Graduate Language Certification Processes and Policies
The foreign language requirements for the M.A. and the Ph.D. are the same for both Comparative Literature and Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society: Proficiency in two languages (other than English) appropriate to a student’s program. The choice of languages is to be made with respect to a student’s area of specialization and in consultation with their adviser, who must approve it.
Proficiency is defined as equivalent to Reading Proficiency at the Advanced Mid sublevel of the ACTFL 2012 Proficiency Guidelines.
Proficiency is to be demonstrated in one of the following ways:
1. For languages taught at the University of Minnesota (e.g., Arabic, ASL, Chinese, Dakota, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hmong, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Norwegian, Ojibwe, Portuguese, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Urdu)
Meeting the relevant University of Minnesota language department’s requirements for certification in proficiency in the language. Once a language has been selected, please contact the relevant University of Minnesota language department (see below) to determine their criteria (which may include coursework, a proficiency exam, etc.) for documenting Reading Proficiency at the Advanced Mid sublevel. If prior coursework has been completed at the University of Minnesota or another institution, please still inquire with the University of Minnesota language department about demonstrating proficiency.
Certification must be demonstrated with form OTR 192. Once this form is filled out by a graduate student and signed by a representative of the language program, it needs to be submitted to both GSSP and the CSCL GPC in order to add the language milestone to a student’s records.
Below is contact information for languages taught at the University of Minnesota. Please be in touch directly with these programs, as outlined above, when seeking language certification. Each department has an authorized signer for the language in question.
Certifies: Dutch, Finnish, German, Icelandic, Old Norse, Norwegian, Russian, Swedish, and Yiddish
Certifies: Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Hmong, Japanese, Korean, and Urdu
Contact: Please contact the Director of Language Instruction for each language mentioned above (do not contact the AMES DGS).
2. For languages not taught at the University of Minnesota:
Achieving Reading Proficiency at the Advanced Mid sublevel of the ACTFL 2012 Proficiency Guidelines may be documented via outside coursework. Proficiency must be documented in writing by the course instructor in an email sent to the CSCL DGS and GPC.
Other examples of proficiency in a language not taught at the University of Minnesota (such as published translations or an undergraduate major in another language) will be considered for approval by the DGS on a case-by-case basis.
In exceptional cases only: Proficiency may be documented by passing a proficiency exam organized by the Department, administered at the University of Minnesota or elsewhere.
Students for whom English is not their first language may use their first language to satisfy one requirement, provided it is germane to their program of study.
The Department strongly urges students to complete language requirements as early as possible during their time in graduate school. In any case, at least one language must be passed at least one month before the student takes the written Ph.D. preliminary examination, the other at least one month before the dissertation defense. Students completing an M.A. in the department must complete language requirements at least one month prior to the M.A. defense.
The two languages in which a student is certified will be named on the Graduate Planning and Audit System (GPAS). It is understood that, where appropriate, students and their advisers may agree to make one or more additional languages, or spoken/aural competence in addition to the reading knowledge tested in the ways indicated above, an integral part of a doctoral program; however, only two assessed languages will be listed on the GPAS.