How to choose a Language course

Step One: Review College Requirements

Review the information on language in the College Requirements and Major Requirements pages to identify any language requirements or recommendations for the first year according to academic intent. 

Step Two: Review Language Credit and Placement

Students who have previously studied a language will be placed into an appropriate course at Notre Dame in one of two ways

  1. By an AP, IB HL, or SAT II Exam
  2. By an ND Language Placement Exam

For French or Spanish: Students are required to take a departmental placement exam before enrolling in a course, including those who have never studied the language before.  However, if a student has AP, IB HL, or SAT II exam credit, they do not need to take the department placement exam.

For Catalan, Creole, Italian or Portuguese: Students with no prior experience can enroll directly in beginning-level courses.  Students continuing their study of one of these languages should contact the department for placement and course selection.

Placement for any language not included here is determined by the department on a case-by-case basis. As always, please contact your First Year Advisor for more information. As always, please contact your First Year Advisor for more information.

Step Three: Explore Language Options

All students are welcome to study languages as their curricula permit. Students pursuing majors in some of the Colleges and Schools are required to take language courses. Language courses are not required by the Core Curriculum, but some advanced language courses can satisfy either the Liberal Arts 4 or Liberal Arts 6 requirement of the Core Curriculum.

The following languages are taught at Notre Dame. If you are interested in studying a language with an asterisk, contact your First Year Advisor. You may also be interested in learning about some Less Commonly Taught Languages here.

  • Arabic
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • Creole (Haitian)*
  • French
  • German
  • Greek (Ancient)
  • Hebrew*
  • Hindi*
  • Irish
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Latin
  • Portuguese
  • Quechua*
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Swahili*

* Contact your First Year Advisor to express your interest