Policy and Rules
Foreign Language Placement Exams Policy and Rules regarding enrolling in Spanish and French courses for the first time are as follows.
Note: It is strongly recommended that students take a foreign language placement exam only if they have had previous courses in the language and plan to take a foreign language class at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.
On specific dates before starting the academic year, placement exams are administered to students who intend to continue studying Spanish and French. We urge academic advisors to inform students about these important dates.
- Admission tuition deposit must be paid.
- If a student has never taken a foreign language class, they do not take the Foreign Language Placement Exam. They will register directly into an elementary 1 course.
- If a student is going to study a foreign language at the college level and has prior coursework in that language, they should take a Spanish or French Placement Exam.
- For students who are new to the study of a language, the sequence is Language and Culture 1, Language and Culture 2, followed by Intermediate 1, and Intermediate 2.
- Students with three years of previous instruction in a foreign language can register directly into an elementary 1 course or take the placement exam.
- It is strongly recommended that students with four years of previous instruction in a foreign language take the placement exam or they may register directly into a Language and Culture 2 course. These students cannot stay in Language and Culture 1.
- It is strongly recommended that students with five years of previous instruction in a foreign language take the placement exam or they may register directly into an intermediate 1 course. These students cannot stay in Language and Culture 2.
- If a student has studied one language in high school and plans on studying a different language at the college level, they would not take the placement exam because they have not previously studied the language they plan to take in college. They would register directly into a Language and Culture 1 course.
- If a student missed a Foreign Language Placement Exam, the student would take the placement exam during the first week of classes of each semester. Students need to contact Foreign Language faculty to arrange a day/time to take the placement exam.
- No credits will be awarded for using the placement exam to satisfy the Spanish minor or Foreign Language & Literature major requirements. The student must meet the degree program’s minimum number of credits for graduation.
- If a student places into the advanced level of Spanish or French, that student can choose to earn Credit by Exam ($10 per credit) for Intermediate 1 and 2 by passing the final exam from those courses with a C+ or better.
- Our placement exam serves as a measure of each student’s current knowledge of either French or Spanish; however, we recognize that sometimes students learn the nuances of a language best by engaging in coursework that reinforces and clarifies the many a languages’ distinctions. Therefore, students who have taken the placement exam may either enroll in the foreign language course that our placement exam indicates is appropriate, given their demonstrated knowledge, or they may enroll in a foreign language course one level below the course that the placement test indicates as appropriate.
- Any questions pertaining to the Foreign Language exams or scores should be emailed to Michael P. Stoneham, PhD, Division Chair.