Foreign Language

Guidelines for Foreign Language

The Foreign Language requirement may be satisfied by demonstrating proficiency in reading comprehension, writing, and conversation in a foreign language equivalent to the second semester college level, either by passing an exam or by completing approved course work. A letter grade of C– or better is required.

How to Satisfy Foreign Language

Satisfying Foreign Language with High School Coursework or Exam


Minimum Grade/Score Required to Satisfy Foreign Language

Completion of high school foreign language (language other than English) through the third year of instruction Letter grade of C- or higher
SAT Subject Test, language other than English 590
Advanced Placement Exam in a language other than English 3, 4, or 5
International Baccalaureate Higher Level Examination in a Second Language (other than English) A2, B or Standard Level credential  5, 6 or 7
A-level or GCSE/O-level Exam in a language other than English A, B, or C
Foreign Service Institute (FSI) or Defense Language Institute (DLI) exam 1-5

Satisfying Foreign Language at Berkeley 

There are three options for satisfying Foreign Language at Berkeley:

Completion of second semester or higher of foreign language instruction with a C- or higher. Review list of approved courses
Completion of a pre-approved breadth course that is taught in a language other than English and requires an advanced language instruction course as a prerequiste. For this option, students may use the course to fulfill Foreign Language and one of the approved Seven-Course Breadth areas, provided the course is completed with a letter grade of C- or higher. Review list of approved courses
Proficiency exam issued by a UC faculty.  The faculty administering the exam must issue the results on UC departmental letterhead, and confirm proficiency (i.e. C- or higher) in reading, writing, speaking and listening at a level equivalent to what the student would have otherwise achieved by completion of instruction through the second semester (or third quarter) of instruction in a language other than English.

Satisfying Foreign Language with Transfer Courses

All transfer courses pursued for Foreign Language must be completed with a C- or higher. 

  • Students admitted with IGETC Certification or UC Reciprocity have satisfied Foreign Language. No additional course work is required.
  • Continuing Berkelely students who have already completed course work at Berkeley may pursue a pre-approved course for Foreign Language at a California Community College during the summer, or while not enrolled at Berkeley during a fall or spring term. To identify pre-approved courses for Foreign Language, use ASSIST(link is external)