Skip to main content

Recent Updates Fordham campuses remain physically closed per New York Pause, but all offices are staffed and operating remotely. Full Details

Foreign Language Requirement

Placement and Sequencing

Fordham's Department of Modern Languages and Literatures and Department of Classics offer students numerous ways to fulfill the foreign language requirement. Depending on your major course of study, however, you may not be subject to this requirement. Where you are placed as an incoming student can affect your course schedule significantly, so it's vital to be informed about what's required of you.

Classical/Modern Foreign Language Requirement

For BA Degrees

Completion of 2001 level ("exit level") is required. Sequence for absolute beginners is 1001, 1501, 1502, 2001.

For BS Degrees (Except Psychology)

No language requirement.

Psychology Majors

If you are pursuing the pre-health sequencing of Biology I & II, Chemistry I & II, Physics I & II, and Organic Chemistry I & II, you are exempt from the language requirement. Otherwise, you will need to complete the 2001 level course of a modern or classical language.

Continuing a Language

If you wish to continue studying:

French, German, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, or Spanish

You must take an online placement test. Visit the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures website for more information.

Arabic, Italian, or Japanese

You must enroll (or be placed) in the appropriate course level according to the following number of years that you have studied the foreign language. Visit the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures website for more information.

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

Ancient Greek or Latin

The Office of Academic Records, in consultation with the Department of Classics, will assess your high school coursework and performance therein and place you into the appropriate course. If you decide to continue studying Ancient Greek or Latin at a later time (i.e. after leaving a BS degree major or switching languages), contact the Associate Chair of the Department of Classics.

Beginning a New Language

Beginning a Modern Language

To begin a modern language, you should take (or will be placed) in the introductory intensive (5-credit) course, numbered 1001, of the language of your choice (i.e., ARAB 1001, GERM 1001, ITAL 1001, etc.).

You will then need to take Intermediate I (1501), Intermediate II (1502), and finally Literature (2001).

Beginning a Classical Language

If you wish to begin Ancient Greek or Latin, you will begin by taking the 1001 level, then 1002, 1501, and 2001. There is neither a 5-credit intensive nor an "Intermediate II" (1502) course for these languages.

Concerned that you may have been placed in the wrong level?

If so, please proceed to the class you are enrolled in. On the first day of classes, you will be evaluated by your instructor, who will make a recommendation about the appropriate course level for you and inform the department's Associate Chair.

You should then visit the Associate Chair, Dr. Ronald Mendez-Clark (Faber Hall 555).

Credit for Non-Fordham Modern Languages

In order to fulfill the language core in a modern foreign language other than the ones offered in the department, you must submit one of the following to the Associate Chair:

  • The equivalent of a high-school diploma from a non-English-speaking country where this language is the language of instruction

  • 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.

Contact the Associate Chair for more information.

Information for Transfer Students

If you are transferring from another university and would like to continue your studies in French, German, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, or Spanish, please take the online placement test in order to determine the appropriate course level. Your score on this test will determine the course level in which you must enroll.

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 for advice on placement.

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