All IAS majors must satisfy the foreign language requirement: the successful completion of four semesters of one language appropriate to their concentration while at Washington University. For some students, this may mean the first four semesters of a language; for others who place into advanced language classes, and with approval of IAS language faculty, this may include literature, culture, oral communications and linguistic courses in the target language, once they complete the basic language sequence. Students must complete one semester of their language sequence to be eligible to declare a major in IAS.
Students are encouraged to study more than one language at Washington University, but must satisfy their IAS language requirement by demonstrating competence in at least one language through the fourth semester. Available modern languages include Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Swahili. Please consult the Arts & Sciences website for details about the language sequences.
Special note for Spanish Speakers: the following Spanish courses are not part of the regular sequence that we permit to count toward the four semesters of foreign language: Intermediate Spanish Conversation and Culture (L38 223), Business Spanish (L38 351), Medical Spanish (L38 353), and Spanish for the Social Sciences (L38 355). Some students might find these courses valuable for other reasons.Those who have questions about this should consult with their major advisor.
Language courses taken to fulfill the IAS language requirement may count toward another major or minor unless they are being counted as advanced elective units for the IAS major requirement.
Students with prior language experience:
Native speakers of a foreign language must satisfy the four semester requirement in another language appropriate to their concentration.
Heritage speakers who do not have a native level of fluency must seek appropriate placement by the coordinator of the language program and complete the four semester requirement.
Transfer students who have taken language courses may receive credit for the courses as part of the four-semester IAS foreign language requirement only if a placement exam is taken upon arrival at or return to Washington University and the foreign language department determines that the student may progress to the next highest level of language instruction.
Students who take a foreign language course at another institution (whether in the US or abroad) may receive credit for the course as part of the four-semester IAS foreign language requirement only if 1) the credit is tranferred back as WU credit and 2) they take a placement exam upon return to Washington University and the foreign language department determines that the student may progress to the next highest level of language instruction.