Through foreign language study, you build a foundation for an international education.

You gain an understanding of how language works, both as a mode of human communication and as a way of constructing the world in different social and cultural contexts.

To fulfill the language requirement, students follow different paths.

  • Most students complete a course equal to or higher than 201 in any language.
  • Some students use a transfer course or a qualifying score on an AP or IB exam, or on an AS or A-Level course. This may need to be supplemented by a placement test (which may include an oral interview) to place into a course above 201, thereby satisfying the language requirement.
  • Students whose primary language is not English may receive a waiver of the foreign language requirement.

What Do I Need To Do?

  • Start a New Language: If you are planning to start a new language (one you have never studied), select the 101 or 103 course in that language when you make your course selections. A 103 course might be right for you if you wish to accelerate your study of a new language in a class that covers two semesters' worth of material, counts for two credits, and meets every day.
  • Continue Studying a Foreign Language: If you are planning to continue studying a foreign language that you’ve already started learning, you may need to take a placement test. You may not enroll in a level below your placement.
    • French, German, Latin, Spanish: Complete the online placement test (below) before June 19
    • Arabic, Chinese, Greek, Russian: Email the placement contact (below) before June 19
  • Use a Test Score or Transfer Course: If you hope to use a test score or transfer course to complete the requirement, you must have your score or transcript sent to the Registrar's Office and may also need to take a placement test. Students may complete the foreign language requirement by equivalent proficiency as determined and certified by the appropriate Davidson foreign language department (see department contacts below).
  • English is not your Primary Language: You should complete a Language Waiver Request form at the Registrar’s Office after you arrive on campus.

Placement Contacts & Exam Information

Language Coordinator Placement Information
French Prof. Florin Beschea Placement Test Instructions
German Prof. Maggie McCarthy Placement Test Instructions
Latin Prof. Keyne Cheshire Placement Test Instructions
Spanish Prof. Rosalba Scott

Prof. Heather Offerman

Placement Test Instructions
Arabic Prof. Rebecca Joubin Email Coordinator
Chinese Prof. Miffy Tsai Email Coordinator
Ancient Greek Prof. Keyne Cheshire Email Coordinator
Russian Prof. Amanda Ewington Email Coordinator