skip to content

Waiver Guidelines

Contacts in the Literatures, Cultures & Languages Department:

For Spanish:Prof. Eduardo Urios–Aparisi
For French:Prof. Elaine Dalmolin, Prof. Anne Berthelot
For German:Prof. Anke Finger, Prof. Manuela Wagner
For Italian:Prof. Philip Balma
For Greek and Latin:Prof. Roger Travis
For American Sign Language:ASL Department
For all other LanguagesProf. Florence Marsal
(Call: 860-486-3313)

General Education Second Language Competency

A student meets the minimum requirement if admitted to the University with three years of a single foreign language in high school, or the equivalent. When the years of study have been split between high school and earlier grades, the requirement is met if the student has successfully completed the third-year high school level course. With anything less than that, the student must pass the second semester course in the first year sequence of college, or elementary, level study in a single language.

Note that some degree programs may require additional course work beyond the minimum needed in order to complete a foreign language requirement:
Students in Liberal Arts & Sciences who have not passed a third-year high school-level course in a single foreign language must complete the CLAS language requirement by (i) high school work and an added year of intermediate level college courses, or (ii) two years (4 semesters) of a single foreign language through the intermediate level in college.

Implementation Guidelines

  1. If less than 3 years of a foreign language was taken before college, the Second Language Competency of the General Education Requirement calls for successful completion of the elementary level, or second semester, of language. Students in CLAS will need 4 semesters or 2 years in a single foreign language under this circumstance.
  2. If a student has had 3 years of a foreign language from an American High School and wishes to repeat the first two semesters, or elementary level, while at UConn, s/he will not earn credits toward his/her degree by doing so.
  3. If a student has had 3 years of a foreign language from an American High School and wishes to study more of the same language, s/he can take – and will get credits for – anything above the second semester, or elementary, level.
  4. If a student who has taken a foreign language at the high school is registered for the intermediate, or second year, level, and cannot perform at this level, s/he needs to contact the head of Literatures, Cultures & Languages who, in consultation with the Instructor of record and the directors of foreign language program will guide the student on a suitable course of action
  5. If a transfer student was placed in an elementary foreign language course through a proficiency exam at another institution, despite having studied that language for 3 years in High School, s/he may contact the Head of Literatures, Cultures & Languages about permission to receive credits for the elementary courses. Credits will only be given if the student can present evidence of a policy from the other university’s catalog demonstrating that s/he had to take a placement test and thus was required to take the elementary courses.
  6. If a student has an existing second-language ability not developed through coursework (for example, a student whose native language is not English, bilingual students, or heritage speakers) s/he may, with the approval of the Head of the Literatures, Cultures & Languages department, demonstrate his/her second-language competency by showing proof that English is not his/her native language (e.g., High school transcripts, ESL courses, etc.) or through examination.  Students who choose the examination are strongly advised to contact the people below as early as possible in the course of their studies.  This is especially critical for “less-commonly-taught languages” where outside examiners might be needed and the examination may take some time to arrange.
  7. If a student has a significant disability in learning a second language, s/he may seek approval for an appropriate academic adjustment. The academic adjustment request is initiated when the student, in conjunction with his or her school/college of enrollment, submits the following to the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Instruction
    • An Academic Adjustment Petition, which will include a personal statement outlining the reasons for the request, an explanation of the difficulties experienced in language courses, and a compete listing of the language courses attempted to date. This petition will be signed by the student's academic advisor to indicate his/her awareness of its submission.
    • Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and high schools attended.
    • Evidence that the student has actively pursued academic support which may include letters of support from professors, high school teachers, tutors, and/or academic advisors.
    • If appropriate, student release of information forms provided by the University Program for College Students with Learning Disabilities (UPLD) or Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD).
    • A letter from the University Program for College Students with Learning Disabilities (UPLD) or Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) documenting the student's need for an academic adjustment.
  8. Students should submit all materials to the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Instruction prior to the end of the 3rd week of the semester. Committee decisions will be made before the 5th week of the semester and communicated in writing to the student and his or her school/college of enrollment. In some cases students may be invited to speak with a member of the committee to provide more information. Requests are reviewed once per semester.