Undergraduate Language Requirement

Those students wishing to fulfill the foreign language requirement in a Slavic language may do so in various ways:

  • Ÿby earning a passing score on the Departmental placement exam (exams available in Russian, Czech, Polish, Ukrainian, and Croatian/Serbian)
  • by passing with a letter grade one appropriate full elementary-level course in a Slavic language taught regularly at Harvard (Russian A, At, Aab, BCS A, Czech A, Polish A, Ukrainian A) or by passing with a letter grade at least one half-course at the intermediate-level or beyond. Russian for Heritage Learners (RUSS Ah) requires one semester of Ah in the fall plus any additional semester of study in the Russian language program to fulfill the language requirement.
  • Ÿby passing with a letter grade a language course at the appropriate level taken in Harvard programs abroad (currently in Czech language for the program in Prague, Czech Republic)

A student whose high school education was conducted in a language other than English may satisfy the language requirement with evidence of the official high school transcript. At present, there are not any options for SAT II tests or AP exams in Russian or other Slavic languages. Students with a high school background in a Slavic language or experience with the prototype Russian AP course and exam may contact Steven Clancy, Director of the Slavic Language Program, for more information.

NOTE: Students may request to take a special examination in any language in which an appropriate examination, including a written component, can be given by a member of the Faculty familiar with the standards of the language requirement; such students should apply to the Freshman Dean’s Office as soon as possible upon admission to the College. Students who plan to fulfill the language requirement by special examination should consult with their Resident Dean of Freshmen or their Allston Burr Resident Dean prior to the filing of study cards.

Students who plan to continue language study beyond the requirement level may wish to qualify for a citation in that language (see Citation in Foreign Language, and review as well information on Citations in Foreign Language in the Harvard College's Handbook for Students)