Appendix III: Language Fulfillment

Options for Fulfilling Foreign Language Requirements in Most Fields

These options apply only to those languages that are listed in Appendix II with the designation “fulfilled through options outlined under Appendix III.”

1. Passage of the department’s foreign language examination.  This examination will be administered by a faculty committee (coordinated by the Graduate Advisors Committee) and is offered towards the end of each semester.  In general, students will be required to translate two 200-word passages into English; the time allowed will be two hours, unless otherwise noted in Appendix II.  Variations of this format will be accepted if the Committee of Language Examiners approves them.  Students wishing to be tested must sign up by the announced deadline.  Only standard printed dictionaries are allowed.

2. Completion of a graduate course (History 280, 285, or 299) with an instructor who is actively engaged in research requiring knowledge of the pertinent language(s).  Students wishing to use this option must complete the Language Certification Form (available from the Graduate Assistant), obtain the signature of the Head Graduate Advisor and instructor of the course (to ensure that the student makes substantial use of the language(s) in the course), and file the form with the Graduate Assistant.  At the end of the course, the Graduate Assistant will ask the instructor to certify the student’s competence to conduct research in the language(s).  This certification is wholly independent of the grade in the course.  If necessary, the instructor may administer a language examination to the student.

3. Completion of the intermediate level (fourth semester) of college-level language coursework (or its equivalent) at any college campus, with at least a B grade.  The second semester of an intermediate level sequence must be taken for a letter grade.  All other language courses leading up to the second semester of the intermediate level can be taken on a S/U or P/NP basis.  Students must have completed any foreign language sequence within four years of admission to Berkeley.  Students choosing this option should confer with their advisor and the relevant language department.

4. Completion with a grade of at least B of an upper division course in a language department at Berkeley on the culture and literature associated with that language.  The work in the course must be primarily in the foreign language, not in English.  Students choosing this option should confer with their advisor and the relevant language department.

5. Completion, at Berkeley, of an advanced course in historical literature in the foreign language.  The department teaching the course will establish the preliminary requirements and determine whether one or two semesters are needed.  The course must include a graded final examination in translation.  Students choosing this option should confer with their advisor and the relevant language department.

6. Native speakers of a language other than English do not automatically fulfill the requirement; the native language must be appropriate to advanced research in that particular discipline, as shown by important journals and research that has been carried out in that language.  Students may show evidence of native ability in the language through secondary school or university transcripts.  Students must submit a letter to the Graduate Assistant explaining the relevance of the language to their research.  In turn, the department must submit a memo to the Graduate Division specifying the language and certifying native ability as well as explaining the language’s relevance to the student’s research. 

Last edited 3 July 2013