Foreign Language

All students are required to qualify as proficient in one language other than English. Any one of the following meets the requirement:

  • Three years of high school study of one foreign language.
  • A score of 560 on the Cornell Placement Test (CPT).
  • A passing grade in a Cornell language course at levels 121 and 122, or the equivalent, with a minimum grade of at least C- in each (C or above for transfer credit from other institutions).
  • Passing a Cornell language course at level 123, or the equivalent.

Placement exams are offered at the beginning of each semester.

Students who have completed secondary education in an institution where the primary language of instruction was not English will be considered fluent in that language and are exempted from required language study.

Students who have native or near-native proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing a second language must consult the appropriate department during Orientation week. If you are fluent in a language that is not offered for study at Cornell, it may be possible to arrange for testing in that language. Contact the Office of Student Services for further information.