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Articles / Applying to College / Middle School Foreign Language and A-G Requirements

Middle School Foreign Language and A-G Requirements

Sally Rubenstone
Written by Sally Rubenstone | Jan. 21, 2018

Question: Hi I took Spanish 1 in middle school and when I transferred to another city for high school I took Spanish 2 my freshman year. How does this affect my A-G requirement? What will happen if I take Spanish 3 next year?

A foreign language taken in middle school can qualify for California's A-G requirements as long as the student’s high school accepts it. Since you took Spanish 1 in middle school and then were enrolled in Spanish 2 as a freshman, your high school obviously accepted your middle school credit, and you have met the 2-year A-G “Language Other Than English” requirement. The fact that you moved to a new city doesn’t affect this in any way.


However, the more selective colleges and universities (not just in CA but nationwide) expect 3 (or sometimes even prefer 4) years of foreign language. So, depending on where you plan to go to college, you could be limiting yourself by not taking Spanish 3 next year.

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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