Graduate Language Certification

  • Purpose. The goal of graduate language certification in a foreign language is to ensure that students are skilled in reading proficiency so they can understand scholarly material in their chosen area of study and thus fulfill their department's graduate foreign language requirement.
  • Certification Options. The department offers a certification exam to fulfill this requirement.  A student may also pass an advanced [third-year] course taught in a foreign language with the grade of 'C' or better to meet the requirement. (300-level language courses taught in English do not count; e.g. FLJ 351, FLC 351.)  For this latter option, the student should consult with the Associate Department Head before taking the course. An equivalent 300-level FL course taken at another university may also fulfill the requirement, once an official transcript is submitted for review and approved by the FLL Associate Head. Transcripts will be reviewed during the fall and spring semesters when classes are in session (not during final exam periods or summer sessions).
  • Scheduling Certification Exams. Students who already have the requisite proficiency may contact the following faculty members to sign up for the certification exam: French - Dr. Dudley MarchiGerman - Dr. Helga BraunbeckSpanish - Dr. Mark Darhower. For all other languages offered by the Department [Arabic, Chinese, Greek (ancient), Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Portuguese, Russian, and Urdu], contact the section coordinator of that language. For languages not offered by the department, the student will need to identify a faculty member at another institution who is willing to administer and evaluate an exam, after consultation with the Associate Department Head.
  • Exam Preparation. Students who need preparation for the exam in French should contact Dr. Dudley M. Marchi.  For German, students should register for FLG 401 (German). Spanish offers a self-paced online tutorial.
  • Exam Dates. Exams are not offered during summer sessions.

    French  -  Contact Dr. Dudley M. Marchi to arrange for the French certification exam.

    German  - FLG 401 is taught every 2 years and the test is scheduled as part of the course (next offered Fall 2022). In semesters when the course is not taught, contact Dr. Helga Braunbeck for an individual test.

    Spanish Visit the Spanish Program’s page for Full Information and Requirements.

    Other languages -  Contact the appropriate faculty member to arrange for the certification exam during the regular academic year (Fall and Spring semesters). Give faculty adequate notice to prepare and evaluate your exams. Students should attend to their language requirement as early as possible during their program of study at the University.  

  • Exam Structure. The certification exam consists of translating material from the foreign language into English with use of a dictionary.  The faculty member will discuss the specific nature of the exam with the student.  Generally, the certification exam consists of translating: (1) sentences containing fundamental grammatical structures, verb tenses, idiomatic expressions, and vocabulary; and (2) a portion of a scholarly article in the student's general research area (250-300 words) and chosen by the faculty member. The student is expected to produce a reasonably accomplished translation in order to demonstrate reading knowledge, following this Evaluation Rubric. Results for successful students are reported to the Associate Department Head and the Graduate Services Coordinator.
  • Important Reminders

    Contact the appropriate faculty member to arrange for the certification exam during
    the fall or spring semester. Please, give adequate advanced notice. 
    Students should attend to their language requirement as early as possible in their program of study at the University.