Frequently Asked Questions Gen Ed Lge Requirement
Major in Foreign Language

Frequently Asked Questions:
General Education Foreign Language Requirement at Utica College

 1.Why do I have to study a foreign language?

a. To graduate from Utica College you must study a foreign language. Utica College has set goal 3 of the general educational core as follows:

“Students will demonstrate competency in a language other than English and an appreciation of the culture of its native speakers”

b. Students enrolled in majors such as Criminal Justice, Health Professions, and Business Administration, will most likely have contact with persons of different languages and cultures during their professional careers.

c. The study of a language other than one’s native language allows for a deeper understanding of the language and enhances cognitive development that will develop one’s analytical abilities.

d. The study of a language and culture provides for an appreciation and awareness of other peoples and cultures.

 2. How can I satisfy the general education foreign language requirement?

a. By passing the sequence of two three-credit first year courses offered at Utica College: 101 and 102. You must study the same language; for example, a student who passes Spanish101 and French101 does not fulfill the general education language requirement.

b. By placing out of 101 and 102.

3. How do I place out of 101 and 102?

a. If you have an A average (90-100) in three (3) full years of study of the same language other than English in 9th -12th grade.

b. If you have a B average (80—89) in four (4) or more full years of study of the same language other than English in 9th-12th grade.

c. If you are a native or bilingual speaker of a language other than English, you must schedule an interview with a member of the foreign language department to assess your language skills. These cases are dealt with on an individual basis.

d. Students with Advanced Placement course work in a language other than English or successful completion of a program such as the University at Albany’s University in the High School may be exempt if complete transcripts are sent to the Foreign Language Department at Utica College

e. International students from a non-English speaking country are also exempt providing they interview with the foreign language faculty. These cases are dealt with on an individual basis.

4. Who determines if I am exempt?

Since many first-year students submit only a high school transcript up to their junior year, all students must send a COMPLETE high school transcript including senior grades after graduation so that proper placement decisions can be made. If your high school does not assign grades according to a traditional system (A, B, or numbers), your  guidance office must send a detailed description of their grading system in order to be considered for an exemption.

Attention: all transfer students should ensure that complete transcripts are forwarded to the college.

5. Does a high grade on the New York State Regent’s Examination in a Foreign Language qualify for an exemption?

No. The grade on the Regent’s Examination is not considered at Utica College in granting an exemption. The complete three-year (or four-year) performance in high school determines exemption status.

6. How do I know if I am exempt?

Before enrolling in any language course, you must check with your advisor or with the Academic Support Services Office in the summer before your first semester. All placement decisions are recorded in the Banner system under degree evaluation.

Attention: Do not enroll in any language course without prior consultation with your advisor.

7. What happens if I have 3 years of a B average in High School Spanish?

Placement decisions are made according to the following scheme:

a. If you have less than two years of a foreign language, regardless of the grade earned, you will be placed in the first semester course 101. If several years have passed since you last studied the language, you will also be placed in 101.

b.  If you have two years of a foreign language, regardless of grades  (unless they were D or F), you
will be placed in the second semester course 102.

c. If you have three years with a B average you will be placed in 102.

8. Do I still get credit if I am exempt from a 101 and/or a 102 language?

No. An exemption only means that you don’t have to take a particular course.

9. What course should I choose if I am exempt from 101-102 but want to continue learning that language?

The usual sequence is 201, but some students may enroll in higher levels. There is a designation in Banner that states which level you are eligible to take.

10. Do I have to study the same language at Utica College that I studied in High School?

No. However, if you chose a new language you must start with the 101 course.

11. What languages are offered at Utica College?

Utica College currently offers first year programs in  French, Italian, Spanish, and Latin every other year.

12. Does Sign Language satisfy the foreign language general education requirement at Utica College?

No. In part, the intent of the foreign language requirement is to increase the student’s international awareness, which Sign Language does not.



Juan A. Thomas, Ph.D.
Professor of Spanish
(315) 792-3006
1600 Burrstone Road | Utica, NY 13502