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The Language Requirement

The Rules

  • Students must complete their Foreign Language Requirement by the end of their seventh term in residence.  (“Residence” includes study abroad on a Dartmouth Program, LSA, LSA+ or FSP)
  • The Language Requirement can be fulfilled by:
  1. Placing out (either through a placement test or individual evaluation done by the appropriate department).
  2. Completing the requirement through Dartmouth coursework.
    This involves completion of study through level 3 (i.e. Spanish 3, Greek 3, Chinese 3).
    This can be done either on campus or through one of the LSA programs. Some languages (Greek, Latin, Portuguese) can be done in two terms.
  • Courses used to fulfill the language requirement cannot also be used to fulfill Distributive Requirements.
  • A student cannot NRO a language course being used for the fulfillment of the Language Requirements.
  • Placement tests are offered at the beginning of the year in: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Russian, and Spanish.
  • Students proficient in a language not taught at Dartmouth (such as Navajo or Swedish) may be able to obtain an exemption from the Language Requirement.  They must contact Professor David A. Peterson (646-4024). Please note that although Dartmouth does not teach Korean, there is a Korean language test administered through DAMELL. Students should contact DAMELL with questions about a language exemption for Korean.

Advising Tips for Languages

  • A student should have a clear plan about how s/he is going to fulfill the language requirement, even if s/he is not going to study that language in the first or second term on campus.
  • A first-year student who has placed out of some but not all of a language sequence should be advised to complete the needed courses as soon as possible. The longer s/he waits to pick it up the rustier s/he will be and the more difficulty s/he will have.  Putting it off will frequently result in problems later on.
  • A student should consider early on whether or not s/he wants to do foreign study, and when.  A student should avoid taking the last pre-requisite more than two terms before going on the LSA (+).
  • Encourage students who have not thought about it to consider foreign study (LSA or LSA+) associated with the language s/he will fulfill the requirement with.  A student need not major in the language, and these programs are often some of the most important a Dartmouth student will have during their entire curriculum.
  • Students must earn a B- or better in the 1-2 sequences to go on the LSAs to Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

Last Updated: 9/4/13