World Language Admission Requirement

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).

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 pass one 3- or 4-credit college-level world (foreign) language course in order to graduate from a baccalaureate degree program.

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.

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.

To determine if a student has met this admission requirement, use the student's degree audit (see section 10 of this sample degree audit). "OK" will be printed next to the statement, "HIGH SCHOOL WORLD LANGUAGE ADMISSION REQUIREMENT" if the requirement is met. "NO" precedes the statement if a student has not met the requirement. Authorized advisers can use ISIS screen AUOG to determine a student's high school background in foreign language(s).

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.

Meeting the Requirement

The requirement may be met after admission by earning a passing grade (D or higher) in one three- or four-credit college-level foreign language course at Penn State, by earning transferable credits (C or better) in a foreign language course at another institution, or by demonstrating proficiency. 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 foreign language placement policy and languages offered, see Scheduling World (Foreign) Language Courses.


Reviewed: June 2014
Last Update: April 2012

Reference(s): Academic Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual, A-1