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 (158:011) American Sign Language I 4 s.h.
ASL:1002 (158:012) American Sign Language II 4 s.h.
ASL:2001 (158:013) American Sign Language III 4 s.h.
ASL:2002 (158:014) 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 (195:101) Elementary Modern Standard Arabic I 5 s.h.
ARAB:1002 (195:102) Elementary Modern Standard Arabic II 5 s.h.
ARAB:2001 (195:111) Intermediate Modern Standard Arabic I 5 s.h.
ARAB:2002 (195:112)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 (039:008) First-Year Chinese: First Semester 5 s.h.
CHIN:1112 (039:009) First-Year Chinese: Second Semester 5 s.h.
CHIN:2101 (039:105) Second-Year Chinese: First Semester 5 s.h.
CHIN:2102 (039:106) 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 (039:107) Accelerated Second-Year Chinese: First Semester and CHIN:2104 (039:114) Accelerated Second-Year Chinese: Second Semester for CHIN:2101 (039:105) and CHIN:2102 (039:106). 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 (041:141) Conversational Czech I (effective fall 2013) 4 s.h.
SLAV:1212 (041:142) Conversational Czech II (effective fall 2013) 3 s.h.
SLAV:2211 (041:143) Conversational Czech III (effective fall 2013) 3 s.h.
SLAV:2212 (041:144) Conversational Czech IV (effective fall 2013) 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 (009:001) Elementary French I 5 s.h.
FREN:1002 (009:002) Elementary French II 5 s.h.
FREN:2001 (009:011) Intermediate French I 4 s.h.
FREN:2002 (009:012) 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 (009:010) First-Year French Review for FREN:1001 (009:001) and FREN:1002 (009:002) in the sequence above. Some students may be evaluated as ready for FREN:2001 (009:011) or FREN:2002 (009:012). 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 (013:011) Elementary German I 4 s.h.
GRMN:1002 (013:012) Elementary German II 4 s.h.
GRMN:2001 (013:021) Intermediate German I 4 s.h.
GRMN:2002 (013:022) 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 (013:014) First-Year German Review for GRMN:1001 (013:011) and GRMN:1002 (013:012) in the sequence above. Some students may be evaluated as ready for GRMN:2001 (013:021) or GRMN:2002 (013:022). Consult the department for appropriate placement.

The department also offers accelerated intensive courses, GRMN:1020 (013:013) Intensive Elementary German and GRMN:2020 (013:025) 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 (20G:001) Classical and New Testament Greek I 3-5 s.h.
CLSG:1002 (20G:002) Classical and New Testament Greek II 3-5 s.h.
CLSG:2001 (20G:011) Second-Year Greek I 3 s.h.
CLSG:2002 (20G:012) Second-Year Greek II 3 s.h.

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

HINDI

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 (039:123) First-Year Hindi-Urdu: First Semester 5 s.h.
SOAS:2102 (039:124) First-Year Hindi-Urdu: Second Semester 5 s.h.
SOAS:3101 (039:126) Second-Year Hindi-Urdu: First Semester 4 s.h.
SOAS:3102 (039:127) 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 (018:001) Elementary Italian 5 s.h.
ITAL:1102 (018:002) Elementary Italian II 5 s.h.
ITAL:2203 (018:011) Intermediate Italian 4 s.h.
ITAL:2204 (018:012) 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 (018:103) Intensive Elementary Italian for ITAL:1101 (018:001) and ITAL:1102 (018:002) 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:1101 (39J:010) First-Year Japanese: First Semester 5 s.h.
JPNS:1103 (39J:012) First-Year Japanese: Second Semester 5 s.h.
JPNS:3101 (39J:101) Second-Year Japanese: First Semester 4-5 s.h.
JPNS:3102 (39J:102) Second-Year Japanese: Second Semester 4-5 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 (039:040) First-Year Korean: First Semester 4 s.h.
ASIA:1102 (039:041) First-Year Korean: Second Semester 4 s.h.
ASIA:2101 (039:042) Second-Year Korean: First Semester 4 s.h.
ASIA:2102 (039:043) 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 (20L:001) Elementary Latin I 3-5 s.h.
CLSL:1002 (20L:002) Elementary Latin II 3-5 s.h.
CLSL:2001 (20L:011) World of Cicero 3 s.h.
CLSL:2002 (20L:012) Golden Age of Roman Poetry 3 s.h.

Some students may be able to fulfill the requirement by substituting CLSL:1005 (20L:005) Accelerated Latin for CLSL:1001 (20L:001) and CLSL:1002 (20L:002) in the list above. Students who have taken CLSL:1001 (20L:001) and CLSL:1002 (20L:002) should not enroll in CLSL:1005 (20L:005). 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 (038:100) Accelerated Elementary Portuguese 6 s.h.
PORT:3020 (038:101) 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 (041:001) First-Year Russian I 5 s.h.
SLAV:1112 (041:002) First-Year Russian II 5 s.h.
SLAV:2111 (041:003) Second-Year Russian I 4 s.h.
SLAV:2112 (041:004) 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 (039:110)/CLSA:2901 (20E:110) First-Year Sanskrit: First Semester 4 s.h.
SOAS:2902 (039:111)/CLSA:2902 (20E:111) First-Year Sanskrit: Second Semester 4 s.h.
SOAS:3901 (039:112)/CLSA:3901 (20E:121) Second-Year Sanskrit: First Semester 3 s.h.
SOAS:3902 (039:113)/CLSA:3902 (20E:122) 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 (035:001) Elementary Spanish I 5 s.h.
SPAN:1002 (035:002) Elementary Spanish II 5 s.h.
SPAN:1501 (035:011) Intermediate Spanish I 5 s.h.
SPAN:1502 (035:012) 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 (035:005) Elementary Spanish Review for SPAN:1001 (035:001) and SPAN:1002 (035:002) in the sequence above.

The accelerated course SPAN:1503 (035:013) Accelerated Intermediate Spanish, which combines SPAN:1501 (035:011) and SPAN:1502 (035:012), 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 (211:125) Elementary Swahili I 4 s.h.
SWAH:3002 (211:126) Elementary Swahili II 4 s.h.
SWAH:3003 (211:127) Intermediate Swahili I 4 s.h.
SWAH:3004 (211:128) 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.