Proficiency Requirements

For All Majors in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Students entering the University of Colorado who graduated from high school in 1988 or later are required to meet the Minimum Academic Preparation Standards (M.A.P.S.), which include two years of high school foreign language instruction in a single language. Students who have not met this entrance requirement must demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language at the second semester college level prior to graduation. This is accomplished through course work, by examination, or through documented evidence that the student has attained the equivalent proficiency in a language other than English.

Students must receive a grade of C- (1.70) or higher in the final semester of the second-year course in high school or the second-semester college-level course in order to fulfill the foreign language requirement. The prerequisite for the second-semester college course is a grade of C (2.0) or better in the first-semester course. There is no pass/fail option for any course taken for the foreign language requirement.

Placement/Proficiency Exam:

Students may show their level of proficiency by taking the placement/proficiency exam. The languages tested are French, German, and Spanish. For other languages, consult the CLAS Advising Office (NC 2024). Call the Department of Modern Languages, 303-315-7234, for scheduled exam times. The number of times a student may take the exam is limited to once per semester. For information on fulfilling part of the foreign language requirement through study abroad, call the Office of International Education, 303-315-2237.

Non-Native Speakers of English

For students whose native langague is not English, the foreign language proficiency requirement may be satisfied through demonstrating proficiency in English. Typically, non-native speakers of English, who have been admitted and fully matriculated into the university, have satified all foreign language proficiency requirements at CU Denver with English as their foreign language. In other words, admission to CU-Denver serves as documentation of proficiency in English as a Second/Foreign language for students who are non-native speakers of English.


Documentation versus Waiver

The CU system does not waive the foreign language proficiency requirement. Students should never request a waiver of foreign language proficiency. Instead, students who are proficient in two or more languages may request documentation of their second-language proficiency. To the student: Formulate your request using the following or similar wording, "I need to document that I speak a language other than English." or "I need to document that English is not my native language." You college advisor should be able to make this determination and mark it in your records. However, if there is a question about your status as a native, versus non-native, speaker of English, consult with an advisor in the Department of Modern Languages for further assistance.

Proficiency versus Credit

The foreign language proficiency requirement can be satisfied through documentation of your ability to express yourself and understand a second language. You are not required to acrue credits in second langauge leaning to satisfy the requirement. You only need to document your proficiency in communicating using a language other than your own.