Language Requirements

Departments may require “standard proficiency” or “advanced proficiency” in language competence in one or more foreign languages for graduate degrees.

Standard proficiency assumes a reading-comprehension level expected of a student who has completed one year of college foreign-language instruction or the equivalent. Students may verify standard proficiency in one of the following ways:

  1. Complete a second-semester language course (1020), or the equivalent at another institution, with at least a B grade (3.0). Submit a grade report or transcript to the Department of Languages and Literature, 1400 Language and Communication Building, for verification. Courses must have been taken not more than six years prior to the date of application for language verification.
  2. Pass the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) Reading Proficiency Test (RPT) for French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, or Spanish in the Testing Center with a score of “Novice Mid” (=equivalent of second semester language course). Testing for most other common languages is available through Brigham Young University. Students interested in taking the ACTFL Reading Proficiency Test should first contact the Department of Languages and Literature for instructions and authorization.
  3. Pass a foreign language examination designed by the major department at a level consistent with discipline specific expectations at peer institutions. This option may be more appropriate for certain degree programs that require standard proficiency in translation, rather than standard conversational proficiency. If assistance is needed, the department may consult with the Department of Languages and Literature.

Advanced proficiency assumes a reading-comprehension level expected of a student who has completed two years of college foreign-language instruction or the equivalent. Students may verify advanced proficiency in one of the following ways:

  1. Complete a fourth-semester language course (2020), or equivalent at another institution, with at least a B grade (3.0). Submit a grade report or transcript to the Department of Languages and Literature, 1400 Language and Communication Building, for verification. Courses must have been taken not more than six years prior to the date of application for language verification.
  2. Pass the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) Reading Proficiency Test (RPT) for French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, or Spanish in the Testing Center with a score of “Intermediate” (=equivalent of fourth semester language course ). Testing for most other common languages is available through Brigham Young University. Students interested in taking the ACTFL Reading Proficiency Test should first contact the Department of Languages and Literature for instructions and authorization.
  3. Pass a foreign language examination designed by the major department at a level consistent with discipline specific expectations at peer institutions. This option may be more appropriate for certain degree programs that require advanced proficiency in translation, rather than advanced conversational proficiency. If assistance is needed, the department may consult with the Department of Languages and Literature.