Language Requirements

The following departments and programs have language requirements:

Language proficiency is tested by written translation examinations, which are set and administered by the six departments named above. Students should consult their department chair or the Director of Graduate Studies in their department about fulfilling their language requirement(s) and about scheduling their exam(s). Every exam is read by two faculty members in the student's department or a related discipline.

Passages to be translated are selected by the faculty of the student's department or program. Examinations are two hours long. Departments should specify which translation tools students are permitted to use (i.e., bound dictionaries, online dictionaries, no tools at all), and these specifications should be uniform for all examinations within that department. Students must be explicitly informed of these specifications in advance of any examination.

Departments should determine when and where language examinations may be taken, and convey this information to students in a timely manner. Examinations may be set as often as a department wishes. There is no limit to the number of times a student may take an examination.

Outcomes and Actions


If the department readers find the examination satisfactory, the chair or graduate advisor will inform the student and the GSAS office. The GSAS office will list satisfactory outcomes on the student's transcript.


If the department readers find the examination unsatisfactory, the chair or graduate advisor will inform the student of this outcome in a timely manner.  


If both department readers find the examination to be marginal OR if there is a split decision on whether the examination is Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory, the examination will be forwarded to the GSAS office. The GSAS office will engage the services of a third reader in the Language Department. In general, the vote of the language faculty member is final. In the event of a departmental challenge to this verdict, the outcome will be determined by the Dean. Students will be notified of the verdict of the language faculty reader by the GSAS as soon as it is received.