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Lehman College

Foreign Language Requirement for Students with Preexisting Foreign Language Skills

Students who began a language in high school or elsewhere and plan to continue the study of that language must take the placement test. Students are urged to take the placement test the semester prior to starting foreign language study. The test may be taken according to the schedule posted by the Department of Languages and Literatures.  Please contact the Department of Languages & Literatures to schedule your placement exam. The test may be taken only once and the result is binding. Results are generally posted within a week after taking the test.

  • In general, students who have taken a language in High School will not be allowed to take the equivalent course at Lehman unless they are placed there by the Department.
  • Students who have begun a language at another college will not be permitted to take an equivalent course for credit.
  • Students may take equivalent foreign language courses for credit at other CUNY colleges through ePermit (Lehman ePermit, also Students may also receive foreign language credits for college courses taken at other four-year colleges, provided the courses are evaluated and certified by Lehman‚Äôs Registrar and the Department of Languages & Literatures. Non-CUNY Permit forms are available in the Undergraduate Studies/Study Abroad Office, CA337.

Heritage Speakers

Heritage speakers are those who speak a language other than English at home.  Often this is their first language and mastery of the language in both spoken and written forms varies considerably. Foreign transfer students often enter Lehman with college credit for coursework completed in a language other than English. (Foreign students entering Lehman as first-time freshmen will be evaluated the same way as heritage speakers.)

  • Heritage speakers and foreign transfer students cannot take beginning or introductory language courses in their home or native language (these are 100-level courses below 113).
  • Heritage speakers and foreign students will be placed by examination and/or interview with a Languages Department advisor. There are special courses for heritage speakers of Spanish (SPA 113-114 and SPA 203-204).  Placement in these courses, as in all foreign language courses, is by the Languages Department.
  • Heritage speakers who place into the intermediate level or above (into courses numbered 201 or above) may request a waiver from taking a foreign language.  Foreign transfer students who have completed college coursework in a foreign language are generally given a waiver.
  • A waiver is not an exemption. Only students who transfer into Lehman with an associate's degree are exempt from the Foreign Language Requirement.
  • If the foreign language requirement is waived by the Department and the student decides not to take foreign language, the student is required to take courses in the Foreign Language Option, one or two to substitute for the foreign language course not taken (click here for the Foreign Language Option courses).
  • The Department of Languages and Literatures is located in Carman Hall, Room 257, telephone 718.960.8215.  Click here for complete contact information.