Foreign Language and Research Skills
Individual departments determine whether foreign languages or research skills or both will be required. Where such requirements exist, students must select the specific language(s) or research skill(s) from those approved by the major department and listed in its statement of departmental requirements. Another language demonstrably useful in the student’s research program may be substituted upon special recommendation of the major department and approval by the dean. A student whose native language is not English may, with the permission of the major department, either (1) demonstrate the required proficiency in that native language, or (2) use English to meet foreign language requirements. Proficiency in English may be demonstrated by taking the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) examination. (For further information regarding the TOEFL examination, see the section International Students.)
Reading proficiency in a foreign language is normally established in one of three ways:
- By achieving an appropriate score on an examination administered on the Bloomington campus by the respective language department. Students should contact the language department for details.
- By completing, with a grade of B (3.0) or better, the reading course _492 (e.g., F492 for French, G492 for German). Students may register for the first course in the sequence, _491, to prepare for _492; those who feel they have sufficient preparation may register for _492, though they should consult the language advisor first.
- By receiving, in the cases of Catalan, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, or Spanish, a grade of B (3.0) or better in a literature or civilization course at Indiana University numbered 300 or higher (exclusive of individual readings and correspondence courses) in which the reading is done in the foreign language. Courses in Russian offered to meet this requirement must be approved by the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures.
For details, consult the respective language departments.
In certain departments, reading proficiency may be demonstrated by presenting an original translation for approval by a faculty examiner designated by the appropriate language department.
Proficiency in Depth
In certain departments, students have the option of substituting proficiency in depth in one language for reading proficiency in two languages. Proficiency in depth in a language is defined as the ability to read rapidly without the aid of a dictionary and the ability to speak, understand, and write in a manner comparable to that expected of students who have successfully completed fourth-year composition and conversation courses. For information about demonstrating proficiency in depth, students should consult the graduate examiner in the foreign language department concerned.
Courses taken to fulfill research-skill requirements may, at the discretion of the student’s major department, be counted for graduate credit in a student’s program of study provided such courses are listed in this bulletin as carrying graduate credit. Each course must be passed with a grade of B (3.0) or higher to satisfy the proficiency requirement.