Courses of Study 2022-2023 
    Apr 17, 2024  
Courses of Study 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Language Study at Cornell

Students study languages at Cornell for many reasons. Some students study language to fulfill graduation requirements (particularly students in the College of Arts and Sciences); some study for personal interest, for professional development, or for preparation for graduate study.  From ancient languages to contemporary languages from across the globe, the range of languages available for study is broad.  Languages are offered through the College of Arts and Sciences and are open to any student interested in studying the language.  Explore the richness of Cornell’s language offerings from the list below.

Language Offerings

Africana   German  
Arabic (offered through the ASRC ) Dutch  
Swahili   German  
Wolof   Swedish  
Zulu   Jewish Studies  
Twi   Yiddish  
Asian Studies   Linguistics    
Bengali   American Sign Language
Burmese   Old Irish  
Chinese  (Mandarin) Old Norse  
Indonesian   Near Eastern Studies  
Japanese   Modern Languages
Kannada   Arabic  
Khmer (Cambodian) Hebrew
Korean   Persian/Farsi  
Nepali   Turkish
Pali   Urdu  (under NES subject code)
Sanskrit   Ancient Languages
Sinhala   Akkadian  
Tagalog (Filipino) Sumerian  
Thai   Romance Studies  
Tibetan   Czech  
Urdu   French  
Vietnamese   Hungarian
Classics   Polish  
Greek: Ancient   Portuguese
Latin   Quechua
Comparative Literature   Spanish  

Language Placement

Entering students who have completed two or more years of high school study in a language, who have been awarded credit for language work at another college or university, or who are native speakers, bilingual, or have spoken the language at home, may enroll in a course in the same language only after being placed by examination. The placement exam may have been taken in high school (SAT II, taken after the last course, or AP, if the score was 4 or 5) or at Cornell (Language Placement [LP] test). Students should seek to satisfy the language requirement in their first years at Cornell. A student with test scores one or more years old may be required to re-take the Cornell placement test if the instructor deems it necessary. The Cornell Advanced Standing Examination (CASE) places students in the appropriate advanced level course. While you may receive credit for the CASE exam, this credit does not count as Arts and Sciences credit.

Language Placement Tests and Advanced Credit

The following language placement and advanced standing tests are scheduled at the beginning of each semester:

  • American Sign Language: departmental examination; please refer to the ASL website.
  • Arabic: departmental examination, Department of Near Eastern Studies, 409 White Hall.
  • Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi, Japanese, and Korean (some of which are available online; please refer to the Asian Studies website).
  • French, Italian, and Spanish (please see below and refer to the Romance Studies website).

All students who have taken at least two years of high school language (French, Italian, and Spanish) should register in COLLT and then consult with the Romance Studies website for placement guides.

The advanced standing examination in French, German, Italian, and Spanish, is called the CASE (Cornell Advanced Standing Examination). Eligibility for the CASE may be determined from the placement tables.

Native speakers of Spanish who have completed their secondary education in a Spanish-speaking country do not take the CASE. For these students, the Spanish program offers a walk-in service, the Native Language Accreditation for Spanish (NLAS), in the third week of September and the first week of February. Students interested in this service should consult the Romance Studies webpage to see who administers the NLAS exam. The NLAS examiner can officially exempt a native speaker from the language requirement. Speakers of Spanish who completed their secondary education in a non–Spanish-speaking country are required to present an LP test score or to take the CASE exam when eligible to determine appropriate placement.

  • German: please see below and refer to the German department website.
  • Greek, Ancient: departmental examination, Department of Classics, 120 Goldwin Smith Hall.
  • Hebrew: departmental examination, Department of Near Eastern Studies, 409 White Hall.
  • Latin: departmental examination, Department of Classics, 120 Goldwin Smith Hall.
  • Persian: departmental examination, Department of Near Eastern Studies, 409 White Hall.
  • Russian please refer to the Russian Language Program website.
  • Turkish: departmental examination, Department of Near Eastern Studies, 409 White Hall.
  • Yiddish: departmental examination, Program of Jewish Studies, 409 White Hall.

Note: Cornell does not recognize IB test scores for placement in language courses, please follow the general instructions above.

Placement Tests for French, German, Italian, and Spanish

French Placement Test
SAT II AP LP-French Language Courses
below 410   below 37 French 1210
410 - 480   37 - 44 French 1220
490 - 590   45 - 55 French 1230
600 - 680

AP French Language

(score of 4), 3 credits

56 - 64 French 2080 or French 2090
690 and above

AP French Language

(score of 5), 3 credits


AP French Literature

(score of 4 or 5), 3 credits

65 and above CASE exam required for placement.
German Placement Test
LP-German Language Courses
below 37 German 1210
37 - 44 German 1220
45 - 55 German 1230
56 - 64 German 2000
65 and above CASE required for placement.

AP German

(score of 4 or 5)

CASE required for placement.

Credit is based on departmental examination.

Italian Placement Test
SAT II AP LP-Italian Language Courses
below 370   below 37 Italian 1201 (Fall only) or Italian 1401 (Spring only)
370 - 450   37 - 48 Italian 1202
460 - 680   49-64 Italian 2201
690 and above

AP Italian Langauge

(score of 4 or 5), 3 credits


AP Italian Literature

(score of 4 or 5), 3 credits

65 and above CASE exam required for placement.
Spanish Placement Test
LP-Spanish Language Courses Upper-Level Courses
below 37 Spanish 1210  
37 - 44 Spanish 1220 or Spanish 1120  
45 - 55 Spanish 1230, 1250  
56 - 64 Spanish 2090, 2070, 2000 or equivalent  
65 and above* - CASE required for placement.
A score of 4 or 5 on AP Spanish Language - LPS required for placement & CASE required if eligible.
A score of 4 or 5 on AP Spanish Literature - LPS required for placement & CASE required if eligible.
SAT II - All students required to take the LPS.

*Students who get a 65 or higher on the LPS test at the end of SPAN 1120 or 1220 are not eligible to take the CASE exam; instead, they should enroll directly into 2070/2090/2000 (or the equivalent).