Foreign Languages at UNC-CH
As part of the General Education requirements at UNC–Chapel Hill, all students are required to complete (or place out of) at least level 3 (the third semester, usually numbered 203 but sometimes 403) of a foreign language. Some majors may require additional levels. You may choose to continue the language you studied in high school or begin studying one of the many other languages available, as you prefer.
Here are all the languages available for the foreign language requirement. Click on any language you’re interested in to see information on courses offered, placement testing, and registration.
Students who have taken or will take a standardized test: If you have taken an AP, IB, SAT-II or some other standardized test, please refer to this information on the Admissions website to find out what scores are required to receive credit and what credit will be awarded. (This information is only valid for students entering Carolina this fall; continuing students should consult the Advising Guide from their entry year.)
First-year students: If your high school language was French, German, Latin, or Spanish, you must take the online placement exam, even if you don’t plan to continue in that language OR have standardized test scores that would satisfy the foreign language requirement. For most languages, continued study also requires a placement exam, even if you have test credit that fulfills the language requirement; refer to the list of languages above for more information.
Transfer students: If you have not completed your foreign language requirement through your previous coursework or with Advanced Placement, SAT II Subject Tests, International Baccalaureate, or other test credit, you must take the departmental placement test in the foreign language you studied in high school or at your first college/university. For most languages, continued study requires a placement test, even if you have transfer credit or test credit that fulfills the language requirement; refer to the list of languages above for more information.
Native speakers of another language: For academic purposes, a student is considered a native speaker of a language other than English if the student was raised in a country outside the U.S. and was formally educated through all or most of high school in a language other than English. If you meet these criteria, please submit the online questionnaire on the Advising website (click on “What do I need to do to verify that I am an experiential or native speaker?”) to apply for a waiver of the foreign language requirement.
Students who have learned one of the languages listed above experientially (i.e., having grown up speaking another language or having lived several years in another country) may take a placement test in that language for placement (PL) only and not for credit hours. Placing above level 3 will fulfill the language requirement (except in Latin, for which additional instructions are given in the online test). However, if a language is not offered at UNC, experiential speakers cannot use that language to fulfill the foreign language requirement.