Language Requirement

Why does Albright College want its students to take a world or classical language? Familiarity with another language is an integral part of a liberal arts education. Foreign language study helps to fulfill Albright’s general education goal that you know the world more fully by serving as a gateway to other cultures and providing a foundation for more intensive exploration of international issues and an understanding of the nature of responsible, engaged global citizenship. You gain practical experience and the intellectual benefits of learning a second language and begin to prepare for living as a citizen of an increasingly interdependent world.

What language should you study? Choosing a language of study is a personal matter. Some students prefer to choose a modern language based on the number of speakers. Others base their choice on personal interest. Some study a language their ancestors spoke. At Albright, we have three modern world languages for you to choose from—French, German, and Spanish.

Rachel Roseman, Class of ‘16

“I chose to study French because the language is riddled with a deep historical and literary history. Studying French enables students to also study literature: they are learning the language of Flaubert, Voltaire, and Molière.”

Patrick Wise, Class of ‘16:

“I chose German because that’s what I studied in high school for four years. I can’t pinpoint exactly why I decided to start taking it all the way back then but it was just a fun language, and the German culture was always interesting to me.“

Patrick McGann, Class of ‘17:

“I chose Spanish because I understood that it is the second most spoken language in the U.S and that it would help me as a future educator to connect with students from Spanish-speaking homes. I now have a solid foundation of the Spanish language and culture that I will be able to lean on for the rest of my life as a teacher.”

How many courses will you take to fulfill the foreign language requirement?  That depends on your background and experience. If you studied a foreign language for two to three years between 10th and 12th grade, you should be able to fulfill the requirement by taking two courses. If you studied a foreign language for one year or less in high school or begin a language new to you when you come to Albright, a third course will be required. This third course counts as elective credit. If you started your foreign language study in junior high or middle school and continued in high school, you might be ready to begin at the advanced level and complete your requirement in one course.

  1. Elementary I and II (101 and 102) and Intermediate I (201), 3 courses in total
  2. Elementary II (102) and Intermediate I (201), 2 courses in total
  3. Intermediate I and II (201 and 202), 2 courses in total
  4. Advanced I (301), 1 course in total

You can also complete the foreign language requirement by studying Latin or Ancient Greek. To find out how, please contact the Registrar’s Office at and use the subject line “Foreign Language Placement.”

How are you placed in the appropriate language course? When you choose classes for your first semester, you will indicate which language you wish to study. If you choose to study the same language you studied in high school, the Department of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures will place you the appropriate level of French, German or Spanish based on your years of study in high school, course grades, and academic background. We may also ask you to complete a brief assessment on the first or second day of your language class at Albright. If we need more information before your first semester to help place you appropriately, we will contact you.

  • Incoming students with fewer than two years of foreign language study in high school will most likely be placed into French, German or Spanish 101.
  • Incoming students with two to three years of foreign language study in high school and a strong foundation will most likely be placed into French, German or Spanish 102.
  • Incoming students with three to four years of foreign language study in high school and a strong foundation will most likely be placed into French, German or Spanish 201 or Spanish 203.
  • Incoming students with four to five years of foreign language study in high school and exceptional grades will most likely be placed into French, German or Spanish 301.

Where are bilingual students placed? If you consider yourself a bilingual, native or heritage speaker of French, German or Spanish, please contact us at at your earliest convenience by no later than July 15. We will arrange a personal oral interview, online placement test, or writing sample to help us determine the best course for you to continue your language study.

Where are AP and CLEP students placed? If you scored 4 or 5 on an AP foreign language test, 59 on the German CLEP exam, 60 on the French CLEP exam, or 63 on the Spanish CLEP exam, you have fulfilled the foreign language requirement at Albright and will not have to take any additional courses. But we encourage you to continue to study a foreign language to supplement your education or pursue a major or co-major in that language. Please contact us at if you’d like to discuss a major or co-major in French or Spanish with one of our faculty members. Please note that if you scored 50-58 on the German CLEP exam, 50-59 on the French CLEP exam, or 50-62 on the Spanish CLEP exam, you will receive credit for 101 and 102 in that language and take French, German, or Spanish 201 (or Spanish 203) to complete your foreign language requirement.

How will you know where you have been placed? If you are entering Albright in the fall semester as a freshman, you will receive email notification from the Registrar’s Office in mid-August that your class schedule has been posted on Self Service, the College’s online registration system. Your class schedule will include your language course.

Do you need to study a foreign language at Albright if you were exempt from studying foreign language in high school due to the impact of a disability? If you never studied and/or completed a foreign language in high school due to a disability, please refer to the foreign language accommodation policy. All academic accommodations are coordinated by the Disability Services Office. Please contact that office by email or phone (610-929-6639) for more information about accommodations for foreign language courses and submitting documentation of your disability to obtain disability services in all your courses in college.

What do you do if you studied a language other than French, German or Spanish? Please contact us at We’ll respond within 48 hours.

Do you have a question that we didn’t answer? Email us at, and we’ll respond within 48 hours.