Second Language Requirement

Before graduating from Macalester, a student must demonstrate proficiency in a second language equivalent to four semesters of college level study in a single language. There are several ways a student may meet this requirement.

AP Credits

A score of 5 on the Chinese, German or Japanese Language AP exams; a score of 4 or 5 on the French or Spanish Language AP exams; or a score of 4 or 5 on the Spanish Literature AP exam fulfills the language requirement. For German Literature, the student must consult the department chair. If the student’s scores have been sent to the Registrar, the student's DegreeWorks audit will reflect fulfillment of the language requirement. If not, the student must send an authorized copy of their scores to the Registrar.  Students also receive credit for these scores according to the decisions of the relevant language department as described on the Registrar's website.

SAT exam

A score of 620 or above on the SAT-II language exam with listening or a score of 700 or above on the SAT-II language exam without listening satisfies the language requirement. If the student’s scores have been sent to the Registrar, the student's DegreeWorks audit will reflect fulfillment of the language requirement. If not, the student must send an authorized copy of their scores to the Registrar.  No credits are awarded for performance on the SATII exam.

Classes

Taking and passing all classes through 204 in any of the languages offered at Macalester (Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Japanese, Latin, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish) fulfills the language requirement. Students who have studied a language in high school and wish to continue it in college should take the WebCape test (if French, German or Spanish) or consult the College Catalog or Advising Handbook to determine placement based on other measures (i.e, years studied, AP, IB or SAT exams). The instructions on how to access and take the WebCape exam are available from the Academic Programs Office. Students wishing to start a new language should enroll themselves in the Elementary 1 course of that language. Students wishing to complete our language requirement in a language not offered at Macalester should consult with Academic Programs.

Native language other than English

If the student's native language is not English, he or she must demonstrate proficiency in their native language in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. A high school transcript indicating the language of instruction was other than English or that the student took courses in his or her native language in addition to English during high school is the most common way to demonstrate proficiency. A letter from a high school official or a language expert attesting to the student's proficiency is also acceptable. The Director of Academic Programs is responsible for making these determinations and should be consulted by students who wish to have their proficiency in a native language noted on their permanent record.