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Incoming First-Year & Transfer Students

Language Placement Testing

The Common Curriculum requires that undergraduate students complete the elementary sequence of a language or take one four-credit course at their level if they place beyond the elementary sequence (level 2001 or higher). The placement tests determine which language class is appropriate for the student’s language level. Alternatively, students may choose to start a new language and complete the first-year sequence in that language (levels 1001, 1002, and 1003). To satisfy the foreign language requirement, students must take and pass level 1003 or higher. For more information on common curriculum and specific major requirements, check the bulletin and/or contact Academic Advising.

Language placement process
  • Use the Language Requirement Flowchart to determine which language placement test(s) to take.
  • Take the placement test by the deadline.  See language-specific details below.
  • Review your score with the Language Advising Guide.
  • Register for your language class during advising period.
  • If needed, follow-up with a language advisor during the first week of class.
Who takes the language placement test?
  • Students who want to study a language they have not previously studied do not need to take a placement test and may register for the first course in the elementary sequence (1001) of the language they wish to study.
  • All incoming undergraduate students who know or have studied one of the languages offered at DU and plan to continue that studying that language are required to take the placement test prior to class registration to place them properly in that language’s curriculum. AP and IB scores cannot serve as course prerequisites.
  • Students who know or have studied one of the languages offered at DU but plan to study a new language at DU are strongly advised to take the placement test for the language they already know or have studied. In the event that there is a scheduling or other conflict with the student’s chosen beginning language class, the placement results give the student an option to register in the previously studied language.
  • Non-native English-speaking international students who are directly admitted to the University will take the English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA) through the English Language Center.
Is anyone exempt from the language requirement?

Students are exempt from the language requirement in the following degree programs:

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering (BSCpE)
  • Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (BSEE)
  • Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (BSME)
  • Bachelor of Music (BM) students may choose between eight credits in one foreign language or eight credits in Scientific Inquiry: The Natural and Physical World (SI). BM students who choose the foreign language option must take the placement test unless they have not previously studied the language, in which case they register for the 1001 level of the language of their choice.
  • Non-native English-speaking international students should contact the English Language Center.

PLEASE NOTE: 

  • The placement test is designed to place you into the appropriate level based on what you know of the language without the support of outside materials. Do not get help from people, dictionaries, or other resources for the test. The use of outside materials can result in incorrect placement.
  • You may take the tests for more than one language.
  • Even though DU may award you credit hours based on AP or IB scores in a particular language, this does not fulfill the language requirement.  You will still need to take the placement test to place you in a DU language class.
  • International students should direct questions to the English Language Center.
  • IMPORTANT DEADLINE INFORMATION FOR SUMMER PLACEMENT: If students do not complete and submit a placement test for a previously studied language by July 1, results may not be processed in time for summer registration. This may prevent students from registering for their preferred language class until the beginning of the fall quarter.

Placement Test Details by Language

IB and AP scores do not fulfill placement requirements; students who have taken IB and AP exams must also take the appropriate DU placement test.

Students who plan to begin studying a new language do not take a placement test and do not need to see a language advisor. They register for 1001 in the language they wish to begin learning.

Arabic
Arabic registration and testing guidelines:
  • If you have never studied Arabic, please register for Arabic 1001 (only offered in the Fall Quarter).
  • If you speak Arabic but do not have experience reading or writing in Arabic, please register for Arabic 1001.
  • If you have not had formal instruction in Arabic, please register for Arabic 1001.
  • All other students, please follow these steps to access the Arabic Placement Assessment, located in Canvas learning management system:
    1. Go to the Arabic Placement Assessment
    2. Enter your DU ID and Password and click "Enroll in Course"
    3. Click "Go to the Course"
    4. Read the instructions and take the placement assessment
  • Students will receive an email from a representative from the program with their scores and further information regarding advising and course offerings.
  • Please contact Professor Maha Foster (maha.foster@du.edu) with Arabic advising questions. 
Chinese
  • If you have never studied Chinese, please register for Chinese 1001 (only offered in the Fall Quarter).
  • If you speak Chinese but do not have experience reading or writing in Chinese, please register for Chinese 1001.
  • All other students, please follow these steps to access the Chinese Placement Assessment, located in Canvas learning management system:
    1. Go to the Chinese Placement Assessment
    2. Enter your DU ID and Password and click "Enroll in Course"
    3. Click "Go to the Course"
    4. Read the instructions and take the placement assessment
  • Students will receive an email from a representative from the program with their scores and further information regarding advising and course offerings.
  • Please contact Professor Jing Wang (jing.wang@du.edu) with Chinese language advising questions. There also will be an opportunity for advising during Discoveries Week.
English
French
  • If you have never studied French, please register for French 1001 (only offered in the Fall Quarter). 
  • All other students, please follow these steps to access the French Placement Test:
    1. Go to the True North placement testing website. The French Placement Test is multiple-choice and covers grammar, reading, and vocabulary. The test is designed to give you a number of opportunities to answer questions at different levels of skills. Plan on 15-45 minutes for the test.
    2. Create an account. Please note your password! If you get disconnected or forget to record your placement results, you can return to the site to log in and view your score.
    3. At the end of the test, you will receive instructions regarding advising. If you feel your score is inaccurate, you may retake the test.
    4. Consult the Overview of Topics to confirm your placement. If you feel your score is inaccurate, you may retake the test.
  • Note your score and the corresponding course level, you will register for the level into which you placed. This chart shows which levels are offered during each quarter. If your level is not offered in the fall quarter, you may be advised to take another course.

Fall Quarter – 1001, 2001, 2400
Winter Quarter – 1002, 2002, 2400
Spring Quarter – 1003, 2003

  • Please contact the Department of Languages, Literatures, & Cultures (langlit@du.edu) with French language advising questions over the summer or contact the faculty member for your last name's section of the alphabet once you arrive on campus in the fall.

A – F: Frédérique Chevillot (frederique.chevillot@du.edu)
G – M: James Gilroy (james.gilroy@du.edu)
N – St: Mamadou Moustapha Ly (mamadou.ly@du.edu)
Su – Z: Jennifer Pap (jennifer.pap@du.edu)
First-year Coordinator: Terri-Jo Woellner (Terri-Jo.Woellner@du.edu)
Second-Year Coordinator: Frédérique Chevillot (frederique.chevillot@du.edu)

French Placement Scoring Matrix

Placement Score Matrix

German
  • If you have never studied German, please register for German 1001 (only offered in the Fall Quarter). 
  • All other students, please follow these steps to access the German Placement Test:
    1. Go to the True North placement testing website. The German Placement Test is multiple-choice and covers grammar, reading, and vocabulary. The test is designed to give you a number of opportunities to answer questions at different levels of skills. Plan on 15-45 minutes for the test.
    2. Create an account. Please note your password! If you get disconnected or forget to record your placement results, you can return to the site to log in and view your score.
    3. At the end of the test, you will receive instructions regarding advising. If you feel your score is inaccurate, you may retake the test.
  • Please contact Professor Gabi Kathoefer (Gabi.Kathoefer@du.edu) with German language advising questions. There also will be an opportunity for advising during Discoveries Week.

German Placement Scoring Matrix

Placement Scoring Martrix

Hebrew
  • If you have never studied Hebrew, please register for Hebrew 1001 (only offered in the Fall Quarter).
  • If your Hebrew knowledge is based on preparation for a Bar/Bat Mitzvah celebration, please register for Hebrew 1001.
  • If your Hebrew knowledge is based on having attended a Jewish Day School until grade 6-8, please register for Hebrew 1001.
  • If you have had any other Hebrew experience, e.g. an Ulpan in Israel, Hebrew studies in a public High School, a Gap year in Israel, etc. and/or any other question, please contact the Department of Languages, Literatures, & Cultures (langlit@du.edu) to be put in touch with a Hebrew advisor.
  • All other students, please follow these steps to access the Chinese Placement Assessment, located in Canvas learning management system:
    1. Go to the Hebrew Placement Evaluation
    2. Enter your DU ID and Password and click "Enroll in Course"
    3. Click "Go to the Course"
    4. Read the instructions and take the placement assessment
  • Students will receive an email from a representative from the program with their scores and further information regarding advising and course offerings. There also will be an opportunity for advising during Discoveries Week.
Italian
  • If you have never studied Italian, please register for Italian 1001 (only offered in the Fall Quarter).
  • Before you begin, make sure you have functioning headphones or speakers.
  • This test includes listening comprehension, grammar, reading comprehension and writing. You must complete the test in one sitting and will have only one hour to complete it.
  • Students will receive an email from a representative from the program with their scores and further information regarding advising and course offerings.
  • Please contact Professor Angelo Castagnino (angelo.castagnino@du.edu) with Italian language advising questions.

Take the Italian Placement Assessment

Japanese
  • If you have never studied Japanese, please register for Elementary Japanese JAPN 1001 (only offered in the Fall Quarter)
  • All other students with previous knowledge or study of Japanese must complete the Japanese Survey + Placement Assessment.
  • Students will hear back from the Japanese program by email regarding placement in the Japanese language program.
  • Please contact Professor Miho Hamamoto at (miho.hamamoto@du.edu) with Japanese language advising questions. There also will be an opportunity for advising during Discoveries Week.

Take the Japanese Survey + Placement Assessment

Latin
  • If you have never studied Latin, please register for Latin 1001 (only offered in the Fall Quarter).
  • Print and take the Latin Placement Assessment.
  • Return Latin Placement Assessment to the Center for World Languages and Cultures at cwlc@du.edu.
  • Students will receive an email from a representative from the program with their scores and further information regarding advising and course offerings.
  • Please contact Professor Victor Castellani (Victor.Castellani@du.edu) with Latin language advising questions. There also will be an opportunity for advising during Discoveries Week.
Russian
  • If you have never studied Russian, please register for Russian 1001 (only offered in the Fall Quarter).
  • Print and take the Russian Placement Assessment.
  • Return Russian Placement Assessment to the Center for World Languages and Cultures at cwlc@du.edu.
  • Students will receive an email from a representative from the program with their scores and further information regarding advising and course offerings.
  • Please contact the Department of Languages, Literatures, & Cultures (langlit@du.edu) with Russian language advising questions. There also will be an opportunity for advising during Discoveries Week.

Take the Russian Placement Assessment

Spanish
  • If you have never studied Spanish, please register for Spanish 1001 (offered in Fall and Spring Quarters).
  • If you speak Spanish at home, grew up speaking Spanish, or think you might be a Heritage Speaker, please see the Spanish for Heritage/Bilingual Speakers section below.
  • All other students, please follow these steps to access the Spanish Placement Test:
    1. Go to the True North placement testing website. The Spanish Placement Test is multiple-choice and covers grammar, reading, and vocabulary. The test is designed to give you a number of opportunities to answer questions at different levels of skills. Plan on 15-45 minutes for the test.
    2. Create an account. Please note your password! If you get disconnected or forget to record your placement results, you can return to the site to log in and view your score.
    3. At the end of the test, you will receive instructions regarding advising. If you feel your score is inaccurate, you may retake the test.
    4. Consult the Overview of Topics to confirm your placement. If you feel your score is inaccurate, you may retake the test.
  • Please contact the Department of Spanish Language, Literary, & Cultural Studies (langlit@du.edu) with advising questions. There also will be an opportunity for advising during Discoveries Week.

Spanish Scoring matrix

 

Spanish for Native/Heritage Speakers
  • If you speak Spanish at home with parents, siblings or extended family members, and have personal ties to a Spanish-speaking community, please complete the Spanish Heritage Language Assessment before enrolling in Spanish for Heritage Speakers (SPAN 2200).
  • If you have significant experience studying abroad or have completed part of your education in a Spanish-speaking country, please contact Dr. Lina Reznicek-Parrado (Lina.Reznicek-Parrado@du.edu).
  • Please follow these steps to access the Spanish Heritage Placement Assessment, located in Canvas learning management system:
    1. Go to the Heritage Spanish Placement Assessment
    2. Enter your DU ID and Password and click "Enroll in Course"
    3. Click "Go to the Course"
    4. Read the instructions and take the placement assessment
  • If you place into the Spanish for Heritage/Bilingual Speaker course, you will register for SPAN 2200 during the Fall Quarter of 2020. Please plan accordingly.

For more information about language placement tests, scores, and advising, please see the Language Advising Guide.

Incoming and Transfer Students Enrolling after Fall Quarter

Incoming and transfer students enrolling for the first time in the winter, spring or summer quarters do not have a dedicated day for testing or advising. Please follow the instructions above to complete your placement tests and get the advising you need to register. Non-native English speaking international students who are directly admitted to the University, please contact the English Language Center for information regarding the English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA).

Additional Undergraduate Language Requirements

If you are an INTS undergraduate student who needs to demonstrate second-year language proficiency as part of your degree requirement, please see the Language Proficiency webpage.