Study in Language other than English

What better way to learn about oneself and to engage this culturally diverse world than by embarking on the study of a language and a culture other than one's own?! The University's Mission Statement defines a liberal education as "preparation for students to lead rich and rewarding lives, rejoicing in the diversity of the world." In addition, familiarity with a second language is a necessary tool for successfully living in an increasingly multicultural, multilingual, and interdependent world.

We offer Chinese (Mandarin), Classical Hebrew, Ancient Greek, French, German, Japanese, Latin, Russian, and Spanish to meet our language requirement. Languages are pursued with the support of a fine faculty, native-speaking language assistants, and a well-equipped Language Learning Center.

There are several ways in which you might satisfy this requirement for the Bachelor of Arts. (Language study for the Bachelor of Music varies.) You may fulfill the language requirement in one of the following ways:

  1. Complete the fourth semester (e.g., GERM 232 or SPAN 232) or a higher level in a classical or foreign language course with a minimum grade of C-; or
  2. Pass an examination demonstrating the equivalent of two years of college language study (e.g. achieve a minimum score of 4 on the AP exam, place higher than the 4th semester on the placement exam); or
  3. Present evidence of a primary language other than English to the Registrar’s Office; or
  4. Complete the 3rd semester of a foreign language (e.g., SPAN 231) with a minimum grade of C-, plus one semester of a designated course (taught in English) that deals with the culture or literature of the language studied or with linguistics.

As a general rule, college language courses will transfer on the basis of 1 credit for 4 semester hours or 6 quarter hours. If you have completed the second year of college language study you have probably satisfied the language requirement. Consult your Degree Audit to determine your language placement.

If you have not completed the language requirement, in most cases it is a good idea to get your language study underway in your first semester, if possible. If you wish to continue studying a language that you have previously studied, then you should take the appropriate Foreign Language Placement Exam. Here are two general guidelines: 1) One year of study at another college or university is generally equivalent to one year at Willamette. 2) Two years of high school study in a language are roughly equivalent to one year of college-level study in that same language. Of course, the strength and emphasis of language programs vary greatly, and you may have graduated high school some time ago.