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College of Humanities and Fine Arts Foreign Language Requirement


Foreign Language Requirement

The foreign language requirement is in addition to the University’s General Education Requirements and pertains to students completing a major (primary or secondary) in the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, with the exception of students completing B.Mus. major requirements in Music; B.F.A major requirements in Dance, Art Education, or Studio Arts; or B.S. major requirements in Architecture.

Completion of a foreign language at the fourth-semester (Intermediate II) level. Satisfaction of this requirement can be achieved in five different ways:

  1. Satisfactory completion of a college foreign language course at the fourth-semester (Intermediate II) level.
  2. Satisfactory completion in high school of either a fourth-level course in one language or completion of both:
    1. A third-level course in one foreign language, and
    2. A second-level course in another foreign language.
  3. High School Transcripts must be sent in electronic form, directly from your High School to our Records Auditor (
  4. Satisfactory completion of one year in a high school where English is not the language of  instruction.
  5. Successful completion of a semester’s or year’s study-abroad program that leads to foreign language proficiency at the fourth-semester (Intermediate II) level as approved by the appropriate language department.
  6. Earning an appropriate score on a College Board Foreign Language SAT II test or on a College Board Advanced Placement test deemed acceptable by a UMass foreign language department, or on a special test designed by a UMass foreign language department.

Additional Information:  Foreign language below the Intermediate II level (240, 246) cannot be elected on a Pass/Fail basis unless the student has previously satisfied the HFA foreign language requirement. Students should begin to satisfy the foreign language requirement as soon as possible after matriculation.

Students with a documented language acquisition challenge may petition a Consumer Manager at Disability Services for support of a foreign language modification. To initiate such a petition, contact Disability Services, 161 Whitmore Administration Building, (413) 545-0892.

SBS Global Education Requirement

Students who entered UMass Amherst prior to the Fall 2018 semester and are pursuing a primary Bachelor of Arts major in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) and a secondary major in the HFA may complete the Global Education Requirement in lieu of the HFA Foreign Language Requirement with the following stipulations:

  1. The foreign language portion of Global Education must be completed with traditional college-level language courses that teach all four skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening).  Five College self instructional language program courses are not accepted.
  2. Exceptions approved by SBS must also be approved by the Academic Deans of the HFA Advising Center in order to be applied to the HFA foreign language requirement. Global Education courses will be accepted provided that they are not used to satisfy major or General Education requirements.
  3. Students who plan to apply their Global Education requirement to the HFA foreign language requirement should meet with the HFA College Auditor in E-202 South College.

The SBS Global Education Requirement does not apply to students entering UMass Amherst during the Fall 2018 semester or after. If you are a student in SBS looking for information about the Global Education Requirement, please refer to the SBS website.