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Graduate Language Requirements

How to Fulfill the MA or PhD Language Requirement

All students pursuing a Master of Arts degree at the University of Utah are required to demonstrate a certain level of second language proficiency. Language proficiency requirements are established by each graduate program. Students should contact their program's Academic Advisor for language proficiency requirements.

Language Verification is due on different dates each semester. Please check the due date according to the intended semester of graduation.

Programs may require students to have either standard or advanced proficiency in one or more foreign languages.

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

All graduate students must register under the graduate course number 7300 when taking undergraduate language courses (1010-3060).

A graduate student should decide which undergraduate language course they wish to attend, and email with the specific course information (course title and section number). They will be sent a 7300 section number to register under and a permission code. This should be done in advance of the semester starting.

If students request a 7300 course number be created during the first two weeks of the class, it is not guaranteed that their request will be granted.

Students may demonstrate language proficiency in one of the following ways:

Language Classes

Undergraduate and graduate courses taken within the past six years may be used to demonstrate language proficiency. Students must earn at least a B (3.0) or better.

Students must include school transcripts as proof; unofficial transcripts are acceptable.

Language Test

One of the following language tests taken within the past six years may be used to demonstrate language proficiency. Student must include test results as 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; it can be administered at the 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 proficiency exam and scoring method. If the university’s scoring and standard of proficiency cannot be determined, students will need to take the placement test offered by the Department of World Languages & Cultures.
  • Major Department Exam: Pass a foreign language examination designed by the major department. Once a department has designed an exam, the exam needs to be sent to Darci Rollins.

Native Speaker

Certain programs may choose to waive the Graduate Language Requirement if a student speaks English as a second language. One of the following forms of documentation may be used to demonstrate 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.

In order to demonstrate completion of the Graduate Language Verification, please complete the Graduate Language Verification Form and submit with documentation your department for review and approval.  They will send the form and documentation to Darci Rollins at Park 302 or for processing.

Contact your department for their specific requirements regarding your language verification.

For additional questions, please contact Darci Rollins (

Last Updated: 6/5/24