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Does UW Have a Foreign Language Requirement??

jenny1pennyjenny1penny Registered User Posts: 296 Junior Member
edited June 2011 in University of Wisconsin
If so, how many years does a person have to take?
Post edited by jenny1penny on

Replies to: Does UW Have a Foreign Language Requirement??

  • RoxSoxRoxSox Registered User Posts: 2,179 Senior Member
    For a BA you need to get to either the 4th level of a language or the 3rd level of one language and the 2nd level of another. High school counts.

    For a BS you need to get to the 3rd level.
  • wis75wis75 Registered User Posts: 13,835 Senior Member
    This requirement can be met with HS foreign languages, including middle school years. One year of HS foreign language is equal to one semester of it in college. For example, if you finished 2 years (second level) of HS French you would need either 1 or 2 semesters (BS/BA) of the next level of French in college or take 3 semesters of another language. The foreign language placement tests are used to determine which level of the HS language you could take to continue in it. No placement test is needed if you do not want to continue in a HS language- you get the credit for meeting the number of years/college semesters. Therefore if you finish 4 years of a foreign language in HS (including any taken in middle school- often 2 years are taken there to equal one year of HS) you will not need to take any at UW. Different schools/colleges may require less foreign language- the L&S requirements listed in the previous post are the most of any.

    HS students debating continuing their foreign language: You generally also need 2 years of a HS foreign language to get into UW, although most will have more (exceptions have been made). Generally taking 4 years of it in HS will save you from needing to take any at UW and make you more competitive for admissions.
  • BDUBYA11BDUBYA11 Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
    WIS75...is this to say a student who took 3 years of a FL in high school does not need to take a foreign language for graduation with a BS degree from UW? And, therefore, does not need to take the FL placement test at SOAR?
  • RoxSoxRoxSox Registered User Posts: 2,179 Senior Member
    Yeah, you should be good, though you might have to take the test. I would take the test in whichever language you took, and then talk with your advisor about it - it's a good idea to take the test regardless...I made that mistake.
  • wis75wis75 Registered User Posts: 13,835 Senior Member
    Correct about the needing 3 semesters college/years HS for a L&S BS degree. However, to be safe go for the 4th HS year in case your final major is best with a BA (remember there are more science reqs with a BS than a BA) and to be more competitive for admissions. If you are an entering UW freshman discuss your options with your advisor. It may be better to take 2 semesters of a second language to meet BA reqs than to try to continue with your HS one, especially if it has been a while since you took the language and/or didn't like it a lot. Do take the placement test if you may possibly take the language, the test results only affect course placement, nothing else.

    The only reason to take a foreign language placement test is for determining wich UW course to take in that language at UW. Therefore, if you are not planning on taking the language you took in HS there is no reason to take the placement test. You get the credit for meeting the foreign language requirement without taking a placement test. Those who wish to take more of the language will take the placement test.
  • claire1204claire1204 Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    I'm an international student, and my HS doesn't offer any foreign language courses other than Eng courses. But I've learned French and Japanese outside HS. And I'm pursuing a L&S BS degree(honor). So do I have to take 3 semesters? Or judge after SOAR placement tests? btw, can I take 2 foreign language tests during SOAR?
  • DescarteszDescartesz Registered User Posts: 1,740 Senior Member
    claire1204:

    Contact Testing and Evaluation Services for best information. It also looks like some of the Testing and Evaluation Services Staff have email addresses listed.
  • wis75wis75 Registered User Posts: 13,835 Senior Member
    claire- if your native language is not English you may get credit for knowing another language. The SOAR placement tests are for placement only, they do not give you credit for languages. You only get credit for languages based on course work completed based on the suggested courses from your SOAR scores. Send an email directly to UW. Also, as an international student you may find help on this from the international students info people. Check UW websites for email addresses.
  • claire1204claire1204 Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    If I got no AP, no IB and no CLEP, I won't receive any credit other than that from ESL courses, no matter how many scores did I got during the placement test? I thought I could get some credits :[
  • DescarteszDescartesz Registered User Posts: 1,740 Senior Member
    If I got no AP, no IB and no CLEP, I won't receive any credit other than that from ESL courses, no matter how many scores did I got during the placement test? I thought I could get some credits

    claire: Is this the response you received from UW or are you just asking a speculative question? If the latter you need to pursue this with the appropriate people at UW.
  • wis75wis75 Registered User Posts: 13,835 Senior Member
    claire- my reference to getting credit was in needing to take a foreign language in college to meet requirements. Check with UW to see if speaking a native language other than English counts.

    Placement tests are just that- a test to see which course you would place into if you chose to continue the foreign language. They do not award any credits. The college credits would come from retroactive credits for levels below the UW course you would take and get at least a B in (I'm not sure about the grade needing to be a B) next fall or later. In order to get those credits you have to take the course at UW. To get credits in 2 different languages you have to take a course in each of them at UW.

    Many students will have knowledge from HS courses that will help them but will not give them any credits because the coure(s) were not taken in college. Often it is easier to start over with a UW course. Many students will start a different foreign language instead of trying to take the 3rd or 4th course in a HS language at UW to meet requiremments.

    Do not be upset if your HS languages do not meet UW requirements for graduation. Think of the knowledge you acquired. Adding yet another language will add to your knowledge. Do not be upset by not getting college credits for HS work either.
This discussion has been closed.