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Second Language Proficiency Policy

All undergraduate students with two or more years of high school study in Chinese, French, Italian, Russian or Spanish, who plan to continue their study of the same language in either the fall, spring or summer semester must take a placement examination to determine the appropriate level of college study. Test scores remain valid for one year, so students who postpone language study beyond that year must retake the placement test.  All students with less than two years of high school study in a language will automatically be placed in the 10-level course in their chosen language.

All students must begin their language study at the evaluated placement level and will not receive Core credit if they start at a lower level.

  • Students placed at 101 must take 101 and 102 in the same language.

  • Students placed at 102 must take 102 and 280 in the same language.

  • Students placed at the 200 level or above must take one 3-credit course at the level of their placement.


  • Students will be exempt from second language study if they satisfy one of the following requirements:
  • Students who have completed secondary schooling in a language other than English
  • Students who have taken the foreign language SAT II exam prior to enrollment and have a score of 550 or above
  • Students who have taken the Language and/or the Literature Advanced Placement Exam in a foreign language and scored 4 or 5 will receive 3 or 6 credits that satisfy the Core
  • Students who take the NYU 12 point Proficiency Exam and score 12 points receive 3 credits of language Core credit
  • Please note that American Sign Language (ASL) may be used to fulfill the Core language requirement.
  • Students who transfer 25 college credits or more in the Lubin School of Business, the Lienhard School of Nursing, and the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems may fulfill language Core requirement by taking one culture course with a prefix of ARA, CHI, FRE, JPN, GRK, ITA, JPN, LAT, RUS, or SPA.