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3 years of foreign language to get into UW-Madison or any college in general...?

aimlesswriteraimlesswriter Registered User Posts: 121 Junior Member
There's been a burning question in my head. UW-Madison and a few other colleges I'm interested in require three years of a foreign language to be admitted. However, I have heard many stories about people who only have two, one, or even none who got into the college.

I, myself, only took two years of Spanish. I didn't take Spanish 3 this year, but I signed up for it the upcoming year (senior year). Honestly, I really don't want to take another year of Spanish considering I had the break year in between. Plus, I speak two dialects of Chinese.

So, bottom line: Will UW-Madison or any college that requires three years of a foreign language turn me away just because I didn't take that one extra year of language?

Thank you very much. This is a question that's been bothering me for a while, so I hope I can get an answer .

Replies to: 3 years of foreign language to get into UW-Madison or any college in general...?

  • aimlesswriteraimlesswriter Registered User Posts: 121 Junior Member
  • MerryLeeMerryLee Registered User Posts: 262 Junior Member
    This is what the UW- Madison admissions website says:

    "... The following chart shows the number of years that most admitted students studied in each subject area."
    Single foreign language 3-4 years.

    I think the key words are 'most admitted students'. So it is possible that students were admitted with less. But do you know anything else about their stats or what major they were applying for? Can you apply with less, of course. But will you be as competitive with those that have 3-4 yrs? It may depend on what you want to major in.

    Now having said all that, do you know what level of Chinese you are able to speak at? Putting that info in your application might help offset the lower amount of Spanish.
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Super Moderator Posts: 36,348 Super Moderator
    So, bottom line: Will UW-Madison or any college that requires three years of a foreign language turn me away just because I didn't take that one extra year of language?
    When I googled UW Madison foreign language requirement this was the first listing:

    http://languages.wisc.edu/advising/requirements

    I suggest you do the same for your other schools.
  • aimlesswriteraimlesswriter Registered User Posts: 121 Junior Member
    Dear Lord, I'm sorry for the super late reply! I'm not sure what level of Chinese I am able to speak, but I speak enough to be able to communicate with Chinese people. I speak Chinese everyday at home, but the downside is that I can't read or write it. :( I plan on majoring in computer science or programming. I also do have a very impressive profile with tons of leadership roles, community service hours, and clubs. I do well in school, and am currently in the top 10%.
  • wis75wis75 Registered User Posts: 13,835 Senior Member
    Look at the above UW link posted here. TWO units of the same foreign language are required. MOST students will have had at least three.

    btw- most students will not have the same background as you do, one that includes another language in addition to English and the two formal school years of a foreign language. There are reasons colleges don't just have check off boxes for requirements met and go just by the numbers. If the rest of your qualifications are good you would be competitive.

    Look at post # 3. Follow his advice. Check the "rules" for every school. They are different than the useful information about which students are most likely to get admitted. "Required" is specific, qualifiers such as "most" give you hints about your chances. A stellar student meeting minimum requirements in some areas may get accepted while a good student with the typical coursework/stats may not.
  • clavenclaven Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    I am a freshman this year. I took two years of German in high school with a teacher who didn't teach well. I was accepted no problem, though I also had really high ACT and GPA. From what I have heard is that really the only problem you may run into is having to take more language in college. As a biology major in the College of Letters and Science, in order to graduate with a BS degree, I need to take up to the third level of one foreign language. Since I knew no German, I didn't even bother taking the placement test, so I just have to start fresh with German 101.
  • wis75wis75 Registered User Posts: 13,835 Senior Member
    An advantage to having four years of a single foreign language in HS is that it meets both the BS and BA requirements for L&S- a BS needs three as above and a BA can also be three of one and two of a second language. Many UW students will have met the requirement with their HS (including middle school) studies. You don't need stellar grades in the language or take a proficiency/placement test for these HS units to count. A fifth year/AP course is not needed- take it only if you want to continue in the language or use the time for another HS class senior year.

  • dnstudent26dnstudent26 Registered User Posts: 184 Junior Member
    Are you in state ?
This discussion has been closed.