Skip to main content

Frequently Asked Questions about JCU’s Core Language Requirement

To complete your language requirement at John Carroll, you have two options:

1. Continue in the language you took in high school at your level of placement and complete through the 201 level. If you place higher than 201, your foreign language requirement is waived.


2. Begin a new language and take 101 and 102 of that language.

At John Carroll, we offer courses in seven languages, preparing you for success in a complex world. Find out more here.

Great question. This is something you should discuss at length with your academic advisor. Some questions to consider:

  • How much did you enjoy the language that you took in high school? How successful were you at it?
  • Which language is a match for your other academic interests?
  • Do you anticipate using the language for your future profession? For example, will you be communicating in the workplace regularly with speakers of other languages?
  • Or are you more interested in acquiring cultural knowledge, or enhancing your verbal skills overall? All language courses contain these elements, but in different proportions.
  • Are you better at oral communication, or are reading and writing your strengths?
  • Is there a country in which you would like to study or travel?
  • Is there a language that will set you apart from the average person in your field?
  • Do you succeed better in smaller classes?

Enroll in the course numbered 101. Follow up with 102, preferably in the semester immediately following.

At New Student Orientation, you will be required to take the placement test(s) in all previously studied languages. The results of the test(s) determine your placement level. Typical language placements are 101, 102, 201, or waiver (above 201).

Yes. Students often change their minds and want to return to their original language. It is very important that we have a record of your original placement.

Yes, depending on your score. For AP, you must have taken the AP exam for that language, and your scores must have been reported to the Registrar. A list of AP equivalencies can be found in the JCU Undergraduate Bulletin.

For IB (International Baccalaureate), you must request a transcript from the IBNA (International Baccalaureate North America) and have it sent directly to JCU. A list of IB equivalencies can be found in the JCU Undergraduate Bulletin.

You are still subject to the language requirement, but your previous credit may apply toward it. Your transfer credit will be evaluated by the JCU Registrar to determine JCU equivalency. Once you know the JCU equivalent of your previous courses, you should enroll at the next higher level if you wish to continue in that same language to complete your language requirement. For example, if you receive transfer credit for the equivalent of 101 and 102, you should then enroll in 201 here at JCU. If your transfer credit is accepted as the equivalent of 201 or higher, then your language requirement will be waived.

International students–those who are citizens of and who have lived for at least 10 years in another country whose primary language is not English–are exempt from the language requirement.

Other students who have learned a language for which there is no placement exam at JCU can demonstrate proficiency in that language by taking a nationally-validated proficiency exam approved by the chair of the language department. The student will bear the cost of taking the exam. Demonstration of proficiency at or above the intermediate-mid level in at least two skills (oral proficiency as well as writing or reading) will qualify the student for a waiver of the language requirement. Please contact the department chair if you wish to pursue this option.

This waiver only exempts the student from the language requirement; it does not grant the student academic credit.

You will not be allowed to enroll in any foreign language until you complete the placement test. Contact the Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Cultures at to schedule an appointment.


Yes, you must enroll at the level of placement. If you think your placement is wrong, your first step is to attend the first day of class. If that first day still feels wrong, then immediately discuss your placement concerns with the instructor. Changes can be made during the first week of classes if you and your instructor, along with the department chair, together determine that your placement was incorrect.

Great idea! Language study can take you far beyond the language requirement. See our list of major and minor programs to find out more about pursuing the language further.

Contact Us

Have Questions about the Core Language Requirement?

Still have questions about placement tests or the Core language requirement? We are here to answer your questions and help you create an academic plan that incorporates language studies.

Contact Classical and Modern Languages and Cultures