2018-19
Undergraduate Degree & Course Catalog

Foreign Language Placement

Correct placement in foreign language courses is essential for student success. Students with any previous experience in a language – in school, at home, through traveling or living abroad, etc., – must see an appropriate advisor to determine the correct placement level before registering for a course in that language. Students who are judged by the instructor to be misplaced will be moved to an appropriate-level course during the first week of classes. This will ensure not only that students are obtaining the optimal language training for their proficiency level, but also that there is consistency across students in each class.


The following placement guidelines should be followed:

  • Students who have studied a language in high school for one year or less and who have not completed a Regents Examination or equivalent in that language, or students who are embarking on the study of a new language, should enroll in the first-year sequence (e.g. Japanese 101-102, Russian 101-102). This two-semester sequence will satisfy the Language and Culture Track within the Global Pathway.
  • Students who are transferring college coursework to UB equivalent to a UB first-year first-semester course (e.g. 101) may enroll in the first-year second-semester course for that language at UB (e.g. 102). The transferred coursework and the 102 course taken at UB can be counted toward the Language and Culture Track and will fulfill that Track if the courses add up to nine credits or more.
  • Spanish 104, French 104, Italian 104, German 104, and Chinese 105 are accelerated reviews of the basics of these languages for students who have studied these languages for more than one year and/or passed a Regents Examination or equivalent in the language. These courses are also often appropriate for transfer students with a single semester of introductory language study at another college, especially where the course taken elsewhere does not articulate with a 101 course at UB. These Transitional courses will be considered the starting point for the Language and Culture Track.
  • Russian 104, Chinese 104 and Spanish 171 are courses for Heritage speakers, i.e. students who have good spoken proficiency in one of these languages but have had little or no formal training, including literacy training, in the language. These courses will be considered the starting point for the Language and Culture Track.
  • Students who have completed at least 3 years of language study or have passed a Regents Examination (or equivalent) in the language, and who are capable of doing more advanced work than provided in the Transitional courses (e.g. 104 or 105) will be placed in a second-year first-semester course (or higher) (e.g. Spanish 151, Chinese 201). This course (or any higher-level course) will be considered the starting point for the Language and Culture Track. This training internationalizes students’ UB experience and provides an excellent foundation for further language study and study abroad.
NOTE: Students who have completed coursework in a language either at UB or at another college or university will not be allowed to register for a course which assumes a proficiency level lower than that already completed. Students may not receive credit for either first-year first-semester courses (e.g. 101) or first-year second-semester courses (e.g. 102) if they receive credit for a 104 or 105 course in the same language. Students repeating a course in which a failing grade was received must do so prior to registering for any higher-level course. Students fluent in a language other than English or whose primary/secondary education was conducted in a language other than English may not take first-year or second-year courses in that language. Contact the individual language coordinators for placement advisement.

Last updated: December 2018 by the College of Arts and Sciences Foreign Language Instruction Coordinating Council (FLICC).

Published: November 19, 2018 01:53:38 PM