The Language Requirement

The Language Requirement

Students must complete their Foreign Language Requirement by the end of their seventh term in residence. ("Residence" includes study abroad on a Dartmouth-sponsored program, LSA, LSA+ or FSP.)

The Language Requirement can be fulfilled by:

    1. Placing out (either through a placement test or individual evaluation done by the appropriate department).
    2. Completing the requirement through Dartmouth coursework.

This involves completion of study through level 3 (i.e. Spanish 3, Greek 3, Chinese 3). This can be done either on campus or through one of the LSA programs. Some languages (French, Greek, Italian, Latin, Portuguese) can be done in two terms.

Courses used to fulfill the Language Requirement cannot be used to fulfill Distributive Requirements.

A student cannot NRO a language course being used to fulfill of the Language Requirement. (See more on the Non-Recording Option)

Students proficient in a language not taught at Dartmouth (such as Navajo or Swedish) may be able to obtain an exemption from the Language Requirement. They should contact: within the first two years to discuss a possible evaluation.

NOTE: Although Dartmouth does not teach Korean, students can arrange for a Korean language test through ASCL.


Advising Tips for Languages

  • A student should have a clear plan about how s/he is going to fulfill the Language Requirement, even if s/he is not going to study that language in the first or second term on campus.
  • A first-year student who has placed out of some but not all of a language sequence should be advised to complete the needed courses as soon as possible. The longer s/he waits to pick it up the rustier s/he will be and the more difficulty s/he will have. Putting it off will frequently result in problems later on.
  • A student should consider early on whether or not s/he wants to do foreign study, and when. A student should avoid taking the last prerequisite more than two terms before going on the LSA (+). When the latter condition cannot be met, the student should consult with the department to identify strategies (drill attendance or other) to keep up with the language.
  • Encourage students to consider foreign study (LSA or LSA+) associated with the language with which s/he will fulfill the requirement. A student need not major in the language, and these programs are often some of the most important a student will participate in while at Dartmouth.
  • Students must earn a B- or better in the 1-2 sequences to go on the LSAs to Germany, Russia, and Spain. Students must earn a B or better in the 1-2 sequences to go on the LSA or LSA+ programs in France and Italy.


Placement Information for Specific Languages

Placement exam information is posted online at for each class on their New Student Orientation Canvas page.