Language Placement

This page explains how students who have previously studied a language are placed into an appropriate course at Notre Dame. Students who are beginning a new language do not need to take a placement exam. Placement for any language not included here is determined by the department on a case-by-case basis. Contact your first-year advisor for more information.

When registering incoming students for language courses, first-year advisors must follow the results of the placement exams, which are almost always accurate. Only the relevant language department can approve a change in placement. Students who feel that their placement is not correct are strongly encouraged to attend the first class session and talk with their professor before requesting to change levels of a language course.

The language requirements are explained here.

Credit and Placement by Examination

Students who have taken an AP, IB, or SAT II exam can, depending on the score, receive credit and placement from the exam. Students with language credit by exam do not need to take a Notre Dame placement exam. See the relevant credit table for information about placement and credit.

AP Credit Table

IB Credit Table

AP and SAT II Credit Table for French, German, Italian and Spanish

Note: Students continuing German must take the online Notre Dame placement exam even if they have taken the AP, IB, or SAT II exam. See below for instructions.


Notre Dame Placement Exams

Students who did not take an AP, IB, or SAT II exam or did not receive a high enough score for credit and placement must take a Notre Dame placement exam. These exams are for placement only and do not confer any credit. Students continuing in German must take the online Notre Dame placement exam even if they have taken an AP, IB, or SAT II exam.

Exams for French, German, Latin, Russian, and Spanish are online and can be taken throughout the year. Incoming first-year students who are interested in continuing one of these languages in the fall semester should take the placement exam by June 30th. Some placement exams are available following the fall semester as well.


Placement exams for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean are given at 9:00 am on the Friday of Welcome Weekend. Please register by June 30th to take one of these exams.

Click here to register for the Chinese, Japanese, or Korean placement exam.

Students who have previously studied Italian but do not have AP, IB, or SAT II credit should contact their first-year advisor for information about placement.