Language Requirement

The Department requires Political Science Honours students to demonstrate proficiency in at least one language other than English. Students in the Canadian Politics concentration must demonstrate proficiency in French.

The ability to communicate in multiple languages is becoming increasingly important in the more integrated global environment. Learning a second language helps to expand our understanding of social and political cultures in other societies and can provide new insights into our own. Studying another language also has cognitive benefits: it can strengthen analytic skills and improve memory. And of course, proficiency in a second (or third) language is a valuable skill – it can enhance opportunities for employment, community service, and even international studies.

There are two ways students can satisfy the language requirement. You can take one of the numerous introductory language courses that Carleton offers each term, or you can demonstrate prior proficiency in a language other than English.

Take a Language Course
Demonstrate Language Proficiency

Take a Language Course at Carleton

Students who lack second language skill upon entry, or who wish to learn a new language, can satisfy the language requirement by satisfactorily completing at least 0.5 credit in a language instruction course, other than English, offered at Carleton. Language courses taken to fulfil the requirement will be counted toward your elective credits. You can also take advanced language courses at Carleton if you already have some proficiency in a second language. These advanced courses will also satisfy the language requirement and can be counted toward your elective credits.

French language courses are offered by the Department of French. The eligible introductory French courses with no prerequisites include:

FREN 1001 French I [1.0 credit]
FINS 2105 French Reading I [0.5 credit]

Other language courses are offered through the School of Linguistics and Language Studies (SLALS) and the College of Humanities. Eligible introductory courses include:

ASLA 1010 American Sign Language I
ARAB 1110 Intensive First-Year Arabic
CHIN 1010 First-Year Mandarin Chinese I
GERM 1010 First-Year German I
GREK 1005 Introduction to Greek I
HEBR 1904 Introductory Hebrew I
ITAL 1010 First-Year Italian I

JAPA 1010 First-Year Japanese I
KORE 1010 First-Year Korean I
LATN 1005 Introduction to Latin I
LATN 1005 Introduction to Latin I
RUSS 1010 First-Year Russian I
SPAN 1010 First-Year Spanish I

Demonstrate Language Proficiency

Students who already have second language skills upon entry and who wish to be considered for an exemption from taking language courses must apply to the Undergraduate Advisor, using the Language Course Exemption form. The following general guidelines for exemptions will apply:

  1. Students may present official documentation of language proficiency, including:
    1. Secondary school language of instruction in a language other than English
    2. Grade 12 French immersion
    3. Certification from other recognized language courses
  2. Students may undergo testing to demonstrate their language proficiency using one of the following options:
    1. The Department of Political Science conducts a French language exam twice a year, in November and February. Note: the French Language Exam for November 2020 has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More information on scheduling of the exam will be posted in early 2021.
    2. Certificate from the School of Linguistics and Language Studies (SLALS) at Carleton
    3. For languages not taught at Carleton, availability of a proficiency test depends upon faculty resource availability and is not guaranteed.

More detailed information about each of these options can be found in the Language Course Exemption Form.

Additional Resources

French Department Courses
School of Linguistics and Language Studies Modern Languages Courses
College of Humanities Greek and Roman Studies