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Foreign Language Requirements, Guidelines and Waivers 

A) State of Florida Foreign Language Requirement:

All incoming UNF students seeking a four-year degree must have two consecutive years of high school level foreign language (or American Sign Language), passed with a C or higher. Students without two years of high school foreign language must take two consecutive semesters (8 credit hours total) of a foreign language at the first-year level (or ASL) and pass with a C or higher at the university level. This requirement is for admission and graduation from a four-year institution.

B) College of Arts and Sciences Foreign Language (or Foreign culture) Requirement:

Students working toward a BA degree in COAS must take either: two consecutive semesters of foreign language at the first-year level (8 credits total) or two foreign culture courses (6 credits total, designated FC in the COAS course catalog).

*C) Program Specific Foreign Language Requirements:

To demonstrate proficiency through Intermediate II level (ACTFL score of intermediate-high proficiency), such as International Studies, Art History and International Business (consult program requirements for these degrees).


Students with prior knowledge of Spanish or French may take the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures free online placement test to determine the correct level class you may start with. This test is used only for course placement; the placement test in French and Spanish does not award any academic credit. Contact the LLC department for information about taking the test.

A student with prior knowledge of French or Spanish may take a higher-level language course in consultation with Languages, Literatures and Cultures Department chair/faculty and if a placement test indicates this is possible.

Students who complete French, Chinese or Spanish course work (grade of C or higher) at the 3000-level at the University of North Florida, are eligible to obtain retroactive credit for up to 6 credits of intermediate-level language (or 4 credits at the first-year level). Contact the LLC Department for more information about retroactive credit policies.


A waiver for the foreign language requirement (A, B or C above) may be provided if the student has graduated from high school in a country where English is not the language of instruction in the education system (e.g. Vietnam, Venezuela count, but not Canada or Nigeria). NO ACADEMIC CREDIT IS GIVEN FOR THIS OPTION. For more information, contact the department chair of LLC.


If a student is a heritage/native speaker of a language not taught at UNF but does not possess a high school diploma from a non-English speaking country, a waiver may be possible if the student demonstrates spoken proficiency in that language through an accredited language testing agency offering an Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) test and scores at least “intermediate-high” in that language. A waiver for the requirement may be issued, BUT NO ACADEMIC CREDIT IS GIVEN FOR THIS OPTION. Contact the LLC Department for more information about this test and the cost ($139.00 payable to the outside, accredited testing agency).

Note: it is possible to satisfy FOL requirement A or B as indicated above, proving foreign language knowledge (with credit earned) in French, German or Spanish at the first-year level only (e.g. SPN 1120 or SPN 1121, 8 credits total). Students may take the CLEP exam, offered through the College Board (taken at an off-campus testing center such as FSCJ or JU). There is a cost for this exam and it is not offered at UNF.

*Intermediate II level requirements:

To meet requirement C (program specific, Intermediate II level) in Chinese, French, or Spanish, a student can demonstrate proficiency at the upper-level by taking and passing with a C or higher ONE foreign language class at the upper level (3000 or 4000 level language courses).

The placement test results in French or Spanish can help determine if this is an advisable option for a student with prior knowledge of French or Spanish. For Chinese course placement at the intermediate or advanced, contact the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures.

For any additional information or questions, please contact the current Chair of the Languages, Literatures and Cultures Department, Greg Helmick at <>