Language Requirement

Basic conversational and reading proficiency in a modern foreign language, or advanced reading proficiency in a classical language.

This requirement may be taken Pass/Not Pass.

The language requirement may be satisfied by:

  • Passing a foreign language proficiency exam which consists of a satisfactory score on a standard reading examination and conversational proficiency in an oral interview.
  • Completion of a fourth quarter (or higher level) college language course (completion of a third semester Intermediate level course if taken outside of UCSD).
  • Completion of a UCSD Heritage Language course for bilingual speakers.
  • Appropriate AP or IB score.
  • Score of 700 or higher on the SAT Subject Test in a foreign language.
  • A native speaker of a language other than English and having attended at least one year of high school taught in that language.

Proficiency Exams

French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish

You should take this exam if you have completed four or more years of foreign language in high school, or if you are bilingual. There are two components to the proficiency exam: written and oral. Test scores do not go on your record unless you pass both the written and oral proficiency exams. Proficiency exams in these languages are given every quarter.

Click for Exam Dates

Other Languages

If you wish to take the proficiency exam in languages other than those listed above please visit the Linguistics Language Program, Proficiency Exam Explanation page.

English as a Second Language

If your native language is other than English AND you attended at least one year of high school (9th, 10th, 11th or 12th grade) taught in a language other than English, you will satisfy the language proficiency requirement in English. Please file an Undergraduate Student Petition at the Revelle Advising Office to satisfy this requirement.

Language Placement

Placement exams in
French, German, Italian and Spanish

Placement in language is determined by the results of the online language placement exam. Anyone with previous coursework in language is required to take the placement exam. The placement exam cannot be repeated.

Exemptions from language placement exam:

  • Native speaker
  • AP score of 3 or above - follow the AP chart for language.
  • Three or more semesters of community college or 4 quarters or more of college language study.
Placement in American Sign Language, Arabic, Hebrew,
Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and Russian

No former study of this language or some high school study: Enroll in the first course and then consult with the director of the program about moving into a higher level course.

First Course Course for Proficiency
American Sign Language LISL 1A/1AX LISL 1D/DX *
Arabic LIAB 1A/1AX LIAB 1D/1DX *
Hebrew (Judaic Studies) JUDA 1 JUDA 101 *
Japanese JAPN 10A JAPN 20A *
Korean LTKO 1A LTKO 2A *
Portuguese LIPO 1A/1AX LIPO 1D/DX *
Russian LTRU 1A LTRU 2A *
Placement in Chinese
All students must take a placement interview before enrolling in a CHIN course. See the Chinese Studies website for more information.
First Course: CHIN 10A | Course for Proficiency: CHIN 20A *
Placement in Greek
No former study of this language.
LTGK 1
See instructor about Greek preparation.
LTGK 2
LTGK 3
UD Course *
Placement in Latin
No former study of this language or one to two years high school.
LTLA 1
Contact the Classics advisor for Literature Department for placement
LTLA 2
LTLA 3
AP Latin score of 3 or higher IB Latin score of 5 or higher
LTLA 100 *

*Satisfies the Revelle language proficiency.

Language Placement with AP or IB Credit

AP French/Spanish/German Language
Score Requirement Satisfied Units Exempt Enroll In
3 Unit Credit 8 Ling. 1C/1CX Ling. 1D/1DX or Lit 2A or try
proficiency exam
4 Proficiency 8 Ling. 1D/1DX or Lit. 2A Lit. 2B
5 Proficiency 8 Lit. 2B Lit. 2C
AP Spanish Literature
Score Requirement Satisfied Units Exempt Enroll In
3 Proficiency 8 LISP 1D/1DX or LTSP 2A LTSP 2B
4 Proficiency 8 LTSP 2B LTSP 2C
5 Proficiency 8 LTSP 2C LTSP 50A or UD LTSP
AP Chinese Culture and Language
Score Requirement Satisfied Units Exempt Enroll In
3 Petition for proficiency if placement is above CHIN 20A 8 Determined by
Chinese
Studies
Department
See Chinese
Studies
Department
4 Proficiency 8
5 Proficiency 8
AP Latin Virgil or Literature
Score Requirement Satisfied Units Exempt Enroll In
3, 4, 5 Unit Credit 4 per exam Exempt LTLA 1, 2, 3 LILA 100
AP Italian Language and Culture
Score Requirement Satisfied Units Exempt Enroll In
3 Unit Credit 8 LIIT 1C/1CX

LIIT 1D/1DX or
LTIT 2A or try proficiency exam

4 Proficiency 8 LIIT 1D/1DX or LTIT 2A LTIT 2B
5 Proficiency 8 LTIT 2B LTIT 50
AP Japanese Language and Culture
Score Requirement Satisfied Units Exempt Enroll In
3 Unit Credit 8 Determined by
Japanese
Studies
Department
See Japanese
Studies
Department
4 Proficiency 8
5 Proficiency 8
IB Language B
Score Requirement Satisfied Units Exempt Enroll In
5, 6, 7 Unit Credit 8 Elective credit only Try proficiency exam
IB Linguistics - Language A
Score Requirement Satisfied Units Exempt Enroll In
5 Unit credit 8 Determined by
Department
See
department
4 Proficiency 8
IB Latin
Score Requirement Satisfied Units Exempt Enroll In
5, 6, 7 Unit Credit 8 LTLA 1, 2, 3 LTLA 100 or try proficiency exam

Note: If you receive AP, IB or previous college credit, you will not be given credit for repeating the equivalent course, or taking a lower level course.

When Language Courses are Offered

Courses Offered by the Linguistics Department
Department Fall Winter Spring
Spanish (LISP), French (LIFR), American Sign Language (LISL), German (LIGM), Arabic (LIAB), Italian (LIIT), Portuguese (LIPO) 1A/1AX 1b/1BX 1C/1CX
1D/1DX*
Spanish (LISP), French (LIFR), American Sign Language (LISL) 1A/1AX
1B/1BX 1C/1CX 1D/1DX*

Linguistics classes consist of two separate 2.5 unit courses.

Courses Offered by the Literature Department
Department Level Fall Winter Spring

Spanish (LTSP), French (LTFR)
2nd year 2A* 2A* 2A*
German (LTGM) 2nd year 2A* 2A*  
Greek (LTGK) 1st year 1 2 3
Greek (LTGK) 2nd year UD Course*    
Italian (LTIT) 2nd year 2A*    
Korean (LTKO), Russian (LTRU) 1st year 1A 1B 1C
Korean (LTKO), Russian (LTRU) 1st year 2A*    
Latin (LTLA) 1st year 1 2 3
Latin (LTLA) 2nd year 100*    

Heritage Languages for Bilingual Speakers

Courses can be taken three times for credit. Topics vary each quarter.

Filipino (Tagalog) LIHL 112*
Hindi LIHL 119*
Korean LIHL 115*
Persian LIHL 117*
Vietnamese LIHL 114*

*  Satisfies proficiency requirement

**  Beginning Italian can be taken as Linguistics/Italian 1A/1AX, 1B/1BX, 1C/1CX is followed by Literature/Italian 2A to meet proficiency.