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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 and French, German and Spanish during the advising periods. 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

All students are required to take the Foreign Language Placement exam unless one of the following applies:

  • You have never studied a foreign language before.
  • You have studied a language not offered at Lewis & Clark (e.g., Italian).
  • You have studied a language at the college level and your credits have transferred to LC. In this case you will continue with the next course in the sequence you began elsewhere.
  • You have fulfilled the Foreign Language requirement because of AP or IB examination scores.
    • An AP score of 4 or 5, or an IB score of 5, 6, or 7 in higher level exams meets the General Education requirement.  However, if you plan on studying this language at Lewis & Clark College you will need to take the exam to determine the right course for you to take.
  • Still confused?  Follow this flowchart to find out what you need to do.

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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