University of Notre Dame

Foreign Language

Foreign language study at Notre Dame can bring a touch of adventure to your undergraduate education and, in the process, provide you with language and intercultural competencies that will help you find your place in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world.

All students are encouraged to begin their language study in their first year, or the beginning of their sophomore year at the latest. In particular, Arts and Letters intents who wish to be competitive for highly selective study-abroad programs, research grants, graduate school programs, and fellowships should begin their language study as soon as possible.

If you have not previously studied a foreign language, Notre Dame offers regular and intensive beginning-level courses in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Portuguese, Quechua, Russian, and Spanish. Most language departments offer majors, supplementary majors, and minors.

If you have a previous background in one of these languages, and want to continue your studies, you must take a Notre Dame language placement exam to determine the appropriate starting place for your work at the university level. Some language departments also award credit and placement based on CEEB Advanced Placement scores and the language and language with listening SAT II examinations.
Regardless of credit by examination or language placement results, students in the College of Arts and Letters must take at least one language course in residence at Notre Dame. The College of Science allows students who place higher than the third semester (intermediate level) to forego taking a language class at Notre Dame; their language requirement is considered fulfilled.

Notre Dame maintains several centers and programs that are dedicated to supporting language acquisition and international study:

The Notre Dame language placement exam is your starting place for language study at the University. You should also speak with your First Year Advisor to determine what language course options make the most sense for your academic goals.