Foreign Language Preparation

Language requirements vary by program. Programs specifically designed to provide language instruction tend to have minimal expectations, while others might require some background or even fluency in the local language. Although Lang has no foreign language requirement for graduation, students interested in studying abroad should begin language study no later than the first semester of their sophomore year.

The Department of Foreign Languages at The New School for Public Engagement offers instruction in more than a dozen languages in courses designed specifically for degree and continuing education students. Lang students who wish to study Arabic, Chinese, French, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Russian, or Spanish should sign up for three-credit courses offered during the day. Such classes meet twice a week for eighty minutes. Lang students interested in foreign languages not taught during the day (i.e., Greek, German, Hebrew, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, or Sign Language) may sign up for two-credit courses in the adult education evening division. Please note that the two-credit language courses meet once a week for two or four hours and are designed specifically for the needs of adult learners interested in travel, business, etc.

Students should place themselves into languages classes based on their prior study of the target language according to this formula: "one year of high school foreign language study is equivalent to one semester at the college level." A student, for example, with four years of high school French, should enroll in the first semester of third year (e.g., Advanced 1). Students with reason to believe that this formula does not accurately measure their knowledge of a foreign language (i.e., it has been several years since they last studied the language) may petition the chair of Foreign Languages for alternate placement.