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New Student Language Requirement FAQs

The study of language and culture is an important part of becoming an engaged global citizen, something that’s important to us at Geneseo. SUNY’s General Education requirements include the study of  language other than English. Geneseo students can satisfy the requirement in four ways.  

  • Students who have completed four years of a single language in high school satisfy the requirement without college coursework and do not need to take a placement exam. 
  • Students who have earned language credits through another college (either during or after high school) may transfer in those credits to satisfy the language requirement (satisfaction is with two semesters--101 & 102--of college work.
  • Students may take language courses at Geneseo, completing the “102” level, to satisfy the requirement.
  • Students who place into "201" on the Foreign Language Placement Exam, have satisfied the general education requirement through "102."

To  register for courses in a language you’ve previously studied, the college asks that you complete a short assessment, the Foreign Language Placement Exam, to properly determine what level of language is right for you. Without this information, you cannot be registered for a foreign language course.

You may be wondering: “Do I need to take the placement test?” 

The placement exam is required if you intend to study the same language you began with while in high school or if you wish to major/minor in a foreign language. If you wish to study a new language, it is not necessary to take the exam, but you will need to notify your Summer Registration Advisor of your plans when they reach out to you about your fall schedule.

What can I expect when I take the placement test? 

The placement exam is a computer-based, multiple-choice exam and takes about twenty minutes to complete. The exam assesses your proficiency level so there really is no way to study for it. Your grade will not be reflected anywhere other than for advising guidance. Your results are effective for one year. You will receive your placement immediately after completing the exam. 

What languages are exams offered in?

Departmental Placement Examinations are offered in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Latin, Russian, and Spanish. 

I received accommodations in high school or at my previous college. Can I receive accommodations for this placement test? 

This is an untimed exam, completed remotely on a computer.  If you have a documented disability and require accommodations beyond extended time, please contact the Office of Accessibility Services via email at access@geneseo.edu at least two weeks in advance of your scheduled exam date.

Please note that exams are also held throughout the academic year. For more information, visit the Languages & Literatures website.

What do I do if I’ve met the requirement through my high school coursework or through other college classes? 

Geneseo must receive your final high school transcript (with final term grades) to record your completion of high school language coursework. If you will meet your language requirement through college coursework, you’ll need to send an official copy of your college transcript (with final grades) to the Geneseo Admissions Office for processing. 

Ready to sign up? Click this link  to schedule your exam date

PLEASE NOTE: The International Relations Major has an advanced language requirement as part of the major.  IR majors must complete study in one language through "202" (four semesters) or one language through "201" and a second through "102."