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Foreign Languages and Literatures

Placement Exams

One of the General Education requirements at Lewis & Clark College for the Bachelor of Arts degree is three semesters of a single foreign language. If you have studied Arabic, Chinese, Classical Greek, French, German, Japanese, Latin, Russian, or Spanish in high school or abroad, you are required to take a placement exam to determine the right course for you to take.

We strongly recommend that you start taking courses in a language during your first semester. This will provide you with maximum flexibility in scheduling your courses and overseas study during your four years at Lewis & Clark College.

Placement into the second semester of the second year of a language (202) or the first semester of third year (301) satisfies the Lewis & Clark Foreign Language requirement.  However, you cannot completely satisfy the graduation requirement on the basis of the online placement test alone.  All students whose placement test results suggest placement into 202 level or above will be required to confirm this placement during NSO.

Chinese, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish

Placement exams in Chinese, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish are offered online during the summer for incoming freshmen and during the fall and spring semesters in a proctored setting on campus. For further information go to Chinese Placement ExamFrench Placement Exam, German Placement Exam, Japanese Placement Exam, or Spanish Placement Exam

The result of your Chinese, French, German, Japanese or Spanish placement exam is valid for registration purposes for one year only. If you have questions, send an e-mail to:

Summer 2016

Online placement exams for incoming freshmen will be available from May 16th, 2016 until August 21st, 2016.  You are encouraged to take the exam before talking with your summer advisor, preferably by June 15th, 2016.


Arabic, Classical Greek, Latin, and Russian

There is not currently an online placement exam for these languages.  For placement in Arabic, please send an email to Instructor Adelaide Byrum,  For placement in Classical Greek and Latin, please contact Professor Gordon Kelly,  For placement in Russian, please contact Professor Tatiana Osipovich,


Exemption from the Exam

If you have had no prior study of a foreign language, or have studied a language not offered at Lewis and Clark (e.g., Italian), you may begin your study of any foreign language taught at Lewis and Clark at the 101 level. In this case, you are exempted from taking a Foreign Language Placement Exam.

If you have had any prior study whatsoever in the language you intend to study at Lewis and Clark, you must take the Placement Exam before registering for a language course. Please do not register for 101 without taking the Foreign Language Placement Exam if you have had any prior experience in the language.

If you have studied a language at the college level, simply have your credits transferred to LC. In this case you will continue with the next course in the sequence you began elsewhere. You may contact the College Registrar for information on transferring college-level credits.

Please note that AP and IB scores in higher level exams do not meet the General Education requirement in Foreign Languages.  You need to take the foreign language placement exam to determine the right course for you to take.


Studying Two Languages

If you have studied two of the languages that are taught at Lewis & Clark College and would like to continue to study both of them, take the placement exam in both of the languages.

Learning Disability Accommodation

If you have any disability that may affect your performance on a computerized placement test, you must arrange for accommodation before taking the exam.

Please contact Student Support Services, who will support you in arranging accommodation at Lewis & Clark. You will be asked to provide documentation of your disability. Once you have been approved for accommodations, have Student Support Services notify us by emailing the Interactive Learning Center at  

Foreign Languages and Literatures

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