Foreign Language Requirement

The foreign language requirement is based on a level of proficiency, not on a specified number of courses. Many students elect to take the opportunity to begin a new language at Davidson; others will further a language they have studied previously. The languages regularly available to you at Davidson are Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Latin, Russian, and Spanish. To satisfy the foreign language requirement, you may:

  1. Complete at Davidson a language at the third course level (usually numbered 201 or higher);
  2. Transfer work from another college at a suitable level (often Intermediate II);
  3. Get credit for 201 by making the required score on an Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate test; or
  4. Demonstrate competence through the intermediate level on placement tests given at Davidson. (The chair of the department needs to certify your achievement with a written statement for your file in the Registrar's Office. You do not receive course credit for placement through Davidson's placement test.)

Classes taken through self-instructional languages programs may not be used to satisfy the requirement.

You should take a placement test given on the web if there is any likelihood, however remote, that you will continue to study a language at Davidson that you have studied before.

Non-English Speakers

Special arrangements exist for students whose primary native language is not English A student who satisfactorily documents that English is not his or her first language satisfies the foreign language requirement through the requirement in composition. Complete the Foreign Language Waiver form and return it to the Registrar's Office.

Advanced Placement

  • French, German, and Spanish, an AP score of 4 or 5 yields not only placement, but also credit for the 201 level, which both satisfies the foreign language requirement and qualifies the student to take courses above that level.
  • Latin, an AP score of 4 or 5 yields a LAT 199 credit, which does not satisfy the language requirement; performance on the web-based Latin placement test may, however, result in converting that credit for LAT 199 to a credit for LAT 201.

Non-AP Placement Test Scores

Placement test scores (other than through the AP program) do not yield course credit. Note that a placement test score suggesting that the student should pursue the language at a level higher than 201 does not in itself satisfy the language requirement. The student with such a score who does not wish to take further courses in the language should consult the chair of the appropriate department about possibly placing out of the requirement. Such consultation is most appropriate after you arrive, since an interview in the language generally will be expected.