Placement Exams

Language Requirement for Each School

Students in the Schools of Arts & Sciences, Nursing, and Wharton must fulfill the language requirement specific to their school’s policy.

  • Students in Arts & Sciences and Nursing have a 4-semester requirement.
  • Wharton students entering Fall 2017 and later have a 2-semester requirement.
  • Engineering students who wish to enroll in a language class may use the online test for placement into the correct level.
  • Students in dual degree programs should consult the requirements of both programs to determine which language requirement applies to them.

Placement Departmental Exams

  • Incoming students who did not place out of the language requirement via the SAT II, AP, or IB HL exams should consult the information linked below to proceed with placement and/or exemption.
  • Be aware that each language has a specific process. Spanish and French require students in SAS, Nursing, and Engineering who have previous language experience to take an online language test to determine eligibility for the in-person exam.
  • Detailed information can be found by following the appropriate links in the sections below.
  • Wharton students are not eligible to take the online test and must sit for the in-person departmental exam for Spanish, French, Italian, or German.
  • After NSO, make-up exams are offered a few times a semester. Contact the Undergraduate Coordinator for more information.

Students in Arts & Sciences, Nursing, and Engineering

French and Spanish

Italian

  • There is no online placement test for Italian.
  • Students without an AP, SAT II, or IB Higher Level score should take the in-person department exam during NSO.
  • After NSO, make-up exams are offered a few times a semester. Contact the Undergraduate Coordinator for more information.
  • For more information, see the Italian placement page.

Portuguese

German

  • The German exam is mandatory for all students new to the German program at Penn who had previous formal or informal instruction in German. Students who have received advanced scores in external credit exams (SAT II, AP, IB Higher Level), please refer to College website for registration policies.  For questions, contact the Language Program Director for Germanic Studies, Claudia Baska Lynn.

Wharton Students

French, Spanish, and Italian

Portuguese

German

  • The German exam is mandatory for all students new to the German program at Penn who had previous formal or informal instruction in German. Students who have received advanced scores in external credit exams (SAT II, AP, IB Higher Level), please refer to College website for registration policies.  For questions, contact the Language Program Director for Germanic Studies, Claudia Baska Lynn.