Foreign Language Requirement
Requirements vary by college or school. Students must pass each language course with a minimum grade of C- to move up to the next course level.
Bachelor of Arts: three consecutive semesters of the same language, or complete a class equivalent to level FL3 or higher
Bachelor of Science: two consecutive semesters of the same language, or complete a class equivalent to level FL2 or higher
Only students completing the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration majoring in International Business have a language requirement: three consecutive semesters of the same language, or complete a class of level FL3 or higher.
No language requirement.
Specific majors and minors may also require additional semesters of language study. Please check with the appropriate department or your academic adviser.
If there is a difference between the requirements of the two majors, students need to fulfill the higher requirement. A student majoring in science and arts is required to complete three consecutive semesters of the same language, or a class equivalent to level FL3 or higher.
Courses to Fulfill Foreign Language Requirement
Review the list of language classes the department offers which allow students to fulfill their foreign language requirement.
Waiver of Foreign Language Requirement
Exemption from the foreign language requirement may be obtained through establishment of equivalent proficiency in the following ways.
Students who scored a 4 or 5 on the AP language exam are automatically exempted from the Third-Semester language class (201) and, therefore, fulfill the foreign language requirement. They will also receive 8 units of foreign language credit.
AP Literature Exam
Students who scored a 4 or 5 on the AP literature exam are automatically exempted from the Fourth-Semester (202) and, therefore, fulfill the foreign language requirement. They will also receive 8 units of foreign language credit.
International Baccalaureate Exam
Students who scored 4-7 in the higher level exam are automatically exempted from the Third-Semester class (201) and, therefore, fulfill the language requirement. They will also receive 8 units of foreign language credit.
If students who plan to continue studying language beyond the foreign language requirement at USF, please contact the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures.
USF generally accepts all college-level courses completed at regionally accredited institutions for transfer. Once the official transcript has been processed, students should check Degree Evaluation to see whether the requirement is fulfilled. If not, they can take the next level of class they are eligible for or contact the department to ensure you enroll in the right class.
Students who are fluent in a foreign language can choose to test out of the foreign language requirement by taking the Foreign Language Placement Test, which we offer online in Chinese, Filipino, French, German, Japanese and Spanish, or schedule individual proficiency interviews with faculty in other languages.
Students can only take the online placement test once for a given language. Multiple attempts for the same language are disallowed, as only the first score will be recorded.
Students who test higher than the pre-determined cutoff score are required to contact the department to schedule individual interviews with our faculty to confirm proficiency in all four language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing.
If students originally came from a country where a language other than English is spoken and have studied up to eighth grade or higher in an educational setting where the language of instruction is not English, they may apply for waiver of foreign language requirement by providing transcripts for completed classes, following the waiver request process.
If students do not have any transcripts, and the language they speak is offered at USF, they must take the Foreign Language Placement Test to demonstrate evidence of proficiency. A follow-up proficiency interview will be arranged with the faculty in the department.
If the language students speak is not offered at USF, the department will make reasonable efforts to arrange proficiency testing and review evidence of proficiency.
Submitting Foreign Language Waiver Requests
- Take the foreign language placement test in the language you would like to waive;
- Complete the foreign language waiver request form;
- Contact the department to schedule individual interviews or provide evidence of proficiency. For Spanish, you need to successfully pass the Stamp Waiver Exam which is proctored on campus once every semester and tests all 4 skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking.
If you wish to apply for a waiver in a language which does not have a placement exam, please skip Step 1 and go directly to Step 2 and 3.