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College of the Pacific Language Requirement

In order to promote an appreciation of diverse cultures and to encourage greater understanding of the English language, the College of the Pacific requires one year of college instruction (two semesters or three quarters) or equivalent training in a language other than English for all students seeking a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree. Students who transfer to University of the Pacific with fewer than 28 units of transfer credit, or who seek a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree or a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree, are exempt from this requirement, but are encouraged to cultivate their language skills. Note that two years of college level foreign language is one of several requirements to be eligible for consideration for membership in Phi Beta Kappa. 

Ways to meet the language requirement:

  • Complete second semester language course (11B) or higher level course (23, 25 or 100-series) with a C- or higher at Pacific.
  • Complete a transferable full first-year language sequence (equivalent to Pacific’s 11A and 11B) at another college or University with a grade of C or higher.
  • Complete full-year sequence of college level American Sign Language with a grade of C or higher.
  • Document completion of high school diploma in a language other than English with the approval of the Associate Dean of the College of the Pacific. 
  • Achieve a score of 4 or higher on AP language exam.
  • Achieve a score of 58 or higher on CLEP language exam.
  • Achieve appropriate score on written paper test administered in person by the Department of Modern Language & Literature at Pacific to show competency in Chinese, French, German, Japanese, or Spanish.  Online tests administered through Canvas are for placement only and may not be used to meet the language requirement.  No unit credit is assigned based on testing.  Precise placement score information for each language available through the Department of Modern Language & Literature. You must take a proctored, paper exam to test out of the foreign language requirement. 

Note:  Students who wish to arrange for competency testing in a language not taught at Pacific may go to the College Dean and the Department of Modern Language & Literature for approval of accredited testing.  Students are responsible for all arrangements regarding outside testing.  Only tests pre-approved by the College of the Pacific are valid for this purpose.

Students with any prior coursework in a language must take the placement exam before taking any courses at Pacific in that language. Students must enroll in the level that corresponds to their placement exam score. Language courses must be taken in sequence after placement. The placement exam may only be taken once in the same language. The only exception to this is when a student must take the proctored paper/pencil exam to place out of the language requirement. 

You may register for the proctored exam in WPC Annex, Room 151, the Humanities Hub Office. A Pacific ID is required for registering. For more information, please contact the Humanities Hub at 209.946.2291.

While the university makes every effort to meet student interests and needs, it does not guarantee that every student is able to fulfill this requirement by studying their first choice of language.

The university also does not guarantee that students who study languages other than those offered through the Pacific Department of Modern Language and Literature have access to the courses needed to complete the requirement.

In some cases, a student who takes language courses not offered by the Department of Modern Language and Literature may also need to pass an approved competency examination in addition to their course work.

As with all subjects, students must get prior approval before taking course work or a competency examination outside of the University that they intend to use toward completion of their Pacific degree.