- General Language Requirement
- How to Satisfy the Language Requirement
- Registration Guide
- Placement Tests
- Details about Certain Languages
- Ancient Languages
- Modern Languages
- Modern Languages less often offered
- Intensive Languages
- Summer French Immersion
**Please note, the regulations regarding the language requirement below are applicable ONLY to students admitted in Fall 2023. Students admitted in earlier years should consult this page or check with the Undergraduate Administrator or Faculty Academic Advisor for more information and advising.**
Students in the Bachelor of Humanities and Bachelor of Humanities and Journalism must satisfy a Language Requirement as part of their degree. Students in the Bachelor of Humanities and Biology are exempt from the Language Requirement.
General Language Requirement
The Language Requirement is proficiency in either an Ancient language at the Beginner’s level or a Modern language (other than English) at the Intermediate level:
- Beginner-level proficiency in an ANCIENT language: This normally requires one full year (1.0 credit) of study at Carleton. An ANCIENT language is normally one of Greek, Latin, Biblical Hebrew, etc.
- Intermediate-level proficiency in a MODERN language (other than English): This normally requires two full years (2.0 credits) of study at Carleton. A MODERN language is normally one of French, German, etc.
How to Satisfy the Language Requirement
Students who enter Humanities without sufficient skill in a second language, or who wish to learn a new language, can satisfy the Language Requirement by completing courses up to the required level. For Ancient languages, this normally means one year (1.0 credits) of study to reach the required Beginner’s level. For Modern languages, this normally means two years (2.0 credits) of study to reach the required Intermediate level.
Advanced Language Placement
Depending on the results of their Placement Test (see below), students who are already somewhat proficient in a Modern language may be able to register immediately for an Intermediate level course, reducing their time of study from two years to a single year (1.0 credits).
A student may have their Language Requirement waived if they are already proficient in a Modern Language at the Intermediate level, as demonstrated by either:
- Secondary school language of instruction: Students whose secondary school transcripts show that their primary language of instruction in secondary school was a language other than English.
- French immersion: Students who have successfully completed Grade 12 French immersion or the equivalent at a Canadian high school. Grade 12 core French is not sufficient for an exemption.
- Proficient speakers: Students who do not qualify under either of the first two categories, but who nonetheless are able to demonstrate proficiency in a language other than English, may be granted a Language Waiver. For languages taught at Carleton, “proficiency” means a level at least equivalent to the Intermediate level. For languages not taught at Carleton, “proficiency” means a level at least equivalent to two full years of university level language study. Proficiency may be demonstrated either through documentation (e.g. certification from a recognized language testing authority) or through a Placement Test (see below) result equivalent to the Intermediate level or above.
If you wish to have your Language Requirement waived, please complete and submit this form with the relevant paperwork.
Decide whether you wish to satisfy your Language Requirement with an Ancient or a Modern Language, or by having your Language Requirement waived.
Follow the instructions given above to have your Language Requirement Waived.
In your first year, register in 1.0 credits in Greek, Latin, etc.
Write the Carleton Placement Test in that language (see below). The Placement Test will tell you one of three things:
- You are not proficient enough to start an Intermediate course: In your First Year, register in 1.0 credits in Beginner’s level language. In your Second Year, register in 1.0 credits of an Intermediate level language.
- You are proficient enough to start an Intermediate course: In your First Year, register in 1.0 credits of an Intermediate level language.
- You are already proficient at an Intermediate level: You can apply to you have Language Requirement waived. You are of course free to spend the elective that replaces it on a language if you wish.
Decision Tree Flow-Chart
Please consult the Decision Tree Flow-Charts to get a better sense of your options:
Bachelor of Humanities and Biology
Note that students in this stream do not have a Language Requirement. They are, of course, free to take a language if they have room for it in their schedule.
Clarification Note for Bachelor of Journalism and Humanities students
Whereas Bachelor of Humanities students are required to take RELI 1731 in their first year of study, this requirement occurs in the second-year for students in the Bachelor of Journalism and Humanities. A B.J.-Hum. student may replace RELI 1731 with an Intermediate level language if the student was required to take a Beginner’s level course in their first year. The three possibilities are as follows:
- The B.J.-Hum student has had their Language Requirement waived: Their Language Requirement is now complete. In First Year their Language Requirement is replaced with 1.0 credit elective. In Second Year they take RELI 1731 and 0.5 credits in electives.
- The B.J.-Hum student is able to take an Intermediate level Modern language upon entering Carleton, or has chosen to satisfy their Language Requirement with an Ancient language: In First Year they take either an Ancient Language or an Intermediate level Modern language. Their Language Requirement is now complete. In Second Year they take RELI 1731 and 0.5 credits in electives.
- The B.J.-Hum student must start at the Beginner’s level in a Modern language: In First Year they take a Beginner’s level Modern language. In Second Year they take the Intermediate level of the same Modern language. Only in this case, they do not register in RELI 1731. Their Language Requirement is now complete.
Please consult the Bachelor of Journalism and Humanities Degree Progression Chart [LINK TO:<2.2 Degree Progression Charts>], for a visual representation of how this requirement works.
If you already have some proficiency in the language you will study at Carleton and wish to register immediately in an Intermediate level course or above, or you wish to obtain a Language Waiver by demonstrating your present proficiency, you must complete a language Placement Test.
French language Placement Tests are administered by the Department of French. Visit their website and click on French Placement Test. Note that you must complete the online Placement Test before enrolling in any French course at Carleton, even if you have had no previous French instruction. You can only take this test once.
Modern Languages other than French
Testing and instruction in all other Modern languages are offered by the School of Linguistics and Language Studies (SLALS). Note that you must complete a Language Background Questionnaire (LBQ) in order to determine whether or not you need to complete a more comprehensive language Placement Test. Information on Placement Tests can be found on their website. Questions about testing can be sent to them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Details about Certain Languages
Common languages with which to satisfy your Requirement are:
- Greek: GREK 1005 & 1006
- Latin: LATN 1005 & 1006
- Hebrew: HEBR 1904/RELI 1011 (1.0)
- Sanskrit: RELI 1015 (1.0)
Common languages with which to satisfy your Requirement are:
- American Sign Language: ASLA 2010 & 2020 or ASLA 2110 (1.0)
- Arabic: ARAB 2110 (1.0)
- Chinese (Mandarin): CHIN 2010 & 2020 or CHIN 2110 (1.0)
- French: FREN 1100 (1.0) or above
- German: GERM 2010 & 2020 or GERM 2110 (1.0)
- Italian: ITAL 2010 & 2020 or ITAL 2110 (1.0)
- Japanese: JAPA 2110 (1.0)
- Korean: KORE 2010 & 2020
- Portuguese: PORT 2110 (1.0)
- Russian: RUSS 2010 & 2020
- Spanish: SPAN 2010 & 2020 or SPAN 2110 (1.0)
Modern Languages less often offered
The School of Linguistics and Language Studies (SLALS) offers courses in a given language in response to student demand. For some languages, experience in recent years has been that there is not enough student demand to offer instruction beyond the Beginner’s level. Languages offered in recent years at the Beginner’s level, but not at the intermediate or higher levels, include Anishinaabemowin (Ojibway), Hungarian, Kiswahili, and Kurdish. Students choosing to study these languages may therefore have to find Intermediate level language instruction at another institution in order to complete their Language Requirement.
Beginner-level courses in certain languages, such as American Sign Language and Japanese, are very intensive, requiring more than the normal 3 hours per week of classroom time. Students planning to take one of these languages to complete their Requirement must be prepared to manage their time efficiently.
Summer French Immersion
Students studying French should consider the Explore Summer Immersion Program. Participation is usually free, and it is one of the best ways to begin or improve your French language skill.
If you are planning on doing an Explore exchange, consult the Registrar’s oﬃce site for information on receiving Carleton credit. Students who complete an Explore exchange after admission to Carleton will have their level of proficiency evaluated by Carleton’s French department. A suﬃciently high level will satisfy your Humanities Language requirement.