Am I Required To Study a Language?

(You may need to satisfy a language requirement, especially if you are planning to transfer.) 

De Anza College generally does not require studying a language other than English to obtain an associate degree (A.A. or A.S.) or a certificate – except for the A.A. degree in Global Studies and the Certificates of Achievement in Mandarin. (Learn more about the Global Studies requirement below.)

While your degree at De Anza may not require a language, you may want to consider:

  • Language courses may be accepted as an optional way to satisfy requirements for certain other degrees or certificates.
  • Language courses may also be applied to satisfy General Education requirements
    • (You can learn more about satisfying general education requirements at De Anza – and at California State University and University of California campuses – by checking the G.E. Requirements webpage maintained by De Anza's Articulation and Transfer Services office.)
  • Transfer universities may have specific language requirements that you should take into account.

If You're Planning to Transfer

You may need to take world language courses for one or more of these reasons:

  • Many universities have a language other than English (LOTE) requirement to obtain a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree.
  • Some university majors have a specific requirement for foreign language study.
  • Some graduate programs require foreign language study.

Check the Requirements

To find out if the university you want to attend has a general foreign language requirement, or a specific foreign language requirement for your major, consult the university's catalog. These are generally available on university websites. Our counselors at De Anza College can also help you to determine if you will need to take foreign language courses.

There are different ways to fulfill university foreign language requirements. These vary by university and program, but most would consider

  • High school courses (for proficiency level only)
  • AP exams
  • Proficiency exams (for proficiency level only)
  • Courses completed at other institutions, such as community colleges

Note: De Anza College does not administer language proficiency exams for the purpose of fulfilling language requirements of any sort.

Plan Ahead to Meet the Requirements

Once you have determined whether your university and your major have a foreign language requirement, you should start planning ahead. Be sure to consider the following:

  • Some universities may not offer the language you want to take – so you may want to complete these courses before you transfer.
  • Some universities may not offer all of the required levels of the language you want to take. For example, you may need to complete three semesters, but the university may only offer two semesters.
  • De Anza College only offers the first three levels of most languages, except for Mandarin.

Learn More About Transfer Requirements

California State University (CSU)

  • There is no general foreign language requirement to transfer to a CSU.
  • A foreign language may be required or recommended at the college, school, major or program level. Consult the university’s website and the website for more specific information.

University of California (UC)

  • Students following the IGETC general education pattern are required to complete the second quarter of a language other than English. There are several other ways to meet this requirement, including completing two years of a foreign language in high school.
  • A foreign language may be required or recommended at the college, school, major or program level. Consult the university’s website and the website for more specific information.

Other Universities 

If you're planning to transfer to another university outside the CSU or UC systems, be sure to research that university’s transfer requirements AND the requirements for your major.

Global Studies at De Anza

To satisfy the language requirement for an associate degree in Global Studies at De Anza, you must do one of the following

  • Have taken three years of high school foreign language or the equivalent, or
  • Take three quarters of a college-level world language.  This requirement is based on units and not on the course level. In other words, you would not fulfill this requirement by taking only Spanish 3; you would have to take Spanish 1, 2 and 3, or Spanish 2, 3 and 4, or Spanish 3, 4 and 5.

Since De Anza only offers the first three levels for most languages, you should take this requirement into account if you are thinking about applying for a prerequisite clearance.

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