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Articles / Applying to College / Does Middle School Foreign Language Count Towards Requirement?

Sept. 8, 2010

Does Middle School Foreign Language Count Towards Requirement?

Question: If a student takes language level I in middle school and completes level III in 10th grade, does this fulfill a required "three years of language in high school?" Is it the level that matters or must this student continue through Level IV to fulfill a three-year language requirement? Many people wonder. Thanks.

Yes, a child who gets a year of credit in middle school has officially fulfilled a three-year language-study requirement. However, the more selective colleges tend to expect applicants to have done more ... ideally a minimum of four years of the same language (even if not formally "required" by either the high school or by the college) or at least three years while in high school, not counting the middle school year.


So, while technically the requirement may have been fulfilled by the end of 10th grade, it won't sit well with most of the pickier admission folks.

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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