Foreign language requirement

This requirement will be satisfied by completion of the Intermediate II course (202 at UA) of a foreign language at the University level. 

A student may place at any point in the language sequence so this is not a credit hour requirement but rather a course completion requirement for an Intermediate II course.  Students who place above the 202 level must take one course to demonstrate proficiency.  Demonstration of equivalent competence gained through non-academic "life experience" may be allowed through a test approved by the Department of Modern Languages contingent upon the availability of an appropriate test. 

The Department of Modern Languages offers credit by examination in Spanish. This can only be done in certain circumstances and in tandem with a declaration of a second major in the language.  Native speakers of a language other than English may be exempted from the foreign language requirement upon providing evidence of  competence in the four basic language skills (speaking, reading, writing and listening comprehension) at a level equivalent to or higher than successful completion of the second year of instruction in the language at the University level.  No credit is granted for exemption from the foreign language requirement.  Sign Language is acceptable toward the foreign language requirement.

Please note that if your language requirement is waived, you must still make up the number of language credits as required by your major. Your academic advisor will be able to provide guidance on the appropriate alternate classes to take, preferably classes toward your major or minor.

Foreign Language (FL) Placement

Who needs a placement test:

It is mandatory that all students who have had prior experience in FL learning, and who wish to continue in that language at UA, take a placement test to determine the proper level of French, German, Italian, Latin or Spanish in which to enroll. If placed beyond the first semester of a language, a student may purchase bypass credit at a very modest cost for the courses that were able to be skipped as long as a grade of C or higher was earned in the initial course that is taken.

How long is the placement test valid?

Test results will be valid for one academic year. Once you take the Placement test, we strongly recommend taking the class into which you are place as soon as possible.

When and where to take the test:

Placement testing should be done prior to your NSO appointment. Where you take the test and the type of test depends on the language. Regardless of which test you take, when you take your placement test it is important to be prepared to do your best in order to get an accurate placement.


For placement in French, Italian, German and Spanish, students need to take the WebCape Placement Test using Chrome or Firefox (IE and Edge are not currently supported).

WebCape uses state of the art on-line computer testing techniques to efficiently place students in the first two years of college language classes. Because of its adaptive system, WebCape determines a student’s competency quite accurately. 

The WebCape placement test can be found on your "My Experience" page of your My Akron.  There will be a "Placement Test" icon in the column on the left side of the screen. This link will direct you to complete a survey to determine if you need to take language placement testing. If so, you should select the language (French, Italian, German, or Spanish) and you will be redirected to the WebCape testing site to create an account using your UANET ID. You will be prompted to complete a “pre-survey” which is not required to complete the test.  The on-line exam takes about 20 minutes and the feedback is immediate. It is done in your home or other quiet setting and must be done in one session. Your score will show on the screen upon completion of the test.  Once students have taken their test and have the results, they should discuss them with their advisor at NSO so they can place the student into the appropriate class.

The exam can only be taken once. Using the cutoff numbers for each language, students are able to be placed accurately in the appropriate class.  

Please see info sheet below for information regarding scores and who to contact within the department.

Testing Quick Reference Guide v7

Other options:

  • CLEP
    Students have also an option of taking CLEP (College Level Examination Program) test in French, German and Spanish.  Based on the results of the test, students can earn college credits and fulfill their foreign language requirement altogether, or may be placed at the appropriate level and earn credit for preceding courses. The CLEP test is administered by the Counseling & Testing Center in 304 Simmons Hall.  Students can learn more about CLEP testing at uakron.edu/counseling/testing and may register to take a CLEP test at http://clep.collegeboard.org/started. CLEP charges $80 per exam and there is a $25 fee at Counseling & Testing Center for administering. Students can schedule an appointment to take a CLEP test by calling 330-972-7084.
  • Advanced Placement (AP)
    Students interested in receiving foreign language credits based on the AP exam scores may contact 330-972-8300 or registrar@uakron.edu.
  • International Baccalaureate (IB)
    Students interested in receiving foreign language credits based on their completion of the IB may contact  330-972-8300 or registrar@uakron.edu.

Language Requirement Waiver Information

If you believe you are eligible to receive a waiver of your language requirement, please see the following options to determine if you are able to do so:

Native speakers

If you are a native speaker, you must provide a high school transcript from your country showing that you were educated in that language.  (Please be advised that this means your core courses were conducted in another language). If possible, a translated copy of the transcript would be ideal. The Modern Languages’ department chair will review the transcript and, if approved, you may receive a waiver of your language requirement. 

Oral proficiency Interview

An oral proficiency interview may be taken through ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages).   You may contact ACTFL at their website: languagetesting.com to arrange a virtual interview.  As there are no local proctor sites for this test, please select the option “Remote Proctoring”. ACTFL will provide testing results directly to you.  If you receive a rating of intermediate mid or higher, please bring your test score to the Department and we will provide a language requirement waiver.