Language Requirements

Ways to satisfy the language requirement

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

  • Option 1: Complete a fourth semester college course in a foreign language or in American Sign Language.

    For most students, this will mean taking four consecutive semesters of instruction in a single language sequence to satisfy the language requirement.

    Earning credit in a level four course automatically satisfies the language requirement, regardless of where a student begins the sequence.

    Language sequences offered at the University and their corresponding course information is listed below.

    Note: There is no minimum grade necessary to advance to the next level in a sequence, nor is there a minimum grade required in the level four course to complete the language requirement.

  • Option 2: Demonstrate proficiency through placement examination or other means determined by the Department of World Languages and Literatures, including minimum CBAPE, SAT II, or IB scores.

    Students with qualifying scores on AP or IB exams will earn college credit for language courses. Depending on the test score and credit earned, additional coursework may be needed to satisfy the overall language requirement.

    Students from a country other than the United States whose first language is not English, or otherwise exhibit high fluency in another language, can contact the Department of World Languages and Literatures to discuss eligibility for demonstrating language proficiency. If a student is deemed proficient by the department, their language requirement will be satisfied via waiver — course credits are not awarded.

  • Option 3: Show transcript evidence of successful completion of four years of high school coursework in the same foreign language.

    To satisfy the requirement under this option, a student must have earned no less than four full years of high school credit in successive levels of instruction in a single language. (Initial language courses taken in middle school may count towards the four-year total, if high school credit was earned and appears on a transcript).

    Students wishing to exercise this option must have their high school language instruction verified by a College Advisor. Email CLA advisors to request verification. If verified, the student’s language requirement will be satisfied via waiver — course credits are not awarded.

  • Option 4: Participate in a study abroad program pre-approved by the College to meet the foreign language requirement.

    Satisfying the language requirement while studying abroad entails traveling to a non-English speaking country and taking appropriate language instruction while abroad. This is typically a very intensive experience which involves taking the equivalent of three or four courses of a language sequence back-to-back during a single semester abroad.

    Students interested in this option are highly encouraged to talk with an academic advisor and begin planning for studies abroad early on, to ensure they can go abroad and satisfy the language requirement in a reasonable timeframe.

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 besides Spanish, level one and three courses are primarily offered only in fall semesters, and level two and four courses are primarily 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.

  • American Sign Language
    Course Level Language Courses Prerequisite
    1 AM 145 - American Sign Language I (4 units) None
    2 AM 146 - American Sign Language II (4 units) AM 145
    3 AM 147 - American Sign Language III (3 units) AM 146
    4 AM 148 - American Sign Language IV (3 units) AM 147
  • Arabic
    Course Level Language Courses Prerequisite
    1 ARA 111 - First Year Arabic I (4 units) None
    2 ARA 112 - First Year Arabic II (4 units) ARA 111
    3 ARA 211 - Second Year Arabic I (3 units) ARA 112
    4 ARA 212 - Second Year Arabic II (3 units) ARA 211

  • Basque
    Course Level Language Courses Prerequisite
    1 BASQ 101 - Elementary Basque I (4 units) None
    2 BASQ 102 - Elementary Basque II (4 units) None
    3 BASQ 203 - Second Year Basque I (3 units) BASQ 102
    4 BASQ 204 - Second Year Basque II (3 units) BASQ 203
  • Chinese
    Course Level Language Courses Prerequisite
    1 CHI 111 - First Year Chinese I (4 units) None
    2 CHI 112 - First Year Chinese II (4 units) CHI 111
    3 CHI 211 - Second Year Chinese I (3 units) CHI 112
    4 CHI 212 - Second Year Chinese II (3 units) CHI 211
  • French
    Course Level Language Courses Prerequisite
    1 FREN 111 - First Year French I (4 units) None
    2 FREN 112 - First Year French II (4 units) FREN 111
    3 FREN 211 - Second Year French I (3 units) FREN 112
    4 FREN 212 - Second Year French II (3 units) FREN 211
  • German
    Course Level Language Courses Prerequisite
    1 GER 111 - First Year German I (4 units) None
    2 GER 112 - First Year German II (4 units) GER 111
    3 GER 211 - Second Year German I (3 units) GER 112
    4 GER 212 - Second Year German II (3 units) GER 211
  • Italian
    Course Level Language Courses Prerequisite
    1 ITAL 111 - First Year Italian I (4 units) None
    2 ITAL 112 - First Year Italian II (4 units) ITAL 111
    3 ITAL 211 - Second Year Italian I (3 units) ITAL 112
    4 ITAL 212 - Second Year Italian II (3 units) ITAL 211
  • Japanese
    Course Level Language Courses Prerequisite
    1 JPN 111 - First Year Japanese I (4 units) None
    2 JPN 112 - First Year Japanese II (4 units) JPN 111
    3 JPN 211 - Second Year Japanese I (3 units) JPN 112
    4 JPN 212 - Second Year Japanese II (3 units) JPN 211
  • Northern Paiute
    Course Level Language Courses Prerequisite
    1 PAIT 111 - First Year Northern Paiute I (4 units) None
    2 PAIT 112 - First Year Northern Paiute II (4 units) PAIT 111
    3 PAIT 211 - Second Year Northern Paiute I (3 units) PAIT 112
    4 PAIT 212 - Second Year Northern Paiute II (3 units) PAIT 211
  • Spanish
    Course Level Language Courses Prerequisite
    1 SPAN 111 - First Year Spanish I (4 units) CAPE score 0–178 (see also placement info below)
    2 SPAN 112 - First Year Spanish II (4 units) SPAN 111 OR CAPE score 179+
    3 SPAN 211 - Second Year Spanish I (3 units) SPAN 112 OR CAPE score 320+
    4 SPAN 212 - Second Year Spanish II (3 units) SPAN 211 OR CAPE score 347+ OR SAT II Spanish Subject score 600+
  • Spanish for Heritage Speakers
    Course Level Language Courses Prerequisite
    4 SPAN 227 - Spanish for Heritage Speakers II

    (3 units)

    None

Course placement

Spanish

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 Exam 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. These students should instead complete the Spanish for Heritage Speakers track by enrolling directly into SPAN 227 — the placement exam is not required, and no permissions are needed.

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.

Questions

Course placement questions

  • American Sign Language: Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology | Nell J. Redfield Building 103 | (775) 784-4887
  • Basque: Center for Basque Studies | Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center 307 (north entrance) | (775) 784-4854
  • All other languages: Department of World Languages and Literatures | Edmund J. Cain Hall 241 | (775) 784-6055

Questions about the language requirement