Foreign Language Proficiency Requirement

All William and Mary students are required to demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language commensurate with the 202/203 level at William & Mary before they graduate. A foreign language is understood to mean a natural language other than English. Completion of the foreign language requirement is accomplished in any of the following ways:

  1. completion of Level IV in high school of an ancient or modern foreign language;
  2. a score of at least 600 in a modern foreign language or 650 in Latin on the College Board SAT II subject test taken prior to matriculation at the College;
  3. completion of a college language course taught in the original language at or above the 202/203 level at the College of William & Mary;
  4. graduation from a high school where the main language of instruction was not English;
  5. a score of  "intermediate" or higher on the ACTFL standardized test for a language other than English.

Students seeking to demonstrate proficiency at W&M by means of options 3, 4, or 5 may petition the Registrar. Petition forms may be obtained at the Registrar's website. Petitions for fulfillment of the FLP should be completed by the end of the junior year.

Among the ancient languages in which one may demonstrate proficiency at William and Mary are Latin, Greek, and Biblical Hebrew. Students who wish to take a placement examination in Classical Greek or Biblical Hebrew should contact the Department of Classical Studies. Students may discuss with the Chair of Classical Studies the possibility of demonstrating proficiency in other ancient languages.

Unless students have completed the fourth year level in high school of a single ancient or modern foreign language, or demonstrate proficiency by achieving scores of 600 on the College Board SAT II Subject Test in French, German, Russian or Spanish, or scores of 650 on the Test in Latin, they must satisfactorily complete a fourth semester course (or above) and all necessary prerequisites in a language in college. The fourth semester course, as well as prerequisite courses taken since matriculation at the College, may not be taken on a pass/fail basis. The student may fulfill the foreign language proficiency through study abroad if 1) prior approval for the course has been obtained from the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, and 2) the course is taken in a country where the language is the official language. The following additional placement rules apply to modern languages:

Students should fulfill their Foreign Language Proficiency requirement in their first or second year at the College.

If you need to complete FLP at the College (i.e. through 202 or 203), please visit the MLL placement rules.