Skip Navigation
search: People Opens New Window | Departments Opens New Window | Penn State Opens New Window | Web Opens New Window
Penn State mark
Penn State mark
University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

Placement Policy for Penn State World Language Courses

All students interested in studying a world language at Penn State may choose either to continue the language studied previously or to begin a new one. To continue with a language, students must follow the placement policy as outlined below.

Placement Policy — Students who have studied a world language within four years immediately before admission to Penn State may enroll in that language for credit based on the number of Carnegie units prior to admission. (A Carnegie "unit" refers to one course level of a world language — French 1, French 2, French 3, etc. — equivalent to one year of study and accredited as such by the school.) If a period of four or more years has elapsed between a student's graduation from high school and admission to college, he/she may be eligible to enroll in level 1 of the language studied in high school.

Units of Study Prior to Admission to Penn StateRegister in Penn State Language Level
Fewer than two Course Level 001 (4 cr.)
Two or three Course Level 002 (4 cr.)
Four or more Course Level 003 (4 cr.)

Students may choose to audit a lower-level course but may not receive credit for it. Students who feel they are qualified for a more advanced course, or students seeking proficiency certification or credit by examination, if available, should contact the appropriate language department for details. For more information, see College of the Liberal Arts policies.

Non-Course Work Knowledge of World Languages — Students who have acquired a knowledge of a world language by means other than course work (e.g., family background, travel or study in a foreign country, participation in noncredit summer language programs, etc.) may enroll in elementary and intermediate courses in that language only with permission of the course coordinator or department head. Once students have been placed in a skills course, they may not receive credit for a lower-level skills course.

Students whose native language is not English may not receive credit (through course work or examination) for elementary and intermediate courses in their native language. Enrollment in skills courses beyond intermediate level (e.g., conversation, composition) must be approved by the department head.

Accelerated and Intensive Courses — Students may choose to enroll in accelerated courses such as French 111 and 112, German 011 and 012, or in Penn State's Summer Intensive Language Institute courses. Because the objectives of these courses are somewhat different, students may schedule them for full credit even if they have studied the language previously.

Credit by examination (fee charged), when available, is offered to the extent allowed by the placement policy. For example, a student who has two units of secondary school foreign language and chooses to begin study of that language at the third level instead of the second (Course Level 003, 4 cr.), may receive credits for the second level (Course Level 002, 4 cr.), but not for the first level (Course Level 001, 4 cr.). See the appropriate department for details.

Questions — Questions should be addressed to the course coordinator or department head of the particular language department concerned.


Look up course abbreviations

Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.

Skip Popular Searches
  1. Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements
  2. General Education: United States Cultures and International Cultures
  3. Course Index
  4. Graduate Degree Programs Bulletin
  5. General Education: Arts
  6. General Education: Humanities
  7. General Education: Health and Physical Activity
  8. General Education: Natural Sciences
  9. General Education: Social and Behavioral Sciences
  10. General Education: Writing/Speaking