Foreign Language Competency

For many students, the general education foreign language competency requirement will be met by taking a one-year series of courses. However, several alternative ways of meeting this requirement are listed below:

  • Show by your high school transcript that you have completed a third-year course in a foreign language (grades 9-12) with a minimum grade of C (2.0) in the final year or the final course.
  • Provide evidence that you are a native or near-native speaker of a language other than English, by a letter attesting to your proficiency from a non-family member who uses that language in his or her professional life or by taking an oral proficiency (not placement) test administered by a qualified testing center and achieving a ranking equivalent to ACTFL Low Intermediate or better. Such letters or test results may be submitted electronically to lcl@spu.edu or via regular mail to the LCL Department, 3307 3rd Ave W, Suite 109, Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, WA 98119-2335.
  • Attain a minimum grade of C (2.0) or "pass" in the third quarter of the elementary level of an SPU foreign language course (with the exception of THEO 1203), or a higher level course, in a language other than modern English.
  • Complete a study abroad program (minimum 10 weeks) with a significant language-study component (minimum 7.5 credits in a single language; minimum grade of C) in a non-English-speaking country.
  • Transfer a course equivalent to, or more advanced than, 1103 (the third quarter in an elementary-level SPU course) in a language other than English. The course must have been taken at an accredited post-secondary institution whose credits are accepted for transfer by SPU. The grade in the transferred course must be C (2.0) or better, or a "pass," provided the institution's minimum achievement level for a "pass" grade is a C (2.0) or higher. 
  • Receive SPU credit for a foreign language exam through Advanced Placement, Cambridge International, or International Baccalaureate, in accordance with the AP, Cambridge International, and IB Transfer Charts.
  • Earn a sufficiently high score on a CLEP test in a language other than English. Attaining a score equal to or above the minimum score recommended by CLEP for awarding credit for the exam will fulfill the Foreign Language Competency requirement; however, no credit will be awarded for CLEP foreign language exams. 
  • American Sign Language (ASL) may be used to fulfill the SPU foreign language requirement if the time you spent in classroom instruction is equal to the 15-credit requirement. No other forms of sign language satisfy the requirement. 
  • Earn an approved direct transfer degree from a Washington, Oregon, or California community college prior to matriculation at SPU. A degree earned in California must be accompanied by full completion of the IGETC curriculum.

Foreign language substitution policy for documented disability

Qualified students with current (i.e. issued within the past five years) professional documentation which specifically certifies that the student possesses a disability, and clearly indicates the inability to successfully complete the study of a foreign language, may be able to utilize the Foreign Language Substitution Policy as the means to satisfy the general education foreign language requirement. For more information, contact Disability Support Services in the Center for Learning.