Language Training Resources
A student may fulfill the foreign language requirement through successful completion of any of the graduate reading knowledge courses offered by the Department of Romance Studies and the Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature. These are zero credit pass/fail classes open to any student in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (students in a dual-degree program with the IR Department are eligible to take these classes). Currently, the following graduate reading knowledge classes are offered: GRS LF 621 (French), GRS LG 621 (German), GRS LI 621 (Italian), and GRS LS 621 (Spanish). These courses are offered as faculty resources permit. Generally speaking, each course is offered once per year. GRS LP 621 (Portuguese) is offered on occasion, but not yearly.
These courses do not add any additional tuition cost. However, a student must be paying tuition equivalent to at least a two credit class, either for classes or as a continuing student, for the semester in which the reading knowledge class is taken. Thus, graduate reading knowledge classes cannot be taken during a semester in which a student is on a Leave of Absence or is for some other reason is not being assessed tuition.
The final exams given in these courses are essentially the same as the language exams given by the IR Department. This is the basis for allowing the graduate reading knowledge courses to take the place of the in-house language exam given by the IR Department.
Other Language Courses
Boston University offers for-credit courses in a wide range of languages. Students can take these language classes; however, language courses can never be used to fulfill the course requirements of any IR MA degree programs. Taking a for-credit language course in addition to the regular load of IR graduate courses may add to a student’s tuition bill. Information on language courses offered by Boston University can be found here and here. Except for the graduate reading knowledge courses discussed above, coursework cannot be used to satisfy the foreign language requirement.
Language Link Program
The Educational Resource Center at BU organizes informal language study groups for a variety of languages through its Language Link program. Language Link is open to any BU student. Information on this program can be found here.
Rosetta Stone Language Training
The Rosetta Stone series of language learning computer programs is available to BU students to use for free through the Howard Thurman Center, located in the lower level of the George Sherman Student Union (775 Commonwealth Avenue). Many, but not all, of the languages offered in the Rosetta Stone series are available. More information can be found here.
There are a variety of national language study scholarships available for ‘critical languages’ – those deemed important for national security. Most such scholarships are for language study over the summer, and generally speaking students must already have significant grounding in the language in order to apply.
Go here for information on the Critical Language Scholarship Program, funded by the US State Department. Go here for information on Boren Fellowships, funded by the National Security Education Program. Details on eligibility and applying can be found on those webpages.