Language Requirement Waivers

 Language Placement Test at USA

The Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literature recommends that all students with prior language training (in high school or through other means) complete a placement test if they intend to continue studying a foreign language at the University of South Alabama. The purpose of testing is diagnostic: it assesses students' current language abilities in order to match them to the course most suitable for that level.

Please note:

-The placement test is only available for French, German, and Spanish and should be taken online prior to the beginning of the semester.

-The cost is $20 and a student can save money by placing out of any level of a language.

-Taking a placement test and placing out of the first year of any language does not fulfill the Arts and Sciences Language Requirement.

-Should a student place out of any semester of a language, they must complete the next semester in the sequence with a grade of ‘C’ or better to receive credit for any previous semesters. For example, if a student places into LG 231 they must pass that course with a grade of ‘C’ or better to receive credit for LG 131 and 132. That equals 9 credit hours for the price of 3.

-If a student has no prior experience with the language, there is no need to take a placement test. Enroll in the first semester of the first-year sequence.

-If a student has even minimal experience with the language and believes they should start at the very beginning, they should still consider taking the placement test as it can be a great benefit to the student. Should a student place out of any class, it is an opportunity to save money and receive credit.

-Students can access the assessment through this online store. Click here to access the assessment. Please, be sure to select USA and the appropriate language.


Retroactive Credit Policy 

It is to the advantage of students to begin their study of a foreign language at the highest possible level because they can gain college credits through appropriate placement. Students who have had three to five years of a foreign language in high school may wish to take the CLEP examination in that language and earn as many as (12) semester hours of lower-division credit based on the qualifying scores established by CLEP. Students participating in the International Baccalaureate Program (IB) will be granted 6 semester hours of credit in the corresponding language Freshman Language Sequence with a score of "5" or higher on the International Baccalaureate Program examinations. On the basis of the Foreign Language department's evaluation of their previous foreign language training students may also elect to begin in the second semester of the introductory sequence, or the first semester of the intermediate sequence, and qualify for retroactive credit. By earning a "C" or better in the higher level course the student may petition the department for either 3 or 6 semester hours of introductory-level credit. Native speakers are not eligible. 


Exemption Through Proficiency Test 

A student, proficient in a second language other than English, can request to be exempted from the College of Arts and Sciences' two-semester foreign language requirement. In order to do so, the student must make an appointment with a professor qualified in the language concerned. The professor will conduct an oral interview with the student and, if satisfied with the student's command of the language, will certify that s/he demonstrates proficiency in the language equivalent to at least two semesters of instruction of a foreign language at USA.