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World Language Placement

Some majors at Penn State require course work in a world language. Demonstrating proficiency in a world language will help students succeed in a global society.

Placement in a world language is based on your prior course work in grades 9 through 12. You’ll learn more about world language requirements during NSO.

As a general guide, we recommend this logic. When considering your high school course work: 

  • If you took 0-1 years of language: start with LANG 1
  • If you took 2-3 years of language: start with LANG 2
  • If you took 4+ years of language: start with LANG 3

Completion of LANG 3 satisfies the world language requirement for most majors.

If your major requires a world language, plan to talk with your academic adviser at orientation about whether to continue the language you studied in high school or start a new one.

All Penn State students are expected to have completed two units (commonly two years of high school work) of a world language. If you were admitted to Penn State and completed less than two high school units of a world language you will have to take classes to demonstrate proficiency in a world language before graduation. You can read more about this requirement on the Undergraduate Admissions webpage.