Language Proficiency Requirements

If the language of instruction for your chosen program will be something other than English, your study abroad application will likely require an evaluation of your language skills.

If you’ve completed any college-level language coursework, you can ask your professor to complete a language evaluation form as part of the study abroad program application.

If you have some experience with the language but haven’t begun formal university-level coursework, there are several ways to evaluate your skills and determine what additional language coursework you should complete at CSUEB prior to studying abroad.

Advanced Placement

Credit may be awarded for Advanced Placement scores.  Be sure that your score report has been submitted to CSUEB.  Details available online.

Placement Exams

Students who have prior language experience but are uncertain of their level of ability (elementary, intermediate, or advanced) are encouraged to consult with CSUEB’s Department of Modern Languages and Literatures before enrolling in coursework (in French, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese or Spanish),  See more information online, or contact

Challenging Courses by Exam

Students who enroll in a Spanish course at CSUEB but feel they already have skills/knowledge that will be covered in that course may file a petition for ‘Credit by Examination’ through the Modern Languages Department.  Challenged courses earn university credit, but do not earn residence credit. See additional instructions details online.  

For more information, contact the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures in Student & Faculty Support, Room 442, by phone at (510) 885-3211, or email at

CSU Online

If by chance CSUEB is not offering the proper level language course in the term prior to your study abroad program, you can see if another CSU is offering the course online at

Note for Heritage Speakers  

Many students who speak the target language at home with family here in California will find no difficulty in adjusting to using the language daily while abroad.  However, studying at a university in another language also requires strong reading and writing skills.  Even heritage speakers may benefit from enrolling in an upper division language course to prepare for reading/writing in a classroom setting prior to going abroad.