Second Language Proficiency

What Is the Requirement?

The Oregon University System (OUS) admission requirement is defined by the completion of an acceptable second language, including American Sign Language (ASL), through:

  • course work in middle school, high school, or college; or
  • the demonstration of knowledge and/or proficiency in a second language

If admitted by exception, two quarters or semesters of a college-level second language will be required prior to degree completion to make up the admission deficiency.

Who Must Meet the Requirement?

The requirement applies to all admitted freshmen and transfer students who graduated from high school in or after 1997. New freshmen and transfer students who graduated from high school or completed a high school equivalency program prior to 1997 are exempt from the second language requirement.

Options for Meeting the Requirement

High School and College Credit Options

Applicants must demonstrate proficiency by one of these methods:

  1. Two years of the same second language in high school with a grade of C- or better, P (pass), or S (satisfactory); or
  2. A grade of C- or better in the third year of high school-level second language study; or
  3. Two college terms of the same second language with a grade of C- or better, P (pass), or S (satisfactory); or
  4. Proficiency test (for example, SAT Subject Test or BYU Foreign Language Assessment); or
  5. One of the alternate options listed below.

Alternate Proficiency-based Assessment Options

  • Pass the Standards-based Measurement of Proficiency (STAMP) test with a score of at least novice-high
  • Demonstrate proficiency of at least novice-high on the ACTFL scale in American Sign Language (ASL)
  • Pass ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview with a score of at least novice-high
  • Satisfactory performance (grade of pass at 101 and 102 course level) on a Brigham Young Foreign Language Assessment
  • Score of 500 or higher on an SAT Foreign Language Subject Test
  • Score of 2 or higher on an Advanced Placement Foreign Language Test
  • Score of 4 or higher on an International Baccalaureate Standard Level Foreign Language Exam
  • Score of 40 or higher on a CLEP Foreign Language Exam
  • Satisfactory performance on a college second-language departmental challenge exam
  • Education satisfactorily completed through 7th grade in school or country where English was not the language of instruction
  • Satisfactory performance on additional tests (such as SLIP) administered according to accepted district policy, with the approval of the OUS course approval working group
  • Demonstrated proficiency in an American Indian language can meet all or part of the second language requirement, as certified by the governing body of any federally recognized tribe.

Can Exceptions Be Made to Meeting the Requirement?

Exceptions to this requirement are only considered for students graduating from high schools unable to offer two years of any second language. If admitted by exception, two terms of a college-level second language will be required before graduation.

More information is available by contacting the Office of Admissions.