Language Requirement

If your college (Liberal Arts, Business, Journalism, Science, etc.) or degree (normally a B.A.) requires proficiency in a second language, you can satisfy this requirement through one of three options.

  1. Successfully complete a fourth semester college course in a second language or American Sign Language, or SPAN 227 for Spanish heritage speakers.
  2. Demonstrate proficiency through means determined by the Department of World Languages and Literatures, including, but not limited to
    1. Minimum standardized test scores (CBAPE, SAT II, or IB)
    2. A minimum aptitude on an accredited second language assessment test (see C.2 below)
    3. Provide transcript evidence of a high school or equivalent diploma in which English was not the language of instruction (see C.1 below)
  3. Participate in a study abroad language program pre-approved by the Department of World Languages and Literature to meet the language requirement.

Note: Four years of high school second language instruction does not automatically satisfy this requirement.

Explore languages regularly taught at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Placement exam information

If you are continuing in the study of French or Spanish from high school or another institution, you are required to complete the survey and placement exam to be placed in the appropriate first- or second-year language course. If you are a heritage language speaker of Spanish, you are required to complete the survey and a different placement exam to be placed in the appropriate Spanish heritage language course (SPAN 226, 227). For all other languages offered at the University of Nevada, Reno, contact an undergraduate advisor on placement into the basic first- or second-year language program (111, 112, 211, or 212). For Spanish heritage language advising (SPAN 226, 227), contact Mr. Ortiz.


Alternative ways to fulfill a second language requirement

For students who are interested in waiving a second language requirement with proficiency in any language other than English (including but not limited to international students, native or heritage language speakers, graduate students, or scholarships/Fulbright applicants needing a language evaluation)

  1. Send a scanned unofficial high school transcript or accredited program transcript demonstrating completion of studies in the country that the language is spoken to the department chair, or
  2. Pay for and complete an Avant Challenge Exam. This is a third-party, proctored, web-based/online, adaptive, proficiency exam that evaluates your reading, speaking, listening, and writing skills in most languages (graduate students will only need reading). If your language is not listed in the test options, please email the department chair.
    1. You can prepare for the Avant Challenge Exam by reviewing their Test Taker Guide and taking a Sample Test.
    2. Score needed: A minimum score of "5" on all four skills is needed to waive the language requirement. Review benchmark scores.
    3. Upon completion of the test and receiving the minimum score, email the department chair.

Note: The waiver does not grant credits and credit by exam (CBE) is not offered for first or second-year language courses.

Language requirement FAQs