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. You may fulfill the language requirement in one of the following ways:
- Complete the second semester (L132) or higher of one of Willamette University’s non-English language courses with a minimum grade of C-
- Place into a 231-level language course and pass an additional proficiency examination in that language administered on campus by Willamette University faculty
- Transfer in credit for equivalent NEL study (including AP/IB or "Running Start" credits accepted by the Registrar)
- Present evidence of a primary language other than English
- If you need to pursue an accommodation for a language substitution, please visit the Foreign Language Requirement Substitution Policy on the Accessible Education Services website.
As a general rule, college language courses will transfer 4 credits per course. 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.