Policies & Procedures

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.

Fulfilling Foreign Language Requirements

Reading proficiency in a foreign language is normally estab­lished in one of three ways:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 and East European Languages and Cultures.

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.

For details, consult with the respective language departments.

Proficiency in Depth in Foreign Language

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.

Students Whose Native Language is Not English

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
  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 "International Students").

Research Skills

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.

Academic Bulletins

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