- Overview and options
- Summer 2024 World Languages pathways
- World language courses offered at UI
- Policies for languages taught at UI
- Policies for languages not taught at UI
GE CLAS Core courses in World Languages provide 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 GE CLAS Core requirement in World Languages, students may choose one of the following options:
- Complete four years of a single world language in high school.
- Achieve the fourth level of proficiency in a world language by completing the appropriate sequence of courses offered at the University of Iowa.
- Achieve the fourth level of proficiency by completing courses at another college or university or through approved study abroad courses.
- Achieve an equivalent score on a related Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or other approved college-level examination accepted by the University of Iowa and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences See Credit by Exam Options on the Office of Admissions website.
- Earn an equivalent score on both the UI written placement test and on a UI proficiency exam in a language taught at the University of Iowa. See World Languages Placement Test (WLPT) on the New Student Services website.
- Earn an equivalent score on a proficiency exam in a language that is not taught at the University of Iowa. See Proficiency Examinations for Languages Not Taught at UI.
A fourth level of proficiency is equivalent to the successful completion of an intermediate II language course or of a second-year second semester course, for example, as taught at the University of Iowa.
Depending on a student's placement test results and the language taken, a student may need to take four semesters of a language, starting with a beginning course and ending with a second semester intermediate course. Other students may be able to start elsewhere in the language sequence and complete the GE World Language requirement by taking two or three courses. For students seeking to complete this requirement, the Division of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures offers guidance in the UI CLAS Core World Languages Requirement Guide.
Semester hours earned for these courses vary by language. Students should be sure to take the placement test for the language of interest and should be aware of the course sequence required to fulfill the GE requirement in World Languages for that particular language.
Once the World Languages requirement is completed, a student may earn up to eight additional semester hours of college credit while studying a world language. See Furthering Language Incentive Program (FLIP).
Students who have a documented learning disability related to learning a foreign language may qualify for world language substitution course work. Students should contact Student Disability Services (SDS) as soon as possible and review their site for the information and documents needed to apply for accommodations. See World Language Substitution Courses for additional information.
Additional pathways to complete the GE CLAS Core World Languages requirement will be available beginning in summer 2024. The pathways will be available to new students entering the UI for their first degree-seeking session in summer 2024 or later. Current and former students may opt-in to one of the new pathways beginning in summer 2024. Please see Summer 2024 World Languages Pathways for additional information.
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers many course sequences that can be used to complete World Languages General Education CLAS Core requirement. To avoid duplication or regression, students are strongly advised to first take the related placement test and to consult the appropriate world language department or with the departmental advisor before enrolling in a course. The General Catalog on the Office of the Registrar's website lists languages and related courses currently offered at the UI that satisfy the CLAS Core General Education World Languages requirement.
If a student has attained fourth level of proficiency in a language taught at the University of Iowa and if this knowledge is not in the form of course work and therefore does not appear on the student's degree audit, it is possible to validate proficiency with a placement test and an oral proficiency interview given at the University of Iowa.
Students do not earn credit hours toward graduation through UI placement tests and oral proficiency interviews for languages taught at UI or for proficiency exams offered for languages not taught at the UI.
- For languages taught at the University of Iowa, students must first take the related University of Iowa written placement test.
- If the score earned on the placement test is at a level accepted by the department offering the related test, the student should next contact the department to arrange for a proficiency interview.
- Most world languages are offered by the Division of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures and by the Department of Classics for Latin or ancient Greek. Contact information for UI languages is may be found at DWLLC Placement Test and Proficiency Interview Contact Information.
- Successful completion of both the placement test and the proficiency interview is required to fulfill the GE World Languages requirement for languages taught at UI. There are no exceptions to this policy.
Guidelines for taking placement tests for languages taught at UI
- Students proficient in more than one language may take the placement test in each language taught at UI.
- A student who has been enrolled in a University of Iowa World Languages course may not take the placement test in that language if the student has been in the course past the UI deadline for adding courses.
- Ordinarily, a student may take a placement test in a particular language only once.
- A student may repeat placement test only if a significant language-learning experience outside of the classroom has occurred since the exam was first taken.
Students seeking exceptions to these guidelines should consult with the department teaching the related language for permission to retake the placement test.
A student with a knowledge of a language that is not taught at UI may have the option of taking a proficiency exam to meet the GE CLAS Core World Languages requirement. If the exam shows that the student meets the required fourth level for GE CLAS Core language proficiency, the student will have fulfilled this requirement in World Languages. See Proficiency Examinations for Languages Not Taught at UI for more information and for guidelines on proficiency exams for languages not taught at the University of Iowa.