The Modern Languages major is unique in the Massachusetts State College system. A student majoring in Modern Languages will select one of four (4) concentrations: Spanish, French, World Languages, or International Management. The department also offers beginning courses in German and Portuguese.
Incoming students who have completed more than one (1) year of foreign language study at the high school level are encouraged to take a placement examination (see dates below). The recommended course levels for those who did not take a placement examination are: Elementary I for students with up to two years of high school study, or three years of high school language taken some years ago or with below average grades; Elementary II for students with three years of recent high school study with grades that are average or above; Intermediate I for those with three years of high school study with above average grades, or four years with grades of average or below; Intermediate II or Advanced for students with four years of recent high school study with above average grades.
General Education Goal 3
There are several ways to meet general education goal 3, which corresponds to one semester of college foreign language study. Students may take one semester of a college-level foreign language or pass the placement test with a score of 50 or above. Alternatively, students may request a waiver from the Chair of Modern Languages if their high school academic language is other than English (usually applied to international students), or if they studied a single language for four years or reached level 4 in high school. A successful placement score or a waiver of goal 3 does not reduce the number of courses students must take to fulfill the 12-course general education requirement.
Placement Examination Dates
Students may also take French and/or Spanish placement examinations. These are administered in the Center for Academic Support and Advising (contact CASA for reservations).
Study abroad programs in France and Spain are available to all students, whether they major in Modern Languages or not. Programs in other countries may be selected subject to department approval (program descriptions are available in the chair's office). The Department encourages all Modern Language majors to study abroad. Note that the concentration in French is completed through a study abroad program (or approved off-campus courses).