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 384
    • 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
    • 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, 232
    • 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 an examination in the appropriate department.

2. 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. These tests were discontinued by the College Board in January 2021. Students may submit scores from tests taken prior to this date in fulfillment of the requirement.

3. A score of 4 or better on an advanced placement foreign language test.

4. 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.