World Languages Placement

World Language Requirement

Southern students are required to reach an Intermediate Low Proficiency level in a foreign language by completing the third level of a foreign language or demonstrate proficiency via a STAMP test (Standards-based Measurement of Proficiency) or an equivalent.

Students can prove their proficiency by taking the world language placement and taking the appropriate courses, or by taking the waiver exam. 

Beginning Fall 2017 world language requirement policies for transfer students were established.

Transfer students with:

  • 60 or more transfer credits at the time of transfer are waived from the Multilingual Communication requirement.
  • 30-59 transfer credits at the time of transfer and with completion of Level 3 high school or Level 2 college world language are waived from the Multilingual Communication.

World Languages Placement Offered

Chinese, French, German, Italian, Spanish.


Email Rafael Hernandez (chair) or Oscar Clark (secretary) with any questions or concerns.

Students who are awarded the Seal of Biliteracy can earn up to 9 credits of language, upon presenting proof of their seal to the Chairperson of the Department of World Languages and Literatures.  The Seal of Biliteracy satisfies the general education (LEP) multilingual communication requirement.

Students who have studied two years or more of a foreign language in high school must take the online placement unless already proficient in a foreign language.  Students who are already proficient in a foreign language, are native speakers or heritage learners are encouraged to waive the general education (LEP) Multilingual Communication requirement by taking a waiver test (STAMP TestACTFL TestCLEP Exam).

In addition, students can earn as many as 9 credits of language based on the waiver examination.  Duplicate credit will not be issued for language courses that have already been completed. Many students choose to pursue a major or a minor in the language and may apply partial or full credit toward their requirements; otherwise, elective credit will be granted.  Students should schedule an appointment with a professional advisor to understand their options.

Students with a certified language learning disability are provided substitution courses through the Center for Academic Success and Accessibility Services (CASAS).

The online placement test is offered in French, German, Italian, and Spanish and simply places a student to the appropriate level of language.

The STAMP Test or the ACTFL Oral and Written Test may be taken to waive the language requirement.  The STAMP Test is offered in Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Hindi, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Mandarin, Russian, and Spanish.  Native speakers and heritage learners of languages not offered by the STAMP Test may utilize the ACTFL Oral and Written Test.  Both of these tests are proctored by the World Language Department during the regular school year.  The STAMP Test can be purchased in the SCSU Bookstore and the ACTFL Test can be purchased online.

Students may also earn world language credits by taking a CLEP Exam at local test centers.

Due to the closure of campus because of COVID-19, the university is offering a remote option through which students can take STAMP test until campus reopens. Sign up and take the test.

You will have 90-minutes to complete an online placement assessment with only one opportunity to take it. You may not stop and come back to it; you must complete it in one sitting. All devices (computers, smartphones, and handhelds) and browsers (Firefox, Safari, Chrome, etc) are compatible with the placement. However, while you can use smartphones and handhelds, it is highly recommended that you use a computer.  Also, some browsers will offer you the option to translate the language, selecting that option will undermine the validity of your results and may place you unfavorably.

Online placements will be available in the Fall semester. If you wish to take a language course in the Fall term and need to determine placement now, please contact Dr. Rafael Hernandez to schedule a time to take the paper version of our placement exam. Placement may be established in French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Chinese.