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 email Linguistics Professor David A. Peterson 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:


*If your advisee missed a placement test, s/he should contact the department directly.



The Arabic placement test is offered on campus during Orientation.



The Chinese placement test is offered on campus during Orientation.



The Department of French and Italian offers a French online placement test prior to Orientation. Placement without taking the placement test is based on AP scores and years of high school instruction. Students seeking advanced placement may take the placement test during New Student Orientation week.


Students who have questions about the placement test, can contact the Language Program Director, Prof. Tania Convertini.



The Department of German Studies offers an online placement test from August 1 to September 10. An SAT score of 720 or an AP score of 5 exempts a student from the Language Requirement. Students who have questions about their test results or placement are encouraged to speak with the Department's Language Program Coordinator, Professor Nicolay Ostrau.



Information about courses in Ancient Greek, including one-term and two-term options for fulfilling the Language Requirement, is available on the Classics Department website.  Students who have had prior instruction in Ancient Greek are encouraged to speak with Prof. Håkan Tell or Prof. Jenny Lynn about placement in an appropriate level course. 



The Hebrew placement test is offered on campus during Orientation.



The Department of French and Italian offers an Italian online placement test prior to Orientation. Placement without taking the placement test is based on AP scores and years of high school instruction. Students who are seeking advanced placement in Italian or have questions about their placement test can contact the Language Program Director Prof.

Tania Convertini.



The Japanese placement test is offered on campus during Orientation.



A Korean placement test is offered on campus during Orientation or by contacting Gerard Bohlen in ASCL.



The Department of Classics offers an online Latin placement test prior to Orientation. Placement may also be made on the basis of SAT II or AP scores or by consultation with the department. Information about courses in Latin, including one-term and two-term options for fulfilling the Language Requirement, is available on the Classics Department website. Students who have some reading experience but need review may request permission from the department to fulfill their language requirement with Latin 10 in the Fall term. Questions about Latin placement can be directed to Professor Jenny Lynn. 



The Language Requirement can be fulfilled in two or three terms. PORT 1 and 2 are offered concurrently in the summer or students can take PORT 1 in winter and 2 in spring. Portuguese 3 is offered every fall. For placement, please contact Professor Carlos Cortez Minchillo and/or Professor Rodolfo Franconi to arrange for a proficiency exam.



Placement is not granted for secondary school courses in Russian. Students must take the placement test offered on campus during Orientation. Students who have questions about their placement tests can contact the Russian Language Program Director, Prof. Alfia Rakova.



An on-line placement test was administered prior to Orientation. Students who have not taken SAT II, AP, British A level or IB exam scores must take the department placement exam if they wish to continue with their Spanish studies at Dartmouth. If a student missed the placement exam, s/he should inquire with the department about a make-up exam.


Information regarding SAT II, AP, IB scores, and British A exams is available in the "Placement Information and Exams" section of the Spanish & Portuguese department website:


Students who have lived or studied abroad for more than 6 months should contact Prof. Roberto Rey Agudo for further placement information.