Language Studies

Duke requires all students to demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language at the intermediate or advanced level. Courses suitable for meeting this requirement are designed with an FL (Foreign Language) curriculum code. Course placement guidance (click header below) is provided for each of our languages.

Depending on your language proficiency, you must complete one of the following:

Option One: If you begin language study at Duke at in an elementary language course, you must take three (3) full courses in that language to meet your FL (Foreign Language) requirement for graduation.


Option Two: If you enter language study at Duke at the intermediate level or above, the successful completion of a 300-level FL-designated course will fulfill your language graduation requirement.

  • If you place in the first semester of the intermediate level, you will need to take at least three full courses in the same language.
  • If you place into the second semester of the intermediate level, you will need to take at least two full courses in the same language.
  • If you place in a 300-level course, you will only need to take one course.

Course Placement Guidance & Policy

You are required to take a placement test and/or interview if:

  • you are new to the AMES language program
  • have returned to campus after attending a non-Duke foreign language/academic program in an AMES foreign language and wish to continue with that same language

You must enroll in the level of class in accordance with the placement result, and cannot enroll in a course below the placed level. Steps can be taken as follows: 

  1. Refer to self-placement guidelines (located on the webpage of each individual language) and course descriptions to sign up for a class.  
  2. Contact the instructor or the program director/coordinator for the official placement. You will be given a background questionnaire, and written and oral tests as needed. Placement advising is available throughout the academic year, but the placement must be completed no later than the first week of classes for the semester.   
  3. Enroll in the class determined by the placement result. If you happen to have signed up for a different level, you will need to switch to the correct class.

Additional Information regarding Trinity College's foreign language requirements is available at its Policies & Procedures web page.