Foreign Language Proficiency

Foreign language proficiency may be demonstrated in French, German, Greek (classical or koine), Italian, Latin (classical or medieval), Russian, Spanish, or another language approved by the director of graduate studies on the basis of demonstrated need. Languages other than Greek, Latin, French, German, Russian, Italian, or Spanish must be approved by the director of graduate studies on the grounds of their relevance to the student's program of studies.

To satisfy language requirements, students may demonstrate proficiency in a number of ways:

  • For average or high proficiency: an appropriate score on a translation examination on a non-fiction text approved by the director of graduate studies and administered by the Office of Testing Services (Adams Hall). A list of recommended texts for translation is available from the graduate office support specialist.
  • For average proficiency: Earn a grade of S (satisfactory) in a two-course sequence of special summer courses for graduate students offered by the Department of Foreign Languages (FLFR 381/382 for French, FLGE 381/382 for German, and FLSP 381/382 for Spanish). Not every course is offered each summer. Plan ahead. Check with the Department of Foreign Language for the schedule. There is no registration waiting list. First come, first served when registration opens.
  • For average proficiency: provide documentation of a degree from a college or university at which the foreign language was the language of instruction. In some cases, an undergraduate major in a foreign language may be approved upon petition to the Graduate School as a demonstration of proficiency.
  • For average proficiency: Achieve a grade of B or better in at least 12 hours of foreign language acquisition work (or the equivalent) within a single language, completed at an accredited U.S. institution of higher learning. The last course (minimum of three credits) taken in the language must be completed within three years of admission to, and enrollment in, the student’s master’s program or within five years of admission to, and enrollment in, the student’s doctoral program. The grade of B or better must be earned in all courses applied to the requirement, as demonstrated by official transcript.

Students are urged to satisfy the language requirement as early as possible in their program.

Contact us

Northern Illinois University
Department of English
Reavis Hall, Room 215
DeKalb, IL 60115

815-753-0611
815-753-0606 (Fax)