Foreign Language Proficiency
Recognizing the unique importance in undergraduate education of the study of foreign languages, the Vassar curriculum provides for both study of and concentration in Chinese, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Russian, and Spanish. In addition, students may learn Arabic, Hebrew, and Old English and, through the self-instructional language program, Hindi, Irish, Korean, Portuguese, Swahili, Swedish, Turkish, and Yiddish.
All three- and four-year students whose first language is English are required before graduation to demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language by one of the following six ways:
- one year of foreign-language study at Vassar at the introductory level or one semester at the intermediate level or above;
- the passing of a proficiency examination administered by one of the foreign language departments, the self-instructional language program or, for languages not in the Vassar curriculum, by the Office of the Dean of Studies;
- Advanced Placement score of 4 or 5 in a foreign language;
- SAT II achievement test score in a foreign language of at least 600;
- equivalent foreign-language coursework completed at another institution; such courses may involve languages not taught at Vassar, including American Sign Language; or
- completion of Old English and Beowulf (ENGL 235 and ENGL 236); both Old English and Beowulf must be completed to satisfy the requirement.
- International students whose first language is not English must show formal academic study of their home language to fulfill this requirement. For information about the exemption process consult the Office of the Dean of Studies.