Through study of a language, 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.

  • Complete a course equal to or higher than 201 in any Davidson College language (Ancient Greek, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Latin, Russian or Spanish).
  • 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.
  • If multilingual, receive a waiver of the 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 Language: If you are planning to continue studying a 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 18, 2024
    • Ancient Greek, Arabic, Chinese, Russian: Email the placement contact (below) before June 18, 2024
  • 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 language requirement by equivalent proficiency as determined and certified by the appropriate Davidson department (see department contacts below).
  • Receive a Waiver: Multilingual students 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. Burkhard Henke ( Placement Test Instructions
Latin Prof. Keyne Cheshire ( Placement Test Instructions
Spanish Prof. Brandon Cannon ( Placement Test Instructions
Arabic Prof. Rebecca Joubin
Chinese Prof. Miffy Tsai
Ancient Greek Prof. Keyne Cheshire
Russian Prof. Larisa Moskvitina