Proficiency in a language other than one’s own, ancient or modern, serves many ends. It deepens an appreciation of one’s own language, increases sensitivity and understanding of the nature of language itself, and enables the student to gain a far more intimate understanding of different cultures than is possible through translations.  Further, with regard to specific disciplinary ends, many graduate programs require a reading knowledge of at least two languages other than English.

For all these reasons, Haverford College requires all of its students to complete two semesters of college-level study of a language other than English by the end of their junior year. Beginning with the Class of 2016 this requirement may be satisfied in one of the following three ways:

(a) One full year of language study in one language at the level in which the student is placed by the appropriate Haverford College language department; or

(b) Language study in a course conducted under Haverford College’s approved International Study Abroad Programs, and as certified in advance by the relevant language department chair at either Haverford or Bryn Mawr, or by the Educational Policy Committee when the language has no counter department at either Haverford or Bryn Mawr; or

Language courses may be taken at Haverford or at any of the cooperating colleges: Bryn Mawr, Swarthmore, and with advisor and registrar permission, the University of Pennsylvania. The Haverford department, however, must determine placement. Other restrictions which apply to the language requirement are as follows:

Courses taken to fulfill the language requirement do not meet divisional distribution requirements and may not be taken NNG (non-graded option) at Haverford, CR/NCR at Bryn Mawr or Swarthmore, or P/F at the University of Pennsylvania


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Please keep in mind that in order to help us place you at the level which is best suited to your preparation and potential, you are expected to give your best effort while taking the exam, under the principles of the Haverford Honor Code.

Students who have never taken these languages do not need to take the placement test.

Chinese Placement Exam: There are two parts to this exam.  One part needs to be completed online by August 10, 2013. The second part will be completed on Thursday, August 29th, the day after you arrive on campus.  Please read the instructions at:  You will find the placement instructions at the bottom of the page. 

Spanish Placement Exam – will be available online from Sunday, August 12th until Sunday, August 26th at midnight through Moodle at Spanish Placement Test Fall 2013 .

Students who are planning or just considering enrollment in a Spanish course at Haverford or Bryn Mawr College at any point in the future must take the Placement Test.     The online Spanish Placement Test must be taken before arriving on campus, even if students are not planning on taking Spanish during the first year.

Students who have never taken Spanish do not need to take the placement test.   There will be an Elementary Spanish section reserved for absolute beginners.

French Placement Exam -  Available at:  French Placement Exam (2013)  (the password is: paris-dakar).

German Placement Exam – The German Placement Test  will be available at:  from Thursday, July 11, 2013 at NOON until Tuesday, August  27 at NOON.

Japanese Placement exam – Will be available at:on campus on Thursday, August 29th at 8:30 AM. Consult your Customs Week Schedule for the exact time and place.

Arabic, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Latin and Russian – There are no formal placement exams for these languages.  Students will be able to speak with faculty representing these departments at the Academic Fair taking place on Monday, September 3rd. or by arranging an appointment to meet with the faculty teaching the introductory class during the shopping period, Sept.4-7.  Students who have never taken these languages do not need to take the placement test.


  1. Hello. The link to the French placement test takes me to a moodle page that says it is unavailable to students. Is there another functioning link? Thank you!

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