Skip to Main Content
2023-2024 University Catalog
threeColumn catalog

Foreign Language/Foreign Culture

State of Florida Foreign Language Requirement

Students in the Florida state university system are expected to have studied for two years (or the equivalent) in a second language, including American Sign Language, or to document one of the exceptions enumerated in Florida Statutes 1007.261-262.

Language and Culture Studies (LCS) or Foreign Culture (FC) Requirement
for Bachelor of Arts Majors

Separate from the Florida Statutes, the College of Arts and Sciences at UNF requires B.A. degree-earning students to complete coursework—with grades of C or higher—in a language other than English (3-8 credit hours, depending on current proficiency) or in English-language classes with the ‘Foreign Culture’ (FC) designation (6 credit hours). B.A. degree-seeking students at UNF may fulfill this COAS graduation requirement at any point of their UNF career. They should do so in addition to having previously fulfilled or waived the state language requirements for SUS admission. Please note that it is advisable for students to continue building on prior studies in a second language, or to begin new language and culture studies, as early in their UNF careers as possible.

Continuing, or beginning, with studies in a second language offers students important social, academic, and professional advantages and opportunities. These include developing diverse networks across campus, building bilingual reading knowledge, contributing to research/creative projects in another language, preparing to compete in multilingual job markets and, in various career fields, gaining proficiencies to negotiate higher salaries. Therefore, we recommend that all students, regardless of major, exceed the Florida/COAS requirements and seek to achieve, at minimum, intermediate proficiency in a language other than English. UNF offers programs in Spanish/Hispanic Studies, French & Francophone Studies, or Chinese & Sino-Asian Culture. Students are encouraged to contact the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures with questions or for help with placement.

Options for completing the Language and Culture Studies (LCS) or Foreign Culture (FC) requirement:

Option #1: Language and Culture Studies (3-8 credits of coursework in a language other than English, depending on current proficiency)

Students placing at the intermediate (2000) level of a language or higher will only need to complete three hours of coursework at UNF (one class) to complete this requirement. Students placing at the beginning (1000) level of a language will need to complete 7-8 hours of coursework (two classes). As long as you have had prior experience in a language, there is a good chance that you will not need to complete the full eight hours of coursework to complete the Language and Culture Studies requirement. Information on how students can apply for retroactive credit in Spanish, French, or Mandarin on the College of Arts and Sciences Languages, Literatures and Culture Getting Started website.

Students who took 2-3 years in high school can generally place at the Intermediate level. Students who grew up speaking Chinese, French or Spanish, or otherwise have had extensive experience with those languages, usually can place at the Intermediate or 3000 level. UNF offers upper-level courses specifically designed for students who grew up speaking Spanish but may have limited experience in reading and writing in that language.

Building on prior studies in a second language—or beginning to build proficiency in a new second (or third) language—combines (1) learning about other cultures from a participatory perspective, (2) developing in-demand soft skills (communicative, social, technical, and analytical), and (3) making progress in verbal and written language proficiency that is measurable by benchmarks recognized throughout the public and private sectors, i.e., those defined by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.


  • Faculty from the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures (LLC) welcome the opportunity to consult with students to find coursework in Spanish/Hispanic Studies, French/Francophone Studies, or Mandarin/Sino-Asian Studies, that suits their current proficiency level, interests, and goals. Please contact the LLC chairperson for information about placement and, if desired, to arrange a faculty consultation.
  • Students who place into language coursework at the intermediate (2000) or advanced (3000) level may apply for retroactive credit after successfully completing a language course at the intermediate or higher level. This allows most B.A. degree-earning students who studied another language in high school or community college to make meaningful progress while fulfilling the COAS LCS/FC requirement with just one three-hour course. It also makes completing a language minor, a professional certificate in the language, or (double) major, achievable within most degree-earning time frames.
  • Students who took two years or more of Spanish, French, or Chinese in high school can place directly into the intermediate level at UNF.
  • Students who grew up in Spanish (native or heritage speakers) typically begin in SPN3350 Spanish for Heritage Speakers, SPN3351 Communication and Communities for Heritage Speakers, or SPW3030 Introduction to Literature in Spanish.
  • Please note that all UNF language courses incorporate cultural studies in the target language and promote measurable written and verbal proficiency in intercultural communication, in accordance with the ACTFL guidelines.
  • Multilingual students may request a Language Proficiency Approval waiver through the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. Specified official documentation verifying advanced proficiency in a second language must be provided to support such a request.

Option #2: Foreign-Culture Coursework (6 credits)

Foreign-culture courses (FC) propose studies of one or several cultures in an English-language format. Students may complete the LCS/FC requirement by studying 6 semester hours of courses that have the FC designation in the course title.