Foreign Language Requirements and Placement Information
Frequently Asked Questions
For students beginning a new language, they should register for the beginning course of that language (e.g. FLG 101, FLS 101, etc.) You do not need to take a placement test.
You will not need to take the placement test. Your AP test score will serve to determine where you place, as well as any course credit to be posted to your transcript. (Full information found here.)
Placement exam scores are uploaded into the student’s MyPack portal by Registration and Records each night. Wait 24 hours before attempting to enroll.
In order to obtain a Native Fluency waiver you need to have native proficiency in all four language skills, including reading and writing. If you have native proficiency in speaking, reading, writing and listening in a Language other than English, please fill out the following form: https://forms.gle/P3Vy679TB62iWccu7 to help determine Native Fluency.
If students lack native-level proficiency in one or more of the four skills, they will need to gain the necessary proficiency and meet their degree's language requirement via coursework or other means. Therefore, they should take the necessary placement test per the instructions found here. It could be that all that a student needs is an introductory course inorder to become proficienct in the reading/writing system.
The placement tests for these languages are computerized. Please click here for full information.
The placement tests for Arabic, Ancient Greek, Hindi, Japanese, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, or Urdu are not computerized. Please click here for full information.
If you have taken the SAT - II Subject Test and know your score, no. If you have taken the College Entrance Examination Board Advanced Placement Foreign Language Test and know your score, no. For students in the colleges of CALS, CNR, COS, DSN, EDU, COE, and TEX– if you have fulfilled the university 102 proficiency requirement (see placement information above) and do not wish to take foreign language courses at NC State, no. If you have fulfilled the requirement, but do wish to continue to study a foreign language, yes. For students in CHASS and Management who have a 201 requirement, even if they have fulfilled the university proficiency requirement, yes.
During the add/drop period at the beginning of the semester, spaces sometimes open up in classes.
Some courses will have wait lists.
Note: First and second year Spanish courses are often filled to capacity. But if you have fulfilled the university FL 102 proficiency requirement based on your high-school FL courses, you may begin another language for which you will receive free elective credit. The other language classes (Ancient Greek, Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, French, German, Hindi-Urdu, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Portuguese, Russian) normally have space available.
The Department’s goal is to have students enrolled in the course that is at the right level for them. There are exceptions and students should see the Associate Department Head during the first week of the semester; he who will advise them accordingly.
Contact the Associate Department Head who will discuss with you your foreign language experience and interest in continuing to study a foreign language. He will advise you accordingly.
For students during New Student Orientation: it will take until the fall semester for your high-school transcript to be fully processed by Records and Registration staff who verify your high-school foreign language grades. Your degree report should show the correct information by the fall advising session.
For all other students: check with Ms. Beckie Morgan (firstname.lastname@example.org) in Registration and Records. She can double check your transcript. (The FLL Department does not handle high-school transcripts and the determination of FL 102 proficiency.)
If you have forgotten which class you placed into, or have lost your paperwork, follow these steps: In MyPackPortal go to: Student Home Page > Academic Records > Transfer Credit Report > Test Credits. You should see there the course you placed into. (Note: You are not able to see your score, but you will only need to indicate the course you placed into and not the score as you fill out the prerequisite form.) You can also follow these instructions in order to find your course placement.
For students beginning a new language, they should register for FL* 101. Students who want to continue studying a language that they have previously studied take a placement test in order to determine the correct course in which to enroll. Typically, a placement test is taken one time only and is used to determine course placement. Once students begin the language sequence they continue to follow the sequence until they have met their degree requirements.
Previous Study of Arabic, Ancient Greek, Hindi-Urdu, Japanese, Persian, Portuguese, or Russian.
Students interested in continuing their study of one of these languages should contact the appropriate language section coordinator who can explain the format and contents of their non-computerized placement exam, which will be conducted virtually or face-to-face. Contact information for the language coordinators can be found on the undergraduate menu of the FLL web site
Previous Study of Chinese, French, German, Italian, Latin or Spanish.
Students interested in continuing their study of one of these languages take a computerized placement test either in person on campus or online. The exams test the grammatical knowledge, as well as the reading comprehension of the student. Most of the tests are adaptive in nature. Most students are placed at the correct level, commensurate with their proficiency. These exams normally take anywhere from 5-30 minutes to complete.
On-campus Testing. Beginning 8/16/2021 computerized placement tests are again being administered on campus for Chinese, French, German, Italian, Latin and Spanish. During the fall and spring semesters, on any day that classes are in session, these placement tests are administered in the CHASS Foreign Language Computing Lab (Language 214) according to the posted hours at that website. When classes are not in session, as well as during the summer, an appointment is needed. Email Scott Maddox (email@example.com) for an appointment time and location.) Students must print out their results and have them verified by the lab attendant immediately after they complete the test in order for the results to be valid. If a student places beyond their major's FL requirement and they would like a waiver of that requirement, they can drop the form off in Withers 310 for the Associate Department Head, who will prepare and foward the waiver request to Registration and Records.
Online Testing. Computerized placement tests are available online for Chinese, French, German, Italian, Latin and Spanish. Online placement testing is for course placement purposes only*. If you believe that you will place beyond your degree's foreign language requirement (e.g. beyond FL 201) and you do not intend to take a language course, take the placement test on campus. (See On-campus Testing above.) After completing the test if you feel that you have placed too low or too high, contact the Associate Department Head. Otherwise, enroll in the course in which you place. Take the online test at this url: https://go.ncsu.edu/placement_test.
(*From 3/18/2020 to 8/15/2021 Due to the circumstances associated with COVID-19, computerized placement tests for Chinese, French, German, Italian, Latin and Spanish were offered exclusively online, and for course placement purposes only. If students took the test during this period of time and placed beyond their language requirement and did not have the testing session monitored by Dr. Despain (firstname.lastname@example.org) they will need to contact him to work out retesting in person with him in order to verify the results)
Non-NC State Students: For non-NC State students who wish to take one of the computer-based placement exams, contact the Associate Department Head for Foreign Languages and Liateratures by email with your inquiry and the number of the identification card you will bring to the lab (a high-school id, employment id, or driver’s license); you will be registered to take the exam and be sent an email with your registration ID that you will use when you take the computerized test.
Scores: Placement exam scores are uploaded into the student’s MyPack portal by Registration and Records a day or two after taking the test.
Retaking a placement exam: Students may take the placement exam in a given foreign language only once. They do not take the test in a given language if they have already taken a course in that language at NC State. (Once the course sequence is started the student continues to follow the sequence.) It is a violation of NC State's Code of Student Conduct for a student to try to take the exam a second time, to try to take the exam after they have taken an FL course in that language, or misrepresent their placement information in any way, If a student feels that s/he has placed too low or too high, please direct this concern to the Associate Department Head of Foreign Languages and Literatures.
Native and heritage speakers of languages other than English do not take the NC State Placement Test and do not receive credit for FL* 101-202 in their native language. They do, however, fulfill the foreign language proficiency requirement, as well as the foreign language requirement for CHASS, PCOM or Design, and can receive certification [no credit awarded] by filling out the Native Language Proficiency Waiver Form. Students will be informed by the Associate Department Head if they meet the necessary standard. Students with an FL* 201 and/or FL* 202 requirement for their major will then need to consult with their advisor to choose a course that replaces those credits on the Degree Audit.
Transfer students are not required to take the placement exam if they have taken equivalent prerequisite courses at another university, college, or community college. They take the next FL course in the language sequence.
Placement & Retroactive Credit:
- A score of AP-3/IB-5 places students into FL* 201 and awards FL* 102 credit. A score of AP-4/IB-6 places students into FL* 202 and awards FL* 201 credit. A score of AP-5/IB-7 places students at the 300-level and awards FL* 201 and FL* 202 credit. Students with the AP-5/IB-7 should discuss the appropriate course to take with the corresponding language section coordinator. For more information review the pages for AP Credit Information, IB Credit Information and Cambridge Credit Information.
Students who place into FL* 201, FL* 202 or FL* 3** with the NC State placement test will be awarded three hours of retroactive credit for the previous course in the sequence upon completion of the course they placed into with a grade of C- or better on the first attempt. Registration & Records awards the retroactive credit in the semester following the one during which the course was taken.
Note: Students recieve retroactive credit either based on placement test results or AP/IB scores, but not both.
- Placement Waivers. Students need to see the Associate Department Head if they place out of their major's FL requirement. The ADH will process the necessary paperwork and forward it to Registration & Records. This transaction does not occur automatically and there is no credit awarded for a placement waiver.
- SAT Subject Test cut-off scores: 200-310 --> FL* 101; 320-420 --> FL* 110; 430-500 --> FL* 102 ; 510-600 --> FL* 201; 610-700 --> FL* 202; 710 or above --> FL* 300 level.
College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHASS) and Poole College of Management (PCOM)
University General Education Requirement: Upon admission to NC State, all students who have earned a grade of C (77) or better in each of two years of high-school study of the same language are notified during New Student Orientation and will receive a notation on their Degree Audits stating that they have met the university foreign language proficiency requirement – as “FL* 100 High School *** PF.” This notation does not mean that students may enroll directly into FL 201, which is the minimum college requirement for CHASS and PCOM since high-school proficiency is not equivalent to FL 102 completed at NC State or at another accredited college or university. In order to be sure that students have the prerequisite knowledge for FL* 201 or above, students in these colleges are required to take the FL placement test during New Student Orientation if they have not taken the SAT II FL, the AP, or IB test in foreign languages. Note: B.S. in CHASS follows FL* 102 Proficiency.
Students who receive a notation of proficient in FL* at the high school level, and then place into the FL* 101 level on the NC State placement exam, can continue in the same language as the one studied in high school, but will receive no credit towards graduation for FL* 101. Credit hours toward graduation will be given for FL101 if: 1) the language was not taken by the student in high school, 2) the student has met the university foreign language proficiency requirement with another language, and 3) the language is not the student's native language. The department offers 15 languages from which to choose.
Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) | Design (DSN) | Education (EDU) | Engineering (ENG) | Natural Resources (CNR) | Sciences (COS) | Textiles (TEX)
Foreign Language Requirement for Students in CALS, CNR, COS, DSN, EDU, ENG, TEX:
University General Education Requirement: All students are required to demonstrate proficiency at the FL 102 / Elementary II level. *Note: some degrees (e.g. Design Studies BA) have a higher FL requirement.
Freshmen may satisfy this requirement before entering NC State in one of the following ways:
- Score of 510 or above on the College Board Foreign Language Achievement Test (SAT Subject Test)
- Advanced placement score of 3 or above (College Entrance Examination Board AP Test)
- A grade of C (77) or better in each of two years of high-school study of the same language.
- Students are notified during New Student Orientation and will receive a notation on their Degree Audits stating that they have met the university foreign language proficiency requirement – the administrative “equivalent” of FL* 102 / FL Elementary II - as “FL* 100 High School *** PF.”
Proficiency at the FL 102 level after entering NC State may be demonstrated as follows:
- Completion of a FL 102 course with a passing letter grade
- Transfer credit equivalent to FL* 102 from an accredited institution or university-approved study abroad program
- Placement into FL* 201 or higher on the placement test of one of the languages offered by the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures
Freshmen are notified during New Student Orientation and will receive a notation on their ADA whether or not they have met the university foreign language proficiency requirement. The student who has not met the university proficiency requirement must take the placement exam. If the student places into FL* 101 s/he will not receive credit towards graduation for FL* 101.
If a student has received the notation of proficient in a foreign language at the high school level and has thus fulfilled the university requirement, but wishes to continue studying the language, s/he still needs to take the placement test to ensure proper placement.
Students who receive a notation of proficient in FL at the high school level, and then place into the FL* 101 level on the NC State placement exam, can continue in the same language as the one studied in high school, but will receive no credit towards graduation for FL* 101.
Credit hours toward graduation will be given for FL* 101 if: 1) the language was not taken by the student in high school, 2) the student has met the university foreign language proficiency requirement with another language, and 3) the language is not the student's native language. The department offers fifteen languages from which to choose.
The student who wishes to continue a foreign language begun in high school should take the placement exam.
Students who receive a notation as proficient in FL at the high-school level and who then place at the FL 101 or 102 level on the NC State placement exam can do one of the following:
- enroll in FL* 101 (or FL* 102) of the same language that they took in high school (in preparation for FL* 201), thereby receiving no credit toward graduation for FL* 101.