What better way to learn about oneself and to engage this culturally diverse world than by embarking on the study of a language and a culture other than one's own?! The University's Mission Statement defines a liberal education as "preparation for students to lead rich and rewarding lives, rejoicing in the diversity of the world." In addition, familiarity with a second language is a necessary tool for successfully living in an increasingly multicultural, multilingual, and interdependent world.
We offer Chinese (Mandarin), Classical Hebrew, Ancient Greek, French, German, Japanese, Latin, Russian, and Spanish to meet our language requirement. Languages are pursued with the support of a fine faculty, native-speaking language assistants, and a well-equipped Language Learning Center.
There are several ways in which you might satisfy this requirement for the Bachelor of Arts. (Language study for the Bachelor of Music varies.) You may fulfill the language requirement in one of the following ways:
- Complete the fourth semester (L232) or higher of one of Willamette University’s non-English language courses with a minimum grade of C-
- Place into a 300-level language course and pass an additional proficiency examination in that language administered on campus by Willamette University faculty
- Complete the second semester (L132) or higher of a Willamette University non-English language course with a minimum grade of C- plus one semester of intensive study abroad or an immersion program in that same language (the program must be approved by Willamette University)
- Complete the third semester of a Willamette University non-English language course (L231) with a minimum grade of C- plus one semester of an approved course (possibly taught in English) that considers the culture, cinema, or literature of populations who use the studied language or that considers linguistics
- Successfully complete the first two years or higher of college non-English language study in one language at another college or university
- Achieve a minimum score of 4 on the AP language exam
- Achieve a minimum score of 5 on the higher level International Baccalaureate language exam
- Present evidence of a primary language other than English
As a general rule, college language courses will transfer on the basis of 1 credit for 4 semester hours or 6 quarter hours. If you have completed the second year of college language study you have probably satisfied the language requirement. Consult your Degree Audit to determine your language placement.
If you have not completed the language requirement, in most cases it is a good idea to get your language study underway in your first semester, if possible. If you wish to continue studying a language that you have previously studied, then you should take the appropriate Foreign Language Placement Exam. Here are two general guidelines: 1) One year of study at another college or university is generally equivalent to one year at Willamette. 2) Two years of high school study in a language are roughly equivalent to one year of college-level study in that same language. Of course, the strength and emphasis of language programs vary greatly, and you may have graduated high school some time ago.