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One of the General Education requirements that all UNC-Chapel Hill students are required to complete is the Global Language requirement, which requires students to demonstrate proficiency equivalent to at least level 3 (third semester) of a language other than English. Some majors may require additional language levels.

Here are all the languages available at UNC-CH for the Global Language requirement. Click on any language you’re interested in to see information on courses offered, placement testing, and registration.

Here are the possible ways to complete the Global Language requirement:

  1. Complete a level 3 language course at UNC.  The list of all the languages that are currently offered at UNC through level 3 is above, and a list of all the specific courses that are level 3 is in the catalog.
  2. Take a UNC language placement test and place above level 3, which will result in placement (PL)  credit (zero hours) for level 3 and satisfy the requirement. Online placement tests in Spanish, French, German, or Latin may be taken on this website. For placement in other languages taught at UNC, refer to the list above and click the language you’re interested in for more information on when and how you can take a placement test.
  3. Submit scores from non-UNC tests (such as AP, IB, etc.) that are accepted for by-exam (BE) credit for level 3.  To see what tests UNC accepts and what scores are required, refer to the Admissions website. If you have taken a test that is not listed, submit the Language Proficiency Verification form to request review of that test for possible acceptance; you will need to have official test scores sent to UNC Admissions for credit to be awarded.
  4. Transfer in college credit for a course approved as level 3 language.   Credit for languages not currently taught at UNC will articulate as GENR 203 (level 3) or GENR 204 (level 4). When level 4 transfer credit is awarded, level 3 placement credit will also be awarded, and this will meet the Global Language requirement. If you transferred a language course that was not awarded  credit (either not at all, or not for the desired language level), you may request a Transfer Credit Reevaluation in ConnectCarolina under the General Education request type.
  5. Verify completion of two or more years of secondary education primarily taught in a language other than English (the school doesn’t have to be outside the U.S.) by sending transcripts to UNC and submitting the Educational Experience Verification form. This option can result in the awarding of placement (PL) credit (zero hours) for GENR 203, which fulfills the Global Language requirement.

    For the purpose of this policy, “secondary education” is defined as your last four years of school prior to attending any college or university. In the U.S. it would be called grades 9 to 12, but it doesn’t matter if your country calls it something else or if you went to multiple schools in that period; as long as at least two of your last four years before college were spent in non-English-speaking schools, you can qualify for this credit.

  6. Verify completion of two or more semesters of higher education (defined as the equivalent of 24 eligible-for-transfer credit hours) primarily taught in a language other than English by sending transcripts to UNC and submitting the Educational Experience Verification form.  This option can result in the awarding of placement (PL) credit (zero hours) for GENR 203, which fulfills the Global Language requirement.
  7. Submit the Language Proficiency Verification form to seek placement (PL) credit (zero hours) if you have knowledge of a language not taught at UNC that you would like to use for the Global Language requirement.  This option is dependent on the availability of an appropriate language test or expert evaluator, and while every effort will be made to find one, we cannot guarantee it will be possible for every language. If we cannot find a qualified evaluator or test for the language you know, you will need to use a different language for your Global Language requirement. Consequently, if you hope to use this option, we strongly recommend starting the process as early in your college career as possible.

Continuing language study
If you have satisfied the Global Language requirement but wish to continue studying that language at UNC, in most cases you will need to take a UNC placement test to determine what level you should begin with.

Note that some language levels are offered only in fall or only in spring, so plan accordingly. The Historical Course Record may be helpful for getting a sense of when courses are usually offered, and you can also find more information by clicking on the language in the list above.

  • If you met the requirement via test credit, please refer to the test credit listings on the Admissions website to see whether your score places you into a particular class level or whether you must take the UNC placement test.
  • If you met the requirement via transfer credit, you must take the UNC placement test regardless of what transfer credit you have.
  • If you met the requirement via educational experience verification, some languages may offer high-level courses that you’re eligible to take; you are advised to consult the relevant department.

Placement testing
Taking a placement test doesn’t automatically enroll you in the course level you placed into, nor does it commit you to taking any further courses in that language.  Your placement result just informs you that if you wish to study that language at Carolina, this is the level you’ll start with.  If you do want to continue that language, knowing your level will help you plan for when the appropriate class is being offered.  If you don’t want to continue that language, you can start any other language you’re interested in; the list above shows which ones are available for the Global Language requirement.

Other languages at UNC
The languages on the list above are the ones that can be used for the Global Language requirement because they are regularly offered at UNC through level 3.  However, there are also other languages sometimes offered that don’t qualify for the Global Language list–because there aren’t enough levels offered, the language isn’t offered regularly, or it’s available only through interinstitutional registration.