All undergraduate students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (excepting those pursuing a Bachelor of Public Affairs degree) must successfully satisfy the CLAS Group language requirement.

Students can do so by completing two courses in a single foreign language OR by taking and passing a Language Proficiency Exam. A third semester of a foreign language satisfies the University's Global Learning requirement.


Bilingual Students

Bilingual students who were born in and completed their secondary education in a country whose language is not English automatically fulfill the Language Requirement.  However, no credit (through course work or by examination) will be granted for elementary- or intermediate-level courses in that language. Bilingual students who satisfy the Foreign Language Group Requirement in this manner will simultaneously fulfill the University's General Education Requirement in Foreign Culture. You must contact the department's Academic Advisor Chris Clark at  313-577-6240 or to have your student record adjusted to indicate you have completed these requirements through being bilingual.


Basic Language Sequence Option

Under this option students must take and pass two courses in a single foreign language. Proficiency is proven by completing courses numbered 1010 (1100, 1110), and 1020 in one of the following languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Polish, Russian, Spanish, or Swahili.

If you studied a foreign language in high school or at another college or university, you can potentially start at a higher course level by taking a qualifying examination (see the next section) or through an interview. The Foreign Language  Requirement will be considered satisfied by those students whose test scores place them beyond the basic (1020) level.

For a list and description of the Basic Level Courses click here.


Language Proficiency Exam / Placement Exam

Students can also take a Language Proficiency Exam to fulfill the Foreign Language Requirement.  We offer exams in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Japanese, Italian, Latin, Polish, Romanian, Russian, and Spanish. All placement exams cost $20, payable by cash or check made out to Wayne State University.

For more information please contact the department's Academic Advisor Chris Clark, or call the main departmental office at 313-577-3002.


Graduate Language Requirement for PhD Students in CLAS Departments

PhD students in Liberal Arts departments can satisfy their departmental foreign language requirement through an examination in a language offered by CMLLC that satisfies the requirements of their degree-granting department.  Please consult with your Graduate Director/Advisor as to the requirements of your degree.

For students interested in Latin, they can satisfy their departmental foreign language requirement with Latin in one of two ways:

  • Students with a working knowledge of Latin can take a translation exam (2 hours, with a dictionary). A passage of approximately 500 words will be drawn from: Caesar Bellum Civile, Cicero In Catilinam I, Livy Book I, and Suetonius Augustus.

The exam will be administered on the first Friday of each Fall and Winter semester.  Students must register by the end of the previous semester.

  • Students with a rudimentary or with no knowledge of Latin should enroll in an appropriate Latin course upon the recommendation of the graduate advisor for Classics - Dr. Thomas Kohn.  Students who complete the third semester of Latin with a “B” or better will be considered proficient

For further information on the Latin language option, please contact  Dr. Thomas Kohn at 313-577-4740.

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