"The faculty considers competence in a foreign language essential for an educated person. Studying language other than one's own helps students understand the
dynamics of language, our fundamental intellectual tool, and enables students to understand another culture. The sooner a student acquires competence, the sooner it will
be useful. Hence, work toward the foreign language requirement should be undertaken in the first two years."(Cornell University Courses of Study)
Courses in foreign languages and/or literature are taught in the College of Arts and Sciences by the following departments: Africana Studies & Research Center, Asian Studies, China and Asia-Pacific Studies, Classics, Comparative Literature, German Studies, Linguistics,
Near Eastern Studies, and Romance Studies. Asian languages offered are Bengali, Burmese, Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Nepali, Pali, Sanskrit, Sinhala, Tagalog, Tamil, Thai, Tibetan, Urdu, and Vietnamese.
The language requirement may be satisfied in one of two ways:
Option 1: Passing (a) a nonintroductory foreign language course of 3 or more credits at Cornell at the 2000 level or above
or (b)any other nonintroductory course at the 2000-level or above conducted in a foreign language at Cornell.
Option 2: Passing at least 11 credits of study in a single foreign language (taken in the appropriate sequence) at Cornell.
Any exceptions to these rules will be noted elsewhere in individual department descriptions. See the section on exemptions below.
These scheduled placement tests are offered the week before classes begin; there
is also a make-up exam a couple of days after classes begin for students who cannot make it
to the initial exam. We encourage you to take the initial placement
exam because the make-up is given after the first day of classes.
A Placement test IS NOT needed for:
Students with no background in the language at all. You may enroll directly in the elementary level (some exceptions may apply, so please check individual courses for more information)
A Placement test IS needed for:
Students who have had two or more years of high school study in the language.
Students who are bilingual or native speakers, or who have spoken the language at home.
Students who have been awarded credit for language work at another college
or university and wish to continue with the language at Cornell.
The placement exam may have been taken in high school (SAT II, taken after the last course, or AP, if the score was 4 or 5) or at Cornell (LP Test). The instructors will still want to test
you to judge which level will best suit you.
Students whose speaking, reading, and writing competence in a language other than English is at the same
level we would expect our entering freshmen to have in English (as shown by completing high school in that language
or by special examination during their first year here at Cornell) are exempt from the college's language requirement.(Cornell University Courses of Study)
Posting: Placement test results are posted for your convenience and only with
your permission; for which we would need to know your Cornell ID number.
Please tell the instructor giving the exam if you want your results posted.
The instructor will give you a permission slip to fill out. Placement test
results cannot be posted if you do not fill out one of these slips.
Placement tests are scheduled for Chinese (Mandarin & Cantonese), Hindi, Japanese, and Korean at both basic and
advanced levels. For testing in other languages, consult the contact for that language listed below.
Sign-up is not necessary for these tests, but please bring a #2 pencil. You will
also need to know your Cornell ID #.
*All students with any knowledge of Korean are required to take a placement test to determine
the right course for them. The placement test can be taken anywhere, anytime of the year on-line.
Students can take the test once per semester only. Results from this test cannot be used to pass any college language requirement or to be exempted from that
requirement. For exemption in Korean, you must take the Korean exemption test. Students who wish to be exempted from the Cornell language requirement should
take an exemption test in Rockefeller 110 on 1/25/2016 @ 9am.
*All students with any knowledge of Japanese are required to take a placement test to determine the right course for them.
The placement test can be taken anywhere, anytime of the year on-line. Students can take the test once per semester only.
Contact Information: It is recommended that e-mail be used to contact the
appropriate faculty member to set up an appointment for testing in the
languages listed below.