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Placement for Credit in Modern Languages

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

I. If you never studied any foreign language, you should enroll in 101 or 103 of the language of your choice.

Some languages offer combined 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 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.

II. Placement Process for the Languages offered at the Department of Modern Languages and Literature

  1. If you wish to continue a language, and you have not taken a standardized exam (AP, SAT II, IB, CLEP exam), you must take that Program’s placement exam.
    If you would like to know where you placed according to a standardized exam, follow this link
  2. Students who transfer language credit from other post-secondary institutions, wish to continue with the language, and earned specific course credits (Fren 202 for example) do not need to take a placement test and can go to the next level recommended by the program. If you have earned elective credits (Fren 2xx, for example,), they do not count toward placement. You must take the placement test.
  3. Credit earned for a specific course can be revoked with the approval of the program’s placement coordinator or program director, thus allowing a student to retake a course for credit.

The Placement Exam is available online through Blackboard for Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish. The Chinese program conducts face-to-face assessment instruments and interviews on Monday before the first day of classes in August. In order to take a placement test, search for an appropriate assessment test in the College Studies course Blackboard site. The exam should be completed before the student’s first full-time semester at William & Mary. 

If you would like to take the placement test, please self-enroll via the link below to the Blackboard site and take the appropriate placement test. After you complete the test, it is your responsibility to contact the appropriate language placement coordinator and let her know that you have completed the placement test.


If you have questions concerning PLACEMENT, please contact the program:

  • Arabic: [[jceise, John Eisele]]
  • Chinese: [[qsu, Qian Su]]
  • French: [[mxcomp, Magali Compan]]
  • German: [[jmgully, Jennifer Gülly]]
  • Italian: [[mjseger, Monica Seger]]
  • Japanese: [[akitamura, Aiko Kitamura]]
  • Russian: [[axprok, Alexander Prokhorov]]
  • Spanish: [[pmcarrion, Paulina Carrión]]