World Languages

Courses in this area provide you with speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills in a second language as well as knowledge of the cultures in which the language is spoken.

To complete this requirement, you must

  • Complete the fourth year in a world language in high school; or
  • Complete four semesters* in an approved General Education world language course sequence at the University of Iowa [note the exception for Latin], or the equivalent courses at another college or university, or during study abroad; or
  • Pass a written and oral achievement test measuring proficiency in a world language taught at the University of Iowa, equivalent to that usually attained after four semesters of college study; or
  • Achieve a passing score on Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or other approved college-level world languages examination program.

*You may be required to complete fewer than four semesters based on your language placement test results.

Note:  Once you have completed the World Languages requirement, you may earn up to eight additional semester hours of college credit while studying a world language. Read about the Furthering Language Incentive Program (FLIP).

Proficiency Examinations
If you are proficient in a language taught at the University of Iowa for which you have received no formal instruction (or formal instruction below the fourth level), you may validate your proficiency or placement level with an examination.

Students with knowledge of Chinese, French, German, ancient Greek, Japanese, Latin, Russian, or Spanish should take one of the University of Iowa placement tests. These placement tests will help you choose the appropriate world language courses to complete the World Languages component of the General Education Program, or to continue language study beyond the fourth-semester level. If you have not yet satisfied the World Languages General Education requirement and your score on the placement test is at the level accepted by the department offering the exam, you may contact the department to arrange for an oral evaluation to determine if you have attained fourth-semester level proficiency to satisfy the World Languages requirement. Information on these placement exams may be found at Evaluation and Examination Service and under orientation information for UI Placement Exams

To arrange a placement or proficiency examination in American Sign Language, Arabic, Czech, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Portuguese, Sanskrit or Swahili, please contact the appropriate department.

Students do not earn semester hours toward graduation through placement or proficiency examinations.

Guidelines for Taking Placement Tests
Students proficient in more than one language may take the placement test in each language.

Students who have been enrolled in a University of Iowa course in a particular language past the deadline for adding courses may not take the placement exam in that language. Ordinarily, students may take a placement test in a particular language only once. Students may repeat an exam only if they have had a significant language learning experience outside the classroom since they first took the exam. Students seeking exceptions to these guidelines should consult with the appropriate department for permission to take the placement test.

If Your First Language is Not English
Students who completed secondary school in a language other than English, hold non-immigrant visas, and meet the College's English proficiency requirement may use English to complete the World Languages component of the General Education Program. The English proficiency requirement may be satisfied by (a) a score of 600 or above on the paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or a score of 100 or above on the Internet-based TOEFL (iBT); or (b) successful completion of required English as a Second Language (ESL) courses as determined by an English Proficiency Evaluation (EPE) conducted by the ESL Program; or (c) validation of English proficiency by the coordinator of ESL. Note: Students submitting scores from the IELTS examination must also take the on-campus English Proficiency Evaluation prior to their first UI registration.

Students who completed secondary school (grades 9 -12 or 10 -12) in English may not use English to complete the World Languages component of the General Education Program. These students must complete this requirement by other means.

Approved GE Course Sequences
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers a number of course sequences that can be used to complete the General Education Program. To avoid duplication or regression, students are advised to consult the appropriate world language department before registering.

AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE

Courses in American Sign Language (ASL) are offered by the American Sign Language Program. The following sequence fulfills the General Education Program's World Languages requirement.

ASL:1001 American Sign Language I 4 s.h.
ASL:1002 American Sign Language II 4 s.h.
ASL:2001 American Sign Language III 4 s.h.
ASL:2002 American Sign Language IV 4 s.h.

Students with previous knowledge of American Sign Language should consult the ASL program for placement.

ARABIC

Courses in Arabic are offered by the Department of French and Italian. The following sequence fulfills the General Education Program's World Languages requirement.

ARAB:1001 Elementary Modern Standard Arabic I 5 s.h.
ARAB:1002 Elementary Modern Standard Arabic II 5 s.h.
ARAB:2001 Intermediate Modern Standard Arabic I 5 s.h.
ARAB:2002 Intermediate Modern Standard Arabic II 5 s.h.

Students with previous knowledge of Arabic should consult the department for appropriate placement.

CHINESE

Courses in Chinese are offered by the Department of Asian and Slavic Languages and Literatures. For students without previous knowledge of Chinese, the department recommends the following sequence to fulfill the General Education Program's World Languages requirement.

CHIN:1111 First-Year Chinese: First Semester 5 s.h.
CHIN:1112 First-Year Chinese: Second Semester 5 s.h.
CHIN:2101 Second-Year Chinese: First Semester 5 s.h.
CHIN:2102 Second-Year Chinese: Second Semester 5 s.h.

Students may use varied combinations of Chinese language courses approved for General Education to fulfill the World Languages requirement. Heritage learners and students who have studied Chinese abroad may be able to fulfill the requirement by substituting CHIN:2103 Accelerated Second-Year Chinese: First Semester and CHIN:2104 Accelerated Second-Year Chinese: Second Semester for CHIN:2101 and CHIN:2102. Consult the department for more information.

CZECH

Courses in Czech are offered by the Department of Asian and Slavic Languages and Literatures. Effective fall 2013, the following sequence fulfills the General Education Program's World Languages requirement.

SLAV:1211 Conversational Czech I 3 s.h.
SLAV:1212 Conversational Czech II 3 s.h.
SLAV:2211 Conversational Czech III 3 s.h.
SLAV:2212 Conversational Czech IV 3 s.h.

Students with previous knowledge of Czech should consult the department for proper placement.

FRENCH

Courses in French are offered by the Department of French and Italian. For students without previous knowledge of French, the department recommends the following sequence to fulfill the General Education Program's World Languages requirement.

FREN:1001 Elementary French I 5 s.h.
FREN:1002 Elementary French II 5 s.h.
FREN:2001 Intermediate French I 4 s.h.
FREN:2002 Intermediate French II 4 s.h.

Students may use varied combinations of French language courses approved for General Education to fulfill the World Languages requirement. Those with previous knowledge of French may be able to fulfill the requirement by substituting FREN:1010 First-Year French Review for FREN:1001 and FREN:1002 in the sequence above. Some students may be evaluated as ready for FREN:2001 or FREN:2002. Consult the department for appropriate placement.

GERMAN

Courses in German are offered by the Department of German. For students without previous knowledge of German, the department recommends the following sequence to fulfill the General Education Program's World Languages requirement.

GRMN:1001 Elementary German I 4 s.h.
GRMN:1002 Elementary German II 4 s.h.
GRMN:2001 Intermediate German I 4 s.h.
GRMN:2002 Intermediate German II 4 s.h.

Students may use varied combinations of German language courses approved for General Education to fulfill the World Languages requirement. Those with previous knowledge of German may be able to fulfill the requirement by substituting GRMN:1010 First-Year German Review for GRMN:1001 and GRMN:1002 in the sequence above. Some students may be evaluated as ready for GRMN:2001 or GRMN:2002. Consult the department for appropriate placement.

The department also offers accelerated intensive courses, GRMN:1020 Intensive Elementary German and GRMN:2020 Intensive Intermediate German, which may be appropriate for students with strong language learning abilities or experience. The intensive courses may be combined with non-intensive courses to create other sequences that may be used to fulfill the General Education World Languages requirement. Consult the department to identify an appropriate course sequence.

GREEK

Courses in Greek are offered by the Department of Classics. Students without previous knowledge of Greek should fulfill the General Education Program's World Languages requirement with the following sequence.

CLSG:1001 Classical and New Testament Greek I 3-5 s.h.
CLSG:1002 Classical and New Testament Greek II 3-5 s.h.
CLSG:2001 Second-Year Greek I 3 s.h.
CLSG:2002 Second-Year Greek II 3 s.h.

Students with previous knowledge of Greek should consult the department for appropriate placement.

HINDI-URDU

Courses in Hindi are offered by the Department of Asian and Slavic Languages and Literatures. Students without previous knowledge of Hindi should fulfill the General Education Program's World Languages requirement with the following sequence. Each of these courses is open to entering first-year students.

SOAS:2101 First-Year Hindi-Urdu: First Semester 5 s.h.
SOAS:2102 First-Year Hindi-Urdu: Second Semester 5 s.h.
SOAS:3101 Second-Year Hindi-Urdu: First Semester 4 s.h.
SOAS:3102 Second-Year Hindi-Urdu: Second Semester 4 s.h.

Students with previous knowledge of Hindi should consult the department for appropriate placement.

ITALIAN

Courses in Italian are offered by the Department of French and Italian. Students without previous knowledge of Italian should fulfill the General Education Program's World Languages requirement with the following sequence.

ITAL:1101 Elementary Italian 5 s.h.
ITAL:1102 Elementary Italian II 5 s.h.
ITAL:2203 Intermediate Italian 4 s.h.
ITAL:2204 Intermediate Italian II 4 s.h.

Students with strong language learning abilities or a background in another Romance language may be able to complete the requirement by substituting ITAL:3002 Intensive Elementary Italian for ITAL:1101 and ITAL:1102 in the sequence above. Consult the department for appropriate placement.

JAPANESE

Courses in Japanese are offered by the Department of Asian and Slavic Languages and Literatures. For students without previous knowledge of Japanese, the department recommends the following sequence to fulfill the General Education Program's World Languages requirement.

JPNS:1001 First-Year Japanese: First Semester 5 s.h.
JPNS:1002 First-Year Japanese: Second Semester 5 s.h.
JPNS:2001 Second-Year Japanese: First Semester 5 s.h.
JPNS:2002 Second-Year Japanese: Second Semester 5 s.h.

Students may use varied combinations of Japanese language courses approved for General Education to fulfill the World Languages requirement. Those with previous knowledge of Japanese should consult the department for appropriate placement.

KOREAN

Courses in Korean are offered by the Department of Asian and Slavic Languages and Literatures. For students without previous knowledge of Korean, the department recommends the following sequence to fulfill the General Education Program's World Languages requirement.

ASIA:1101 First-Year Korean: First Semester 4 s.h.
ASIA:1102 First-Year Korean: Second Semester 4 s.h.
ASIA:2101 Second-Year Korean: First Semester 4 s.h.
ASIA:2102 Second-Year Korean: Second Semester 4 s.h.

Students with previous knowledge of Korean should consult the department for appropriate placement.

LATIN

Courses in Latin are offered by the Department of Classics. Students without previous knowledge of Latin should fulfill the General Education Program's World Languages requirement with the four courses listed below. Note that students must complete both a prose course, CLSL:2001 World of Cicero, and a poetry class, CLSL:2002 Golden Age of Roman Poetry, to complete the requirement in Latin for GE World Languages. Latin is thus different than other GE sequences because all students must complete both CLSL:2001 and CLSL:2002 to fulfill the GE requirement.

CLSL:1001 Elementary Latin I 3-5 s.h.
CLSL:1002 Elementary Latin II 3-5 s.h.
CLSL:2001 World of Cicero 3 s.h.
CLSL:2002 Golden Age of Roman Poetry 3 s.h.

Some students may be able to fulfill the requirement by substituting CLSL:1005 Accelerated Latin for CLSL:1001 and CLSL:1002 in the list above. Students who have taken CLSL:1001 and CLSL:1002 should not enroll in CLSL:1005. Consult the department for appropriate placement.

PORTUGUESE

Courses in Portuguese are offered by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. Only one sequence in Portuguese is approved to fulfill the General Education Program's World Languages requirement. Both courses in the sequence are open to entering first-year students.

PORT:3010 Accelerated Elementary Portuguese 6 s.h.
PORT:3020 Accelerated Intermediate Portuguese 6 s.h.

Students with previous knowledge of Portuguese should consult the department for appropriate placement.

RUSSIAN

Courses in Russian are offered by the Department of Asian and Slavic Languages and Literatures. Students without previous knowledge of Russian should fulfill the General Education Program's World Languages requirement with the following sequence.

SLAV:1111 First-Year Russian I 5 s.h.
SLAV:1112 First-Year Russian II 5 s.h.
SLAV:2111 Second-Year Russian I 4 s.h.
SLAV:2112 Second-Year Russian II 4 s.h.

Students with previous knowledge of Russian should consult the department for appropriate placement.

SANSKRIT

Courses in Sanskrit are offered by the Department of Asian and Slavic Languages and Literatures. Students without previous knowledge of Sanskrit should fulfill the General Education Program's World Languages requirement with the following sequence. Each of these courses is open to entering first-year students.

SOAS:2901/CLSA:2901 First-Year Sanskrit: First Semester 4 s.h.
SOAS:2902/CLSA:2902 First-Year Sanskrit: Second Semester 4 s.h.
SOAS:3901/CLSA:3901 Second-Year Sanskrit: First Semester 3 s.h.
SOAS:390 /CLSA:3902 Second-Year Sanskrit: Second Semester 3 s.h.

Students with previous knowledge of Sanskrit should consult the department for appropriate placement.

SPANISH

Courses in Spanish are offered by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. For students without previous knowledge of Spanish, the department recommends the following sequence to fulfill the General Education Program's World Languages requirement.

SPAN:1001 Elementary Spanish I 5 s.h.
SPAN:1002 Elementary Spanish II 5 s.h.
SPAN:1501 Intermediate Spanish I 5 s.h.
SPAN:1502 Intermediate Spanish II 5 s.h.

Students may use varied combinations of Spanish language courses approved for General Education to fulfill the General Education World Languages requirement. Those with previous knowledge of Spanish may be able to fulfill the requirement by substituting SPAN:1003 Elementary Spanish Review for SPAN:1001 and SPAN:1002 in the sequence above.

The accelerated course SPAN:1503 Accelerated Intermediate Spanish, which combines SPAN:1501 and SPAN:1502, may be appropriate for some students.

Students with previous knowledge of Spanish should take the language placement test in Spanish to help determine proper placement.

SWAHILI

Courses in Swahili are offered by the Department of French and Italian. The following sequence fulfills the General Education Program's World Languages requirement. Each of these courses is open to entering first-year students.

SWAH:3001 Elementary Swahili I 4 s.h.
SWAH:3002 Elementary Swahili II 4 s.h.
SWAH:3003 Intermediate Swahili I 4 s.h.
SWAH:3004 Intermediate Swahili II 4 s.h.

Students with previous knowledge of Swahili should consult the department for appropriate placement.

Other Course Sequences
A student who successfully completes a world language sequence through the fourth semester of proficiency which has not been approved for GE credit may have the sequence substitute for a proficiency test and thus fulfill the GE requirement.

If you have successfully completed a world language sequence in this manner, notify the CLAS department offering the sequence; the department will then contact Graduation Analysis to have your degree audit updated to show completion of the GE World Languages requirement.

CLAS does not need to grant additional permission for this update to occur.

Departments that offer world language sequences through the fourth semester of proficiency on a regular basis often instruct students on this possible General Education credit by noting it on the appropriate ISIS course description. These departments often pursue the formal approval of General Education status for the world language sequence as soon as feasible.