World Language Admission Requirement

Current policy reflected below. Changes to Faculty Senate Policy 05-81 pending implementation.

High school course requirements for admission to four-year degree programs are available from Undergraduate Admissions. The world language admission requirement is met when a student's high school transcript indicates the completion of the second level of a world language (the first level can be completed in middle school).

Admission with a Deficiency

Although two units of a world language are listed, students are admitted to baccalaureate degree programs without satisfying this requirement. Students lacking two units of a world language must correct this deficiency in order to graduate from a baccalaureate degree program.

Determining High School Background

To determine whether a student has met this admission requirement, check LionPATH (Student Center, Academics, Academic Background, Test Results/View All). In the Test Component column, find HSLRQ (high school language requirement). In the related Test Score column, a 1 indicates the student has met the requirement; a blank indicates the student did not meet the language requirement.

In this example the student has met the requirement:

Example in LionPATH of high school language requirement being met

In this example the student has not met the requirement:

This requirement applies to students who completed high school May 2001 or later, transfer students, students moving to baccalaureate programs after completing associate degree programs, and students entering directly from high school. This requirement does not apply to students who can demonstrate the equivalent of two units of a world language.

Notification of a Deficiency

Students who have not completed the world language requirement prior to admission will receive a personal message on eLion notifying them that they must meet the requirement. This eLion notification appears on the first day of the late-drop period and is visible through the last day of the semester. The student will receive this notification every semester until he/she has satisfied the requirement.

When using the Academic Review application on eLion, advisers are alerted to this deficiency with a message in the Academic Performance section. If this message appears, the adviser should check the student's transcript to determine if he/she still needs to meet the requirement. If so, the adviser can use the "comments" box in the Recommendations section to provide the appropriate advice to the student.

Correcting a Deficiency

The requirement may be met after admission by earning a passing grade (D or higher) at Penn State in one 3- or 4-credit college-level world (foreign) language course or a course in American Sign Language (CSD 218). Alternatively, a student can earn transferable credits (C or better) in a comparable course at another institution or by demonstrating proficiency at the third-credit level. Credits earned to make up a language deficiency can count toward graduation from a Penn State baccalaureate program.

A student's degree audit monitors his/her completion of the requirement. See section 10 of this sample degree audit.

For information on Penn State's world language placement policy and languages offered, see Scheduling World (Foreign) Language Courses.


Last Update: June 2016

Reference(s): Senate Policy 05-81, Academic Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual, A-1