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Language Requirement

All candidates for the Bachelor of Arts degree (including returning students and transfers from other universities, colleges or community colleges) must satisfy a language requirement in one of the following ways:

  1. Pass a UMass Dartmouth Intermediate II-level course (usually 202) in a language other than English. See below, "Language Classes at UMD: Where Do I Start?" for more information.

  2. Pass a Placement Test. Incoming students who have studied a language in high school or elsewhere can take a placement test; if the student achieves the appropriate score, their language requirement will be fulfilled. No academic credits are awarded for satisfactory performance on this test.

    • Placement tests in French, German, and Spanish can be taken online by going to the portal (my.umassd.edu): click on "Student Resources," then click on "New Students." Under the "New Students" section, click on the placement testing link. For Arabic or Italian, please contact the Foreign Literature and Languages Department Office at (508) 999-8332.
    • For placement tests in Portuguese or Cape Verdean Creole, please contact the Portuguese Department Office at (508) 910-6586.

  3. Pass the Advanced Placement Test. A student may take AP classes in high school and NOT receive AP credits. Advanced Placement credits are only given when a student passes the Advanced Placement test. If a student passes the Literature and Culture AP test, she or he will earn 6 credits at the literature level; this also satisfies the language requirement. These are accepted as transfer credits. It is the student's responsibility to have records of these credits submitted to the Registrar's Office.

  4. CLEP (College Level Examination Program) credits are accepted as transfer credits. Any student can take a CLEP examination and have the results sent to the Registrar's Office (just like transfer credits). The results are evaluated by the Department of Foreign Literature & Languages and credit will be granted according to the scores.

  5. Proof of Proficiency. If a student is proficient in a language that is not taught at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, the burden of proof of proficiency falls upon the student. A letter, on letterhead, from a business/ clergyperson/ faculty member/ member of the community may or may not be accepted as proof of proficiency; the letter should contain the student's name, student ID number and a contact number for the community member. This document becomes a permanent record in the Department of Foreign Literature and Languages and is kept there until the student graduates.

  6. ASL (American Sign Language). Completion of American Sign Language certification at the Intermediate II (202) level will satisfy the language requirement for all candidates for the Bachelor of Arts degree, including returning students and transfer students from other institutions of higher education. Academic credits will be awarded for American Sign Language courses, provided they are taken at a regionally accredited institution of higher learning. If the student has completed the sequence of American Sign Language courses, the student will receive up to 12 transfer credits in the equivalent of foreign language elective credit at the corresponding level.
  7. Pass the American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI).  Documentation of a passing score is required, in which case, the student will receive six credits.

Language Classes at UMD: Where Do I Start?      

  • If you have no language background, begin with a 101 course in the language of your choice, and continue through four semesters, ending with the 202-level language course. Start early!

  • If you have some language background and want to know which course to start with...

    • in French, Spanish, or German, take the online placement test: in the portal (my.umassd.edu), click on "Student Resources," then click on "New Students." Under the "New Students" section, click on the placement testing link.

    •  in Arabic or Italian, please contact the Department of Foreign Literature and Languages at (508) 999-8332 to discuss placement testing.

    • in Portuguese or Cape Verdean Creole, please contact the Department of Portuguese at (508) 910-6586 or go to the department's main office, located in LArts 398G.

  • When are the various language courses offered? Not every language is offered at every level each semester. For more information, check on COIN, using the prefix for the language to find the appropriate class: ex. ARA, CVC, FRN, GER, ITA, POR, SPA.

  • Please note that at UMass Dartmouth, SPA 203 (Intensive Intermediate Spanish), POR 203 (Intensive Intermediate Portuguese), and POR 204 (Portuguese for Heritage Learners II) are equivalent to the Intermediate II requirement.


If you have a qualified learning disability that prohibits language acquisition
, please contact the Center for Access and Success at (508) 999-8711 for more information on how to proceed. The Center is located in Pine Dale Hall, Room 7136. The Center is open M-F 8-5.

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