Graduate Language Verification

All students pursuing a Master of Arts degree at the University of Utah are required to demonstrate a certain level of second language proficiency. The graduate language requirement varies depending on a student's program. Language proficiency requirements are at the discretion of each graduate program. Programs may require students to have either "standard" or "advanced" proficiency. The Department of World Languages and Cultures does not set the language proficiency requirement for any graduate degree, nor do we have a database that allows us to know each program's requirement. Students should contact their program's Academic Advisor for language proficiency requirements. For students who need to have their graduate language requirement entered into their Electronic Graduate Record File, please see the procedure below.

Students should be aware of the deadline for when the language verification requirement needs to be entered into your Electronic Graduate Record File to ensure graduation in a specific semester. Please click here to view this important date.  


Language Requirements

The graduate language requirement must be entered into a student's Electronic Graduate Record File by Darci Rollins. The students must complete the following steps:

  • Graduate Language Verification form: Please complete the form with all the necessary signatures and documentation. The form and documentation can be either emailed to Darci Rollins (d.rollins@gradschool.utah.edu), or delivered to the Graduate School (Park 302).

  • Required Information: Students must have proper documentation demonstrating that the following requirements have been met:
    • Program required language proficiency: Students must have their Academic Advisor approve the Graduate Language Verification form.
    • Proof of language proficiency: For more information please see Demonstrating Language Proficiency below.
    • Year: Foreign language examination or language courses must have been taken not more than six years prior to the date of application for language verification.
    • Grade / Pass: Students must earn at least a B grade (3.0) or better in a language course; or a passing score on a foreign language examination equivalent to the student's program required level of proficiency.

Demonstrating Language Proficiency

Programs may require “standard proficiency” or “advanced proficiency” in language competence in one or more foreign languages for graduate degrees. 

Standard Proficiency: Standard proficiency assumes a reading-comprehension level expected of a student who has completed one year of college foreign-language instruction (1020) or the equivalent.*

Advanced Proficiency: Advanced proficiency assumes a reading-comprehension level expected of a student who has completed two years of college foreign-language instruction (2020) or the equivalent.*

Students can demonstrate proficiency in one of the following ways:

  • Language Classes: Undergraduate and graduate courses taken within the past six years may be used to demonstrate a language proficiency. Students must include school transcripts as documented proof (unofficial transcripts are acceptable).
    • Standard Proficiency: Complete a second-semester language course (1020), or the equivalent at another institution*
    • Advanced Proficiency: Complete a fourth-semester language course (2020), or equivalent at another institution*

    *Graduate equivalent language courses: All graduate students must register under the graduate course number 7300-001 when taking undergraduate language courses (1010-3060). 7300-001 serves as a placeholder for the undergraduate language course a graduate student needs to take to fulfill the language requirement. All languages will have this registration options open to graduate students. A graduate student should pick the undergraduate language course they wish to attend, and notify the instructor on the first day of class that they are a graduate student registered under 7300-001. The instructor will need to manually add a graduate student to both the class role and Canvas.

  • Language Test: One of the following language tests taken within the past six years may be used to demonstrate a language proficiency. Student must include test results as documented proof.
    • Department of World Languages and Cultures Placement Test
    • Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI)
    • MLA (Modern Language Assessment Test)
    • FLATS Foreign Language Achievement Testing Service) through BYU; can be administered at U of U Testing Center
    • Proficiency exams from other universities: If a student use a language proficiency exam from another university, please provide information about the exam. The graduate language verification will not be entered without students providing additional information from the university’s website about the proficiency exam and scoring method. If the department cannot determine a university’s scoring and standard of proficiency, students will need to take the placement test offered by the Department of World Languages and Cultures.
    • Major Department Exam: Pass a foreign language examination designed by the major department in consultation with the Department of World Languages and Cultures. Any foreign language examination designed by the major department must be approved by the Department of Languages and Literature prior to administering the exam to a student. Once a department has designed an exam, the exam needs to be sent to Darci Rollins. Please allow the Department of World Languages and Cultures up to one week for faculty to provide feedback. Any exam not cleared by the Department of World Languages and Cultures prior to being administered to a student will not be accepted for language proficiency. 
  • Native Speaker: Certain programs may choose to waive the Graduate Language Requirement if a students speaks English as a second language. Native Speakers of a language other than English must attach documented proof. One of the following forms of documentation may be used to demonstrate a language proficiency.
    • Visa, passport, citizenship or residency card from native country
    • Diploma from a foreign high school or university
      • The country's official language must be the same as the student's native language in order to use this option. If you are bilingual or spoke a second language at home in an English speaking country, you must demonstrate proficiency through advanced classes or a foreign language examination.