Skip to Content

College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures


Information

 

The Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures requires that each student have a Foreign Language Placement score before taking a foreign language class at the University of South Carolina.

 

  • A Placement test is required for most students.  Take the placement test in the language you studied. The University of South Carolina requires that entering undergraduate students take a foreign-language proficiency (placement) test in the language they studied before entering USC. This placement test is to be taken before the student begins a USC foreign language course.
    If the student took a foreign language in High School, he/she should register to take the Placement exam in that language.
  • For some students, a test is not required but recommended for correct placement:
    If your most recent language class was five (5) or more years ago, a placement test is not required, the score of 0 will be recorded for you, and you should take the introductory language course.  You must complete and return the Form to Request Exemption from Foreign Language Placement Exam to receive the score of 0.  However, if you wish to start at a more advanced level, you must take the placement test to determine which class would be appropriate.
  • Placement exams are not required for those students that have never previously studied the language.
    If you have never previously studied the language, you may request exemption from the placement exam by completing the Form to Request Exemption from Foreign Language Placement Exam.
  • For most Transfer students, a placement exam is required before beginning a foreign language course.   All incoming transfer students from institutions other than South Carolina Technical Schools and USC Regional Campuses are required to take a placement exam before beginning a foreign language course at USC.

    NOTE
    - Students transferring from a USC Regional campus with 100-lvl transfer credit in a foreign language are not permitted to take the placement exam in that langauge.  Those transferring from a SC Technical College with foreign language credit, however, are recommended to take the foreign language placement exam.
  • Students who successfully completed the College Board Advanced Placement Program (AP) or the higher-level International Baccalaureate (IB) exams in high school may receive foreign language credit.  
    Based on a student's scores on these exams, he/she may not be required to take the Foreign Language placement exam.   However, even students who are exempt from the Placement exams are highly encouraged to take them.  These assessments administered at the University of South Carolina are aligned with our curriculum and allow for better placement into our foreign language courses. 

     
    Students will earn credit based on their AP/IB scores according to the tables below.

 

AP Program

  • Students who score a 1 or 2 on the AP exam must take the Foreign Language placement exam.
  • Students who score higher on the AP exam are highly encouraged to take the Foreign Language placement exam.
  • Students receiving credit through AP foreign language examinations may not receive additional advanced-standing credit for 100-level courses.

You will receive credit based on the scores below:

AP Exam Area

AP Score

College Credit Earned

Chinese 

3 

4 or 5

CHIN 121

CHIN121 and 122

French Language or French Literature

3 (on either exam)
3 (on both exams)
4 or 5 (on both/either exam)

FREN 121
FREN 121 and 122
FREN 121 and 122

German Language

3
4 or 5

GERM 121
GERM 121 and 122

Italian

3

4 or 5

ITAL 121

ITAL 121 and 122

Japanese

3

4 or 5

JAPA 121

JAPA 121 and 122

Latin Virgil

4 or 5

LATN 121

LATN 121 and 122

Spanish Language or Spanish Literature

3 (on either)
3 (on both)
4 or 5 (on both/either exam)

SPAN 121
SPAN 121 and 122
SPAN 121 and 122

 

IB Program

  • Students who score a 1, 2 or 3 on the IB exam must take the Foreign Language placement exam.
  • Students who store higher on the IB exam are highly encouraged to take the Foreign Language placement exam.  
  • Students receiving credit through IB foreign language examinations may not receive additional advanced-standing credit for 100-level courses.
  • Standard level IB exams are not accepted for credit.

You will receive credit based on the scores below:

IB Exam Area

IB Score

College Credit Earned

Arabic 

4

ARAB 121

French B

4 or 5

6 or 7

FREN 122 and FREN 209

FREN 209 and FREN 210

German B

4 or 5

6 or 7

GERM 122 and GERM 210

GERM 210 and GERM 211

Italian B

4 or 5

6 or 7

ITAL 122 and 221

ITAL 221 and 222

Latin B

4

5 or 6

7

LATN 121 and LATN 122

LATN 122 and LATN 301

LATN 301 and LATN 321

Mandarin B

Scores of 4 or above are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and include an oral interview.

 

Spanish B

4 or 5
6 or 7

SPAN 122 and SPAN 209
SPAN 209 and SPAN 210