DePaul University College of LAS > Academics > History of Art & Architecture > Student Resources > Advising > Questions About Foreign Languages

Questions About Foreign Languages

Is there a foreign language requirement?

There is a Modern Language Requirement (MLR) for all students in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. For students who initially were admitted to DePaul to begin in fall 2007 or later, the modern language requirement may be met in any of the following eight ways:

  1. completing the last course in the fourth-year high school sequence of a non-English language; 
  2. completing the last course in the first-year college sequence of a non-English language; 
  3. completing a college course beyond the first-year level in a non-English language; 
  4. achieving a satisfactory score on any of the Modern Language placement examinations​ administered at DePaul University; 
  5. achieving a satisfactory rating in a language proficiency examination accepted by DePaul University; 
  6. scoring a 3 or higher on the Advanced Placement (AP) test of a non-English language;
  7. scoring 5 or higher on the Language B assessment from a Standard or Higher Level International Baccalaureate (IB) program in a non-English language; or
  8. achieving a satisfactory score on the CLEP evaluation in a non-English languag​e.

Note: American Sign Language (ASL) does qualify as a modern language.

For students who entered the College of LAS prior to fall 2007, the MLR can be met by the successful completion of two years of a high school language, transfer credit of the equivalent of one year of college language, placing into the intermediate level of a language on the language placement exam, A.P. credit for intermediate level language, or by the successful completion of one year of coursework at DePaul. Note: Transfer students will need to provide official high school transcripts in order to use high school coursework to meet the non-English language requirement. There is no separate foreign language requirement for the Department of the History of Art and Architecture.

What is the “Modern Language option (MLO)”?

Students who have met the modern language requirement and also successfully completed two to three courses (depending on the level) of a foreign language beyond what they used to satisfy the Modern Language Requirement are eligible for the MLO, which grants a waiver of two courses from the standard Liberal Studies curriculum. These reductions are generally from the learning domains, and the decision as to which courses are waived from Liberal Studies is made by the LAS college office in consultation with the student. Normally, students use the Modern Language option to reduce their requirements by one course in each of two of the three following combinations of learning domains:

  1. Philosophical Inquiry or Religious Dimensions;
  2. Understanding the Past or Self, Society, and the Modern World; or
  3. Arts and Literature or Scientific Inquiry (cannot substitute for the lab science requirement).

Note: All students must take a laboratory course in the "Scientific Inquiry" domain, and all students must take at least one course in each learning domain. So, for example, a student who is using the LSP 121 waiver to substitute for one of the two "Philosophical Inquiry" domain courses cannot also use an MLO waiver to substitute for the other required course in that domain.

I took a foreign language in high school but didn’t take the foreign language placement test when I first came to DePaul because I didn’t plan to continue in college; I have changed my mind and now want to take a language at DePaul. How do I know which class I should take?

If you don't see an available "button" in Campus Connection giving you access to the language placement exams, contact DePaul Central​. Students who have taken a foreign language in high school may take a modern language placement test at any time to determine the appropriate level class at DePaul. If the language is not one for which DePaul has an online exam, please see the Modern Language Department for information about alternative forms of assessment.​

I speak another language at home; do I still have to fulfill the language requirement?

Even if you are comfortable speaking in a foreign language, you still need to have your language skills assessed by taking a language placement test. If the language that you know is not one of those for which an online test is available, see the Modern Languages Department for information about alternative forms of assessment.