 1001


*If you have taken and passed a foreign language core course at Fordham, you must proceed to the next level of the core requirement. You must not skip a semester unless you receive proper evaluation and advice from a faculty member in the language of the department, and receive approval from the department's associate chair.

**If you feel that you have been incorrectly placed in a course, please proceed to the class you are enrolled in. During the add/drop period, at the beginning of each semester, your instructor will evaluate your proficiency in the language, and will make a recommendation to you and the department's associate chair in your college. The associate chair will help you adjust your schedule accordingly.

French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, or Spanish
You must take an online placement exam in order to determine your appropriate course level. The score on this exam will determine in which course you must enroll.

Online Placement Exam Guidelines

This exam is called a CAPE (Computer Adaptive Placement) exam and must be taken on a computer with Internet access and a web browser. It is designed for students of all levels, from beginning to advanced, and consists of a database of thousands of questions. You will answer only a few. This is not a test you pass or fail; it is a tool to aid us in finding the appropriate class for you. The exam is accessible 24 hours a day on the Internet, so you may take it at any time convenient to you, but only once, otherwise the result will be invalidated.

To take the exam, follow the instructions below at the test website:

  1. Go to:
  2. New students should click on the New Student tab and scroll down to the Registration channel. Continuing students who need to take the exam should access it via the Student tab.
  3. There will be a pre-test survey. Please make sure to answer the questions about your previous experience with the language. This information is important, as you may be able to reduce the number of required semesters from a maximum of four to three or fewer.”
  4. A reminder: the purpose of this test is to help place you in the proper level thus ensuring that you will be neither too challenged nor too frustrated. Therefore, do not consult any material (dictionaries, books, class notes, friends, etc.) when taking this test, as it would skew your results and place you in a class that would be too difficult for you.
  5. Follow the instructions and take the exam without any outside help (see point #4 above). It should take approximately 15-20 minutes. If your computer crashes and/or your online connection is interrupted, your exam will be voided and you will need to take it over again from the beginning.
  6. When you have completed the examination, a box will appear with your score. SAVE and PRINT this page; you will need to reference it in the future. After printing the page, please click on the "FINISHED" button.
  7. The exam may be taken only once per semester. Do not take the exam again as your results will be invalidated.

To avoid technical difficulties:

  1. Clicking outside the exam window will interrupt the exam. If the window is still available, the exam can be continued. Otherwise, it will need to be restarted.
  2. At peak times, the server gets overloaded and the exam may start only with part of the page present. For example, the choices (A, B, C, D) may be visible, but no question is shown. The exam should be aborted by closing the window and trying again at a later time, if possible.
  3. The program uses pop-up windows for the exam and to send the report emails. You should turn off pop-up blocking browser features or add-on software. Alternately, if the software or browser has settings to allow pop-up windows for certain domains, adding the domain to the list may do the trick.
  4. This online exam does not work with AOL or the AOL browser.
  5. If you encounter technical difficulties, you may opt to take the exam at the Language Learning Center in Keating Hall B25 or in the department office on the 5th floor of Faber Hall on the Rose Hill campus; or at the Language Learning Center in Lowenstein 412 on the Lincoln Center campus.

For any other questions, please contact the secretary of Fordham's Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at 718-817-2651.

Beginning a New Language

If you wish to learn a new language, you will be placed in the introductory intensive course, numbered 1001, of the language of your choice (i.e., ARAB 1001, FREN 1001, GERM 1001, ITAL 1001, JPAN 1001, MAND 1001, RUSS 1001 or SPAN 1001).

Fulfilling the Fordham College Language Core

In order to fulfill Fordham's foreign language core requirement in one of the languages offered in the department, you must pass the 2001-level course in this language (or SPAN 2301 for heritage speakers of Spanish), or demonstrate written and oral proficiency in the language above this level.

In order to fulfill the language core in a modern foreign language other than the ones offered in the department, you must submit to the department's associate chair in your college the equivalent of a high-school diploma from a non-English-speaking country where this language is the language of instruction, or official certification that you have attained a B2 proficiency level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) or that you have passed the 16-point exam at NYU with a score of 15 or higher http://www.scps.nyu.eduacademics/departments/foreign-languages/testing/exam-options-results.html.

Additional Information

Transfer Students

If you are transferring from another university and would like to continue your studies in Chinese, French, German, Russian or Spanish, please take the online placement exam in order to determine the appropriate course level. Your score on this test will determine the course level in which you must enroll (see the Online Placement Exam Guidelines above). If you are transferring from another university and would like to continue your studies in Arabic, Italian, or Japanese, please contact the department's associate chair in your college for advice on placement.

For further information about placement in language core and elective courses, and AP/IB credits, please contact the Department Associate Chair in your college