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Undergraduate Admissions

Modern Language Requirement

At North Park, we believe that learning a language provides important and useful connections to our global society. In our intentionally urban and purposefully multicultural community it is not unusual to hear multiple languages being spoken as you walk down the street or even sit in the campus dining. Our modern language requirement reflects the desire to prepare students for lives in a global society.

North Park’s Core Curriculum requires undergraduate students to be proficient through the 1020 course level in a language other than English. Traditionally, this is accomplished by taking two semesters of one modern language like Spanish, French, Arabic, Chinese, or even Swedish. North Park offers a variety of language classes that can be taken to fulfill this requirement as a student.

If you already speak a language other than English you may fulfill—or be exempt from—the modern language requirement based on this experience and your native (or primary) language. Use the rules below to help you determine how you can prove proficiency.

Rule 1: Native Language is English

If English is the primary language spoken in your home country and your primary language of instruction in high school or beyond, you have two basic options to fulfill the modern language requirement:

  1. Take coursework at North Park to complete proficiency to the 1020 level of another language.
  2. If you already know a language other than English, you may take a placement exam to prove proficiency in that language.
    • If that language is offered at North Park, the exam will be free of charge and offered prior to the beginning of each semester.
    • If the language you know is not offered at North Park you can arrange to be tested by a qualified person at another four-year university. You may not use a community college, community center, church, or relative to administer a proficiency exam, and you are responsible for any fees related to taking the test or having the results posted to North Park.
    • Fill out this form to register for any language placement exam or contact Academic Engagement for more information.

Rule 2: Native Language Other Than English

If English is not the primary language of your home country, and wasn’t the primary language of instruction in your high school or more advanced coursework, you must show proficiency in the English language to fulfill the modern language requirement. You can do this in one of three ways:

  1. Complete all required English as a Second Language (ESL) coursework
  2. Test out of the ESL program by taking a proficiency exam
  3. Be otherwise exempted from taking the ESL Placement Exam

Contact Dennis Bricault in the Department of Modern Languages for more information about the ESL program and placement test.

Important Notes

  • If you are from a country with a primary language other than English, but English was the primary language of instruction in your high school or beyond, you should follow the guidelines for Rule 2 above, and contact Dennis Bricault with any questions.
  • Your fulfillment of the modern language requirement will be posted to your academic record following your successful completion of one semester at North Park.
  • North Park does not award academic credit for testing out of the 1010/1020 level of any language.
  • Students majoring in a language, international business, or global studies may be eligible to receive academic credit for language proficiency beyond the 1020 level, and will be charged a fee per credit hour granted as well as a posting fee for these academic credits. Contact Academic Engagement for further information.

State Seal of Biliteracy

Students who have received the State Seal of Biliteracy meet the modern language requirement (the 1010-1020 level of a second language) and will be exempt from the Modern Language Placement Exam. Students wishing to continue their studies in the second language may still choose to take the Modern Language Placement Exam to see if they can place into an intermediate- or advanced-level class. Please note that no academic credit is awarded for meeting this curricular requirement by placement testing or the State Seal of Biliteracy.