Language Requirements

Most major programs in the College of Liberal Arts will require the student to complete a world language requirement. This page provides additional information on how the requirement may be satisfied, available language courses and placement options.

Ways to satisfy the language requirement

Students must demonstrate proficiency in a world language other than English equal to a fourth-semester course level through one of the following options:

Language courses offered

Students may automatically register in the first semester of any sequence (except Spanish; see placement section below). Students must meet prerequisites to enroll in higher levels unless other permission has been granted by the appropriate department.

For most language sequences other than French and Spanish, the level one and three courses are typically offered only in fall semesters, and the level two and four courses are typically offered only in spring semesters (see the General Catalog for typically offered information). Therefore, students are advised to enroll in language coursework beginning in their first fall semester at the university and to remain continuously enrolled in language coursework each semester, to avoid delays in completing language requirements.

Course placement


Students wishing to take French for their language requirement should consult the Department of World Languages and Literatures’ French placement policy before enrolling.

The first course in the French sequence, FREN 111, is open for any student to enroll. However, taking the French Placement Test is highly encouraged for those students who have previously completed some French language instruction without earning college credit, as they may be able to place into a higher course level more reflective of their French language ability.


Students wishing to take Spanish for their language requirement should consult the Department of World Languages and Literatures’ Spanish placement policy before enrolling.

Generally, most students wishing to pursue Spanish for the language requirement must take the Spanish Placement Test prior to enrolling in a course, unless they have met another course prerequisite. Students who have had no prior high school or college Spanish instruction may be permitted to enroll directly into SPAN 111 without taking the placement exam but will need to work with an advisor for verification and to obtain enrollment permission.

Spanish heritage speakers (individuals who attended high school in the United States and grew up speaking Spanish, typically without receiving formal Spanish instruction) wishing to pursue Spanish coursework for the language requirement may not enroll in SPAN 111–212 courses and should not take the placement test above. These students should instead complete the Spanish for Heritage Speakers track and should contact the Spanish heritage advisor to take a free heritage speaker placement test to determine placement into SPAN 226 or SPAN 227.

Other languages

For languages other than Spanish, students will automatically qualify to enroll in the first course of the sequence.

Students who wish to consider enrolling in a course beyond the first semester in the sequence should take into account their level of familiarity and comfort with all aspects of the language—speaking, listening and writing—as well as time passed since last formal language instruction. Keep in mind that each semester of a college language course at Nevada is roughly equivalent to one year of high school level language instruction, and course placement at the college level will typically take this standard into account—for example, a student who took two years of high school Japanese may potentially skip up to the first two semesters and be placed in the third level course, JPN 211.

Students with prior language instruction that wish to enroll in a course above level one for which they do not meet a stated prerequisite must contact the department offering the language for further placement assistance and enrollment permissions.


Course placement questions

Questions about the language requirement

  • College of Liberal Arts Student Center | email: | Lincoln Hall 314 | (775) 682-8745