Degree Requirements

Foreign Language Requirement

Students pursuing the B.A. or B.F.A. degree in the College must establish proficiency in a single foreign language through the second semester of the second year of college-level course work. Students who wish to continue at Indiana University a foreign language begun in high school or at another university must take a foreign language placement test. Contact the Evaluation Services and Testing office at (812) 855-1595 or individual foreign language departments for more information.

Please note that the College’s Foreign Language requirement differs from the campus-wide General Education curriculum’s World Languages and Cultures requirement. Students in the College must fulfill the College’s Foreign Language requirement and the campus-wide General Education’s World Languages and Cultures requirement. Fulfillment of the College’s Foreign Language requirement for B.A. and B.F.A. degrees will, in most cases, also fulfill the campus-wide General Education’s World Languages and Cultures requirement. For information about the latter, please see

All or part of the Foreign Language requirement may be fulfilled by satisfactory performance on departmentally-approved examinations. Completion of high school foreign language courses is not accepted as a basis for exemption. Students may fulfill the entire Foreign Language requirement by placing into the third-year level, although students will not receive credit for these courses unless they take, on the Bloomington campus, the next course in the sequence (the course into which they place). With the permission of the College, students whose native language is not English may fulfill the Foreign Language requirement through demonstrated proficiency in their native language. Students interested in this option should contact the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs, Kirkwood Hall 012, as early in their undergraduate careers as possible.

Special Credit Option
Students whose scores on a language placement exam administered by the Bloomington campus place them in or beyond the second semester of language study may be eligible for special credit in that language. For additional information and restrictions, please see the Bulletin entry for the relevant department. Students must apply for the special credit, which is subject to the following rules:
  1. Students who earn exemption from one or more semesters may be eligible for special credit toward graduation. Students earning exemption from the first or second semester of foreign language study may receive 4–5 or 8–10 credit hours of special credit as appropriate when they apply. Students who are eligible for such credit in French, German, Hebrew, Italian, or Spanish will receive credit automatically if the placement test is taken on the Bloomington campus or if the student’s CEEB test score is sent to Indiana University Bloomington. First-year special credit in other foreign languages will be granted to eligible students once the department at the Bloomington campus administering the placement exam has notified the College's Office of the Recorder.
  2. Students who earn exemption from the third or fourth semesters may receive 3–4 or 6–8 hours of additional special credit only if they enroll in a specified language course—at the Bloomington campus—at the level at which they place and complete that course with a minimum grade of C–. (Note: Placement into or beyond the fifth-semester level of a foreign language fulfills the Foreign Language requirement, but successful completion of the placement course on the Bloomington campus is required to qualify for third- and fourth-semester special credit.) Students may also earn special credit for semesters beyond the fifth semester, but they can only do so by earning a grade of at least a C– in the next course in the language sequence; this course must be taken on the Bloomington campus.
  3. The grade for special credit will be S (Satisfactory). It is the student’s responsibility to request that the language department send information regarding a student’s special credit to the College's Office of the Recorder.
  4. International students whose native language is not English may demonstrate required proficiency in their language, with permission of the College. They may not, however, earn credit for any courses at the first- or second-year level in their native language.