World Language Studies

Pictured :: Alexandra Hochstetler :: Nursing // Minor in Spanish :: Nappanee, Indiana (hometown)

World Language Studies

The Department of World Language Studies (WLS) offers courses in French, German, Japanese, and Spanish and a major and minor in French, German, and Spanish. The department is committed to preparing students for the complex, multicultural, and transnational environment of life and work. Students are encouraged to consider taking a minor in a foreign language as a complement to their major in another discipline, remembering that a minor is now a College of Liberal Arts and Sciences requirement. Students may pursue, in addition to WLS, the Certificate in International Studies, or a minor in an interdisciplinary program at IU South Bend, such as Latin American/Latino Studies, European Studies, or Film Studies. Contact an advisor in the department for further information.

Language Requirement

The study of languages other than English is essential to understand and appreciate our global community. In recognition of this fact, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences requires that its Bachelor of Arts majors attain an intermediate-level proficiency in a second language

This requirement can be met in one of three ways:

  • Successful completion of a fourth-semester language course designated in the IU South Bend Schedule of Classes as 204. (204 is the last class in a four-semester sequence: 101, 102, 203, and 204)
  • Successful completion of a 300- or 400-level course in which the primary instruction is in a language other than English.
  • Formal training, as evidenced by a secondary or university diploma, in a language other than English.

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree should consult with their major department to determine the language requirement. Students from other academic programs on campus may take world language courses as electives and may earn world language credits by placement examination or advanced course placement as described below.


Students with no prior foreign language experience should enroll in 101; students with one to two years of foreign language study in high school should enroll in 102; students with three or more years of foreign language study should enroll in 203 and consider taking the placement examination. Students with three or more years of foreign language study also may qualify to register for upper-level courses in the department. To determine placement in department courses, students take a department placement examination.

Credits by Examination for Prior Language Study

The Department of World Language Studies offers a placement examination in French, German, Japanese, and Spanish to:

  • Determine in which semester a student should enroll
  • Qualify for special credit by examination

Students may earn up to 6 credit hours for testing out of any two of these language classes: 101, 102, 203, or 204. If a student tests into and completes a 300- or 400-level course with a grade of B or higher, he or she is eligible to receive 6 additional credit hours for 203 and 204 which appear as 298 on the transcript. Placement examinations are offered frequently; contact the department for exact times and dates.

In addition to credit earned by placement examinations, students may arrange for credit by examination in other department courses at the 300- or 400-level by contacting the department chair. Students should consult with their major advisor to determine the limit on the number of credit hours that may be earned by such examinations. More detailed information on credit by examination is available from the department.

Transfer Students

Students transferring to IU South Bend from other institutions should consult the placement policies above and the department chair for advising.

International Students and Students Whose Native Language is Not English

International students and other students whose native language is not English, may be exempt from the liberal arts and sciences world languages requirement by demonstrating formal proficiency, as evidenced by a secondary or university diploma, in their native language. Students may earn credit by examination if the language is offered for instruction at IU South Bend; they may also satisfy the world languages requirement by taking the English as a Second Language Placement Exam and completing the ESL courses (if any) required thereby. International students majoring in their native language are required to take a minimum of 18 credit hours in world languages, of which at least 9 must be at the 400-level.

Photo credit :: Peter Ringenberg

Academic Bulletins

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