Foreign Language Placement Testing

Many VCU majors require language through the intermediate (202) or advanced (300) level. Check the VCU Bulletin for foreign language requirements for your respective major(s). If you plan to study one or more foreign languages at VCU, you may need to complete corresponding placement tests so you can be placed in the course most appropriate for your proficiency level.

Review our placement testing requirements to determine if you need to schedule a test.

Keep It Up!

If you are starting at VCU with language experience from high school, community college, another university or abroad, we encourage you to continue in that language your first semester here! The best way to earn proficiency in a foreign language—and the critical skills and marketability that proficiency gives you—is to enroll early and keep taking classes.

students, adorned with face paint, attending a parade while international flags fly the background

Placement Testing Requirements

Beginner Language Skills

If you want to learn a new language and have no experience with the chosen language, you do not need to take a foreign language placement test. Students who wish to begin studying a new language should register for a 101 section of the language of their choice. 

Already have some knowledge of the language?

If you have acquired language skills and want to major, minor or take courses in your chosen language, you will need to take the foreign language placement test. See questions and answers about placement testing for students with previous language skills.

Language Credits

If you have earned credits (CLEP, AP, IB or from another institution) and are transferring these credits to VCU, you do not have to take the language placement test. You may register for the next level of the language in which you received credits (i.e., AP credits for SPAN 202 allow you to enroll in SPAN 300 or SPAN 305). Please review the AP/IB credit transfer procedure found on the VCU Transfer Center's high school credits transfer page.

Native Language Skills

If you are a native speaker and/or are interested in meeting foreign language requirements through assessment, find out more about language placement testing requirements for native speakers.

High School Foreign Language Waiver

Students who have completed three or more years of study of a foreign language at the high school level have fulfilled the Humanities and Sciences foreign language requirement through the 102 level. Learn more on the College of Humanities and Sciences high school foreign language waiver webpage.

Please email Philathea Cole ( with any questions about the high school foreign language waiver.