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Language Requirement and Placement

DePauw offers students the opportunity to study Chinese, French, German, Ancient Greek, Italian, Japanese, Latin, and Spanish. Language courses are offered by Classical Studies and global language departments or programs. DePauw positions language study in exciting contexts by connecting language study to areas such as culture and history.

Language Requirement

Students in the College of Liberal Arts must complete two semesters of a language other than English, beginning at an appropriate level according to a placement exam and in consultation with the coordinator of the language program. Students may complete this requirement with a language they have studied previously (by testing into the appropriate level), or they may begin a new language at the first semester level.

Students may take one semester of the language in an off-campus program with the approval of the relevant language coordinator.

Students whose first language is not English may be certified as meeting the language requirement through the Office of the Registrar, and in consultation with the director of English for Academic Purposes. This certification takes place after a student arrives on campus.

The language requirement does not apply to School of Music students pursuing four-year degrees.

General Placement Information

If you want to begin a language you have not studied previously, and that you have no significant experience with, you may request the beginning level course. These 100-level courses are listed below and in the course list for first-year students.

If you have studied a language previously, whether or not you plan to continue with the language, you must follow the placement instructions for that language, as described below. It is important to have this language placement information on file in case your interests change later.

If you have studied a language and want to continue studying it at DePauw, you may request courses at higher levels, subject to results of placement procedures described below. For some languages, placement will need to be confirmed by a proctored placement test or discussion with a language faculty member after you arrive on-campus in August or through AP results. Information about confirming language placement will be available after students arrive on campus. Even if language placement needs to be confirmed on-campus, students may still request language courses over the summer using the tentative summer placement results as described below.

If you begin your study of a language at DePauw at an intermediate or advanced level, you may be eligible for retroactive credit in earlier language courses upon appropriate completion of more advanced courses. Information about retroactive credit will be available after you arrive on campus.

Placement Procedures by Language

Procedures to determine language placement differ by language. Follow these instructions based on whether you have studied the language previously.

ANCIENT GREEK

If you have never studied ancient Greek you may request GRK101, Introduction to Ancient Greek I. There is no written placement test for Greek. If you have studied ancient Greek before, email Professor James Wells at jameswells@depauw.edu to discuss placement options. You will also have the opportunity to confirm your placement with a faculty member after arriving on campus.

JAPANESE

If you have never studied Japanese you may request JAPN151, Elementary Japanese I. There is no written placement test for Japanese. If you have studied Japanese before, use this Japanese Placement Guide to determine the course you should begin with. If you have questions after reviewing the guide, contact Professor Hiroko Chiba at hchiba@depauw.edu to discuss placement options. You will also have the opportunity to confirm your placement with a faculty member after arriving on campus.

LATIN

If you have never studied Latin, you may request LATN123, Elementary Latin I. There is no written placement test for Latin. If you have studied Latin before, use this Latin Placement Guide to determine the course you should begin with. If you have questions after reviewing the guide, contact Professor Dave Guinee at dguinee@depauw.edu to discuss placement options. You will also have the opportunity to confirm your placement with a faculty member after arriving on campus.

CHINESE, FRENCH, GERMAN, ITALIAN and SPANISH

If you have never studied these languages, you may request the following beginning courses:

  • Chinese - CHIN161, Elementary Chinese I
  • French - GFS101, Elementary French I
  • German - GRMN111, Elementary German I
  • Italian - ITAL171, Italian Through Culture I
  • Spanish - HISP131, Introduction to the Spanish Speaking World I

If you have studied one of these languages, you must complete an online multiple-choice placement test. It is in your best interest to do your best work on the test, but you may not use resources such as dictionaries or online tools as you complete the placement. You should take the placement test once before you enter your list of 10-15 courses (due June 19). You may retake the test during orientation week in August if you want to confirm your score.

To begin the online placement test for these languages, use this link.

The final screen of the placement test will display your score. Make a note of this information. You may retrieve this information by logging back into your WebCape account. 

Summer placement results are tentative and you will have the opportunity to speak with language faculty members, and to learn about language programs, during on-campus orientation in August.

Additional Information for Chinese: After completing the Chinese placement test, the last page of the online system will tell you what course you are eligible to enroll in. If you have questions about your Chinese placement you may email your score to Professor Sherry Mou at smou@depauw.edu and she will offer advice. You will also have an opportunity to discuss your placement after you arrive on campus.

Additional Information for French: After completing the French placement test you should consult this French Placement Guide for help in interpreting your score. If you have questions after consulting the guide, contact Professor Cheira Lewis at cheiralewis@depauw.edu for advice. You will also have an opportunity to discuss your placement after you arrive on campus.

Additional Information for German: After completing your placement test, email your score to Professor Howard Pollack-Milgate hpollack@depauw.edu who will provide guidance about your placement. You will also have the opportunity to discuss your placement with a faculty member after you arrive on campus. 

Additional Information for Italian: After completing your placement test, email your score to Professor Francesca Seaman at fseaman@depauw.edu who will provide guidance about your placement. You will have the option to Skype with Professor Seaman this summer or to talk with her in person after you arrive on campus to confirm your placement.

Additional Information for Spanish: After completing the Spanish placement test the last page of the online system will tell you what course you are eligible to enroll in; the Spanish placement guide also provides information. If you have questions about your Spanish placement you may email your score to a professor to ask for advice. If the first letter of your last name is A-L please email Professor Maria Luque at maria@depauw.edu. If the first letter of your last name is M-Z please email Professor Alex Puga at apuga@depauw.edu. You will also have an opportunity to discuss your placement after you arrive on campus.