Language Requirement

Fourth-term proficiency in a language other than English is required

LSA's language requirement seeks to prepare students for a world that has been profoundly transformed by the forces of globalization. Language shapes both how we understand and how we negotiate our world; learning a second language provides both a deep awareness of differences (linguistic and cultural) and a means to bridge them. Informed respect for other cultures, tolerance, cosmopolitanism, self-awareness, and flexibility are the hallmarks of a liberal education, and the study of foreign languages fosters precisely these capacities.

A student whose first language is not English and who attended a high school where English was not the language of instruction is considered to have met the requirement.

Language Requirement Policies

  1. Students must earn a grade of C- or better in the prerequisite language course to proceed to the subsequent course.  Any exception to this rule must be granted by a designated faculty representative in the department.
  2. The final course in an elementary language sequence used to satisfy the Language Requirement must be elected on a graded basis.
  3. The language requirement cannot be satisfied by out-of-residence credit which is elected after the student has begun degree enrollment in LSA unless the appropriate language department has approved that plan in advance.
  4. No more than 60 credits in one language (other than English) may be counted in the 120 required for a degree. However, the 60 credit limit on courses elected in one major may be exceeded when the excess credits have been used to meet the language requirement.


Fourth-term proficiency and Language Requirement Course List

Fourth-term proficiency in a language other than English is required and may be met by any one of:

  1. Certified proficiency on a University of Michigan reading and/or listening test. Students with previous experience in the language they plan to use to meet the language requirement must take a language placement test. A student may not elect for credit a language course below this placement level without departmental permission.
  2. Credit for a University of Michigan fourth-term language course listed below with a grade of C- or better.
    • African Languages (AAS 226)
      Akan/Twi, Bambara/Bamana, Wolof, Zulu/IsiZulu
    • American Sign Language (LING 251 or RCCORE 204 or RCASL 202)
    • Arabic
      • Classical (AAPTIS 582)
      • Modern Standard (one of: ARABIC 202, 205, 421, 426 [or AAPTIS 202, 205, 216, 218] or AAPTIS 204, 419, 420)
    • Armenian
      • Eastern (ARMENIAN 206 [or AAPTIS 282 or ARMENIAN 282])
      • Western (ARMENIAN 202 [or AAPTIS 272 or 273, or ARMENIAN 272 or 273])
    • Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian (BCS 232 or 225)
    • Central Asian Languages (NESLANG 481 [or AAPTIS 250 or ASIANLAN 250])
      Uzbek, Kazakh, Uyghur, Pashto, or Tajik
    • Chinese (ASIANLAN 202, 203, or 204)
    • Czech (CZECH 242)
    • Dutch (DUTCH 232)
    • Filipino (ASIANLAN 212)
    • French (FRENCH 230 or 232, or RCLANG 290)
    • German (GERMAN 230 or 232 or 291, or RCLANG 291)
    • Greek
      • Classical (GREEK 301 and 302, or 405)
      • Biblical (GREEK 307 and 308, or ACABS 307 and 308)
      • Modern (MODGREEK 202)
    • Hebrew
      • Classical (NESLANG 202 [or ACABS 202])
      • Modern (HEBREW 202 or 203 [or HJCS 202 or 210])
    • Hindi (ASIANLAN 216 or 217)
    • Indonesian (ASIANLAN 222)
    • Italian (ITALIAN 232 or 230)
    • Japanese (ASIANLAN 226 or 227 or 229, or RCLANG 296)
    • Korean (ASIANLAN 236 or 237 or 238)
    • Latin (LATIN 232 or 233 or 295, or RCLANG 295)
    • Ojibwe (AMCULT 323)
    • Persian (PERSIAN 202 [or AAPTIS 242] or AAPTIS 243)
    • Polish (POLISH 222)
    • Portuguese (PORTUG 232 or 230)
    • Quechua (LACS 474)
    • Punjabi (ASIANLAN 246)
    • Russian (RUSSIAN 202 or 203 or 223 or 325, or RCLANG 293)
    • Sanskrit (ASIANLAN 252)
    • Spanish (SPANISH 230 or 232, or RCLANG 294)
    • Swahili (AAS 216)
    • Swedish (SCAND 234)
    • Thai (ASIANLAN 262)
    • Tibetan
      • Classical (ASIANLAN 468)
      • Modern (ASIANLAN 266)
    • Turkish (TURKISH 202 or 203 [or AAPTIS 252 or 255])
    • Ukrainian (UKR 252 or 203)
    • Urdu (ASIANLAN 272)
    • Uzbek (AAPTIS 253)
    • Vietnamese (ASIANLAN 276)
    • Yiddish (YIDDISH 202 or JUDAIC 202 or GERMAN 228)

    Students who wish to meet the requirement with proficiency in a language not listed in the table above should contact the Academic Standards Board.

  3. Credit for a University of Michigan language course which presumes a fourth-term proficiency in a language (except for 305 and/or 306 in FRENCH, GERMAN, ITALIAN, LATIN, MODGREEK and SCAND; 405 and/or 406 in GERMAN and SCAND; SPANISH 278/AMCULT 224; and SPANISH 308.

Retroactive Language Credits

LSA students may earn up to a maximum of 8 retroactive credits for prior academic work completed in French, German, Hebrew, Latin, Modern Greek, and Yiddish. To earn these credits students must complete an upper-level course into which they were placed with a grade of B or better.

Less Commonly Taught Languages at the University of Michigan

U-M offers more than 65 languages. The majority are unavailable at most other institutions. This dazzling array of offerings is one of the intellectual treasures of U-M, and the core of Michigan's longstanding reputation as a leader in area studies.

Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships

Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships provide tuition and a stipend to students studying designated foreign languages in combination with area studies or international aspects of professional studies. The priority is to encourage the study of less commonly taught modern languages. FLAS Fellowships are administered by the University of Michigan Area Studies Centers and are awarded competitively through annual fellowship competitions.

Opportunities to Use your Language in Ann Arbor

How to Learn a Second Language (PDF)