Second Language Requirement

CAS requires all students to demonstrate or develop proficiency at or above the intermediate level in a language other than English.

Proficiency in a second language provides insight into other cultures, enables direct contact with literature and other written and oral texts, and combined with other fields of study, serves a multitude of practical and professional purposes. It sharpens skills in one’s first language, and it develops critical thinking and understanding needed for life in multicultural and multilingual societies in the US and elsewhere.

Learning Outcomes

Upon fulfilling the Second Language Requirement, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate proficiency in all relevant modalities (speaking, writing, reading, listening) at a level that allows for communication and comprehension;
  2. gain insight into the nature and structure of language; and
  3. use the language to acquire knowledge of other cultures, past and present.

Fulfilling the Second Language Requirement 

The second language requirement may be met by any of the following (1–4):

  1. Satisfactory completion of one of the following courses at BU or in BU Study Abroad:

Akan Twi CAS LW 216

American Sign Language SED DE 591

Amharic CAS LD 212

Arabic CAS LY 212

Chinese LC 212, 216

French CAS LF 212

German CAS LG 212

Greek (Ancient) CAS CL 262 or higher

Greek (Modern) CAS CG 212

Hausa CAS LA 212

Hebrew CAS LH 212

Hindi-Urdu CAS LN 212

Igbo CAS LD 220

Italian CAS LI 212

Japanese CAS LJ 212

Korean CAS LK 212, 216

Latin CAS CL 212 or higher

Persian CAS LZ 212

Portuguese CAS LP 212, 224

Russian CAS LR 212

Spanish CAS LS 212

Swahili CAS LE 212

Turkish CAS LT 212

Xhosa CAS LM 212

Zulu CAS LD 216

Students with prior instruction in these languages, at the high school or college level, must take a placement test before enrolling in any course. Language requirement courses are sequential. Students are not permitted to move backwards in the sequence, take two or more levels of the same language simultaneously, or repeat courses for credit. Placement into upper-level courses may usually be achieved by satisfactorily taking a proficiency examination in the appropriate department.

  1. A score of 560 or higher on the SAT Foreign Language Subject Test in Chinese, French, German, Modern Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, or Spanish. Students are encouraged to take these exams before applying for admission. Information is available in CAS Academic Advising at 100 Bay State Road, 4th Floor.
  1. A score of 4 or better on an advanced placement foreign language test, with the exception of the tests in Chinese and Japanese, which require a score of 5.
  1. Determination of proficiency by the College. Students who have acquired substantial knowledge of, or are native speakers of, a language other than English may meet the requirement by demonstrating appropriate proficiency, as determined by the College, in all skills relevant to the comprehension and production of that particular language. Except in the special cases of ancient languages no longer spoken and of American Sign Language, proficiency testing includes reading, writing, and speaking. Students should visit CAS Academic Advising for further information.