Second Language Requirement

The Klingler College of Arts and Sciences requires knowledge of a language other than English for the bachelor of arts degree. This ensures that students are able to succeed in an increasingly globalized and rapidly changing world. The study of languages is the starting point for exploration and understanding of diverse cultures and traditions. Contacts between cultures happen in our own lives every day, and more often than ever before: knowing a second language is essential for being part of a global society. Our language programs in American Sign Language, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian and Spanish prepare students to interact effectively and engage other people and cultures in the most human way possible. Students of Classical languages encounter Greek and Roman civilization as something that is very much a living part of our culture today (philosophy, theater, poetry, medicine, politics and much more).

Proficiency in a language other than English enables students to:

  • Converse with ease and confidence when dealing with most routine tasks and social situations.
  • Handle successfully many uncomplicated tasks and social situations related to work, school, recreation and personal interests.
  • Begin to narrate and describe in the past, present and future time frames.
  • Begin to describe how culture shapes and sustains identity, society and tradition.


Students are required to demonstrate proficiency in a second language at the intermediate level (usually requiring 0-15 credits of course work, depending on the student's proficiency upon entering the university), according to the standard of the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages. Upon entering the university, students with previous study of a second language are assessed using a placement test. Those earning a score at the intermediate level are considered to have satisfied the second language requirement. Those who do not achieve proficiency through the test satisfy the requirement as follows:

Students studying French, German or Spanish typically complete courses 1003, and 2001 (or 2003), or 2001 (or 2003) only, depending on their language and score. True beginners should complete courses 1001 and 1002 instead of course 1003 where the option is available.

Students studying American Sign Language, Arabic, Chinese, Greek, Latin or Italian complete courses 1001 and 1002.


Note: The Marquette Core Curriculum does not have a second language requirement.

Note: The College of Arts and Sciences bachelor of science degree does not have a second language requirement.