Foreign Language

Foreign Languages Program

Foreign languages represent a traditional part of the liberal arts curriculum and one that is increasingly important in the interdependent global community of the 21st century. Knowledge of one or more foreign languages is a valuable asset for students considering graduate school or seeking employment in the international field.

The Department of Foreign Languages offers courses in more than 15 languages spoken in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas that are open to all full and part-time students at the university. To meet the needs of Lang degree students, courses in Arabic, Chinese, French, Italian, Japanese, Latin, and Spanish are offered during the day. Lang students interested in studying German, Portuguese, Russian, American Sign Language, Tibetan, and Yiddish can take courses offered through the Continuing Education program of The New School for Public Engagement. In addition, undergraduate students from any division of the university who are not majoring in Liberal Arts can minor in Chinese Studies, French Studies, Hispanic Studies, or Japanese Studies.

Placement at the appropriate level:

  • Students who have studied a language in high school or college can place themselves at the appropriate level by using the following formula: one year of high school foreign language equals one semester of foreign language study (i.e., one 3-credit course) at the college level. For example, a student who has completed four years of high school Spanish should enroll in Spanish Advanced 1.
  • Students with a score of 4 on an Advanced Placement test in a foreign language should enroll in Advanced Level 1. Students with a 5 on an Advanced Placement test in a foreign language should enroll in either Advanced Level 1 or Advanced Level 2.
  • Students with questions or with reason to believe that this formula does not accurately measure their knowledge of a foreign language (e.g., it has been several years since they last studied the language) should either call (212.229.5676) or email ( the department office to set up an appointment to discuss alternative placement.
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