Fulfilling the Foreign Language Requirement

Registration season is upon us (It actually started last night and those with more than 90 credits have already registered for their classes!) and that means taking classes you want because college is supposed to be an opportunity to learn or taking classes you need to fulfill requirements, or taking classes that are both wanted and necessary.

The SAS Honors Program has a foreign language requirement detailed here. There are four options:

  1. Standard: complete the full two-semester intermediate sequence in a foreign language at Rutgers. (The course number for the second semester of the intermediate level varies by department).
  2. Reading: complete a two-semester sequence in courses designed specifically for reading knowledge.  These courses do not require any previous background in the language. Check the link for which courses are offered.
  3. Speaking: complete the two-semester sequence below:
    Basic Spoken Chinese (4, 4)
  4. Individualized: If a student places above the second semester of the intermediate level on the foreign language placement test, and/or receives AP credit for a course above that level, the student is required to take one 3- or 4-credit course either in that language or related to that language (e.g., in history, art history, anthropology, culture, etc.).  A student interested in this option must consult with his/her SAS Honors Program dean.  A course used to satisfy this option must be approved by the SAS Honors Program.

And so, there are many ways to complete these requirements! Here are some of the ways the bloggers fulfilled their language requirements, or are in the process of doing so!


Luckily, taking French all throughout middle school and high school has placed me out of the Intermediate level in the French placement test. However, as an Honors Program student, I still had to take a cultural class to fulfill my language requirement. I chose to take France and the World, taught by Professor Serrano, which was also taught as an Honors Section, so I was able to knock out two Honors requirements in one! – Fairooz Khondker

Being Swiss, I grew up speaking French in my household. However, apart from a few private lessons dispersed throughout the years, I never actually took continuous lessons for French. Thus, in high school, I took AP French and used my score to place into upper-level French classes at Rutgers. Currently, I am fulfilling my language requirement by taking a class in the history of French songs. The class requires us to examine a variety of different songs dating back to the French Revolution up until the late 20th century. We learn the history of the songs and then sing them together in class accompanied by our professor on his accordion. At the end of the semester, we each record our songs to create a CD of French songs. By taking this class, I will have fulfilled my language requirement.  – Emilie Broek

I didn’t start learning Spanish until high school, so when I placed into Intermediate 132, I was thrilled that I only had to take one semester to fulfill the honors requirement. However, during my semester in 132, I realized how much I enjoyed learning the language. Fast-forward three semesters, and here I am in Spain, working towards complete fluency and an eventual major in the language! Without the Honors Program Requirement, who knows if I ever would have considered pursuing Spanish! – Madeline Padner
I was initially really excited to start a new language after having taken Spanish since the third grade. In high school, I really wanted to take Latin, but my parents convinced me that Spanish would be more useful and bought me Latin for Dummies, which I never read. I took Latin my first two semesters here, and I absolutely hated it. I’m currently taking the second half of the French for Reading Knowledge sequence because the sequence fulfills the language requirement and is only one year long, and I didn’t want to start a new language and have to take two more years of language classes. – Alex Arbeitel

I took Spanish all throughout high school, and placed into Intermediate Spanish when I took the placement test. I happened to take the oft-taken route of Intermediate Spanish 131 to Intermediate Spanish 132, but did so my junior year rather than my first year. If I could go back, I’d take the languages my first year, so they would have been more fresh in my mind as I would have been fresh out of high school. But I don’t regret taking these courses. – Nida Saeed

And there you have it! As you can see, there are so many ways to fulfill this requirement, so take advantage of this knowledge and sign up for interesting classes during registration to check this requirement off your list!


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