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In order to receive a baccalaureate degree from SUNY Geneseo, all students must meet the Foreign Language Graduation Requirement.

Foreign Language Graduation Requirement, Effective Fall 2014

College-level coursework or approved normed test that shows student proficiency through the first intermediate level of a foreign language. Courses that fulfill this requirement have the designation L/ in their titles.

General Education courses in Foreign Language help students achieve proficiency in listening, reading, speaking, and writing as well as familiarity with other cultures. Not all students will require the same number of courses to achieve proficiency. The various options for demonstrating proficiency are:

  1. Successful completion of four complete years of a high school level foreign language.
  2. A score of 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement Examination in a foreign language.
  3. Placement beyond the first intermediate level on Geneseo’s language placement examination. This exam is offered at orientation, at designated times during the semester (see the department's web site for dates), or online (this option may require a preapproved proctor and a fee may be assessed by the testing agency).
  4. Completion of college-level work in a foreign language (at Geneseo or another institution) through the first intermediate level. For students seeking certification in education, the language requirement may be met by three semesters of American Sign Language.

Students who entered Geneseo Fall 2012 or later are grandfathered into this new policy and should take the language placement exam to determine where to continue their foreign language studies at Geneseo.

Learning Outcomes: Students will demonstrate,

  • Basic proficiency in the understanding and use of a foreign language.
  • Knowledge of the distinctive features of culture(s) associated with the language they are studying.

Placement in Courses

It is not always possible to determine the appropriate level for every student based on high school experience alone. The Placement Examination is thus the best way to get into the appropriate language course.

Departmental Placement Examinations are offered in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Russian, and Spanish. Placement tests in other languages are available for a fee through NYU or BYU at
 and .

In Spring 2020, Placement Examinations will be held on the dates below in Welles 216, 2:30-3:45.  STUDENTS NEED TO BRING THEIR OWN LAPTOP.  Please contact the department office at (585) 245-5247 for further information.

Spring 2020: March 4, April 1 (cancelled due to current Coronavirus outbreak; for information about alternative options, call the department office at 245-5247 and leave a message or email