Second Language Proficiency Requirement

The Second Language Proficiency Requirement is a College-level curriculum requirement for students pursuing Bachelor of Arts degrees in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. More information about the Second Language requirement can be found in the Academic Catalog

This requirement can be satisfied in one of the following ways:

As per the Academic Catalog, to satisfy the requirement using this method, students must complete second language coursework at the intermediate level (202 or equivalent) or a second language course at the 300-level or higher, having 202 or its equivalent as a prerequisite.

When starting at ASU, true beginners may take a full lower division language sequence (101, 102, 201, 202). All other students may take a placement exam to verify the recommended starting course level within the sequence. Students then complete the prescribed course(s) with a grade of C or higher to satisfy the requirement.

Transfer credit deemed as equivalent to ASU language sequence courses may also satisfy the requirement.

For further details, please visit the Placement Test webpage found here and click on the Placement Testing tab at the top of the page.

Students may take a language proficiency examination to prove they already have knowledge of a second language at the required level. The student must pass a language proficiency exam at the fourth-semester intermediate level or above to test out of the requirement. Completion of a proficiency exam does not award academic credit. For further details on taking a proficiency exam, please visit the Proficiency Exam webpage found here and click on the Proficiency Examination tab at the top of the page.

In a few cases, certain languages may have alternative testing options that do provide academic credit (such as CLEP). Please see the website above for further details on these tests.

Transfer coursework that does not show up as equivalent to ASU second language courses (examples include SPA DEC) can be reviewed by The College and may potentially satisfy the second language requirement.

In order to request an evaluation of non-equivalent transfer credit, students should work with their Academic Advisor and must be prepared to submit electronic copies of syllabi, course descriptions or other documentation.

As per the Academic Catalog, the second language proficiency requirement can be met by the demonstrated completion of secondary education at a school in which the language of instruction is not English.

Note that completion of the second language requirement using this method does not award academic credit. Students must still reach the required university, college, and unit credit hours.

Students are eligible to request the second language requirement be satisfied using this method if they can provide documentation that they have completed at least 3 years of full-time high school instruction taught in a language that is not English.

In order to request evaluation of previous academic instruction, students should work with their Academic Advisor. Students must be prepared to provide the documentation listed below:

  • Transcripts showing 3 years of high-school, written in the non-English language;


  • Transcripts showing 3 years of high-school, translated into English;


  • Evidence (stated via documentation such as a letter or email from an official representative of the school), that all of the high school classes were taught in a non-English language. 

If your specific situation does not fit into one of these categories, please discuss it with your Academic Advisor.