Two semesters of coursework in the same foreign language taken sequentially will be required of all students, regardless of incoming language proficiency. You may pursue a previously studied language or start a new one. 

Exemptions/Alternate Requirement 

  •  Dix Scholars are exempted from the language requirement 
  •  Students with a documented learning disability, or other disability, affecting their ability to acquire a foreign language will fulfill the language requirement through the completion of two courses related to global perspectives and cross-cultural understanding. Such students should contact the Disabilities Services Office and consult their academic advisor for the list of approved courses. 


Students who want to continue their studies of Chinese, French, Japanese, or Spanish: 

  • Take the AP, IB or SAT exam in French or Spanish




Score of 3:
no credit; student is placed into 202
 Score of 5:
no credit; student is placed into 202
 Score of 560 or higher:
no credit; student is placed into 20
 Score of 4 or 5:
4 general credits; student is placed into 245
 Score of 6 or 7:
4 general credits; student is placed into 245
 Score of 650 or higher:
no credit; student is placed into 245
   No credit or placement for the "ab initio" exam:
students are required to take the placement exam
  • Students who have taken the AP or the IB in Chinese or Japanese still need to take the placement exam at Simmons University. 

Additional language and placement options:

  • On-line placement exam for Chinese, French, or Spanish administered by the Office of Academic Advising. 
  • Students register for the level indicated. Students cannot register for a different level without approval from the Modern Languages and Literatures Department. If the student has studied three or more years of the language, they cannot register for the 101 level, regardless of placement exam results. In that case, the student will be automatically placed into the 102 level. 
  • For Japanese placement, please consult with Professor Liu. 
  • Students who want to start a language which they have not previously studied can register for the 101 level in the following languages at Simmons University: Chinese, French, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish. 
  •  Typically, Arabic and American Sign Language are offered through the Colleges of the Fenway. Please visit the Registrar’s Office for details.


  • Transfer students will need to complete the language requirement previously in effect at Simmons University. Please consult the Course Catalog for more details. 
  • Students are strongly encouraged to finish the language requirement within their first two years of study at Simmons University. 
  • Courses taken to fulfill the language requirement
    i. cannot be taken pass/fail
    ii. cannot be taken on-line
    iii. do not fulfill the Key Content Areas requirement
    iv. can be part of a student’s cluster
    v. can count towards the major or minor in French or Spanish if they are at the 245 level or above*
    *In order to count towards the major or minor, French 245 and Spanish 245 need to be taken at Simmons 
  • American Sign Language may be taken to fulfill the Language Requirement
  • Language courses taken abroad can be used to fulfill the language requirement. Pre-approval is needed through the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. 
  • Language courses transferred from other institutions may fulfill the language requirement pending pre-approval from the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. This applies also to languages not offered at either Simmons or the Colleges of the Fenway consortium. In that instance, placement will be decided by the host institutions if needed.