Students should fulfill their Foreign Language Proficiency requirement in their first or second year at the College. Students who have never had formal training in a foreign language, or who have not had sufficient training to fulfill the foreign language proficiency requirement, are advised as follows.
I. If you never studied any foreign language, you should enroll in 101 of the language of your choice.
II. Placement By Years of High School Study
- If you have completed Level I, you should enroll in 101 or 102.
- If you have completed Level II, you should enroll in 102 or 201.
- If you have completed Level III, you should enroll in either 201 or 202.
- If you have completed Level IV in Arabic, Chinese, Japanese or Russian, you should enroll in 202 or higher. If you have completed Level IV in French, Italian, German or Spanish, you should enroll in the following courses: e.g. French 210 or 212; German 205 or 206; Italian 206 or 208; Hispanic Studies 203, 206 or 207.
- If you have completed Level V, you should enroll in courses above 202.
III. Placement by Examination
For information on placement based on AP, SAT II or ACTFL exams, see the Requirement for Degrees in the College Catalog, under "Course Specific Requirements."
IV. Accelerated Language Tracks
Some languages offer accelerated tracks: 103 is the equivalent of 101 and 102 in one semester; 203 is the equivalent of 201 and 202 in one semester. 203 fulfills the College Foreign Language Proficiency Requirement. Levels may not be repeated for credit.
203 may not be used to fulfill course requirements in majors that include courses taught in the target language above 202.
An intensive course for heritage speakers and highly motivated students who have completed GRMN 102 or the equivalent and wish to master the material of GRMN 201 and GRMN 202 in one semester. Permission of the instructor is required to enroll in German 203.
Italian 103 and 203
This track is recommended for students with prior experience with Romance Language study or heritage speakers. Permission of the instructor is required to enroll in Italian 103. If students have completed Italian 103 at the College, they may enroll in Italian 203. Otherwise, permission of the instructor is required for Italian 203.
Spanish 103 and 203
These courses are recommended for highly motivated students who have prior experience with the language, heritage speakers, or those who have studied a romance language previously. Students who have completed HISP 102 at the College or HISP 103 should take HISP 203 as their next course.
V. Placement Tests
Placement tests are offered in Arabic, Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Russian. Incoming students who wish to continue studying these languages at The College of William and Mary must take a placement exam given before the start of classes in the fall semester in order to determine the appropriate language level. Mid-year transfer students who wish to continue language study in the spring semester should contact the Program Director for that language, or his/her designate.
These exams are advisory only and do not override the placement guidelines above; students whose placement tests results indicate a need for remedial study should attend faculty office hours and seek tutoring at the Tribe Tutor Zone or with a private tutor. See the Modern Languages website for more information on exams for these languages or visit the MLL Events Calendar here for a list of placement exams.
If you have questions concerning the placement exam please contact: