Language Prerequisite FAQ

No. The University Language Requirement requires all students to complete one year of college-level study or the equivalent in a foreign language at some point during a student’s undergraduate career. However, BOSP needs to know a student’s foreign language proficiency at the time a student is admitted to a BOSP program, not what the student’s proficiency was at an earlier point in time.

Yes. However, BOSP will continue to monitor your progress towards meeting the language prerequisite from the time you apply until the quarter you are to be abroad. Students who have not successfully completed the BOSP language prerequisite by the last day of the quarter prior to the abroad quarter, will have their admission revoked and/or be dropped from the waitlist. Please be aware that this could happen with very short notice based on the Stanford academic calendar.

Recent completion of the first-year sequence on the Stanford campus and/or the overseas placement test as required. BOSP and the Stanford Language Center strongly recommend that prior to overseas study, you take as many additional language courses as possible beyond the minimum prerequisite. Additional opportunities overseas are available to students with advanced language skills.

No. BOSP does not recognize AP or SATII credit even though a student may have satisfied the University Language Requirement this way. Students who have not taken any language course(s) at Stanford are REQUIRED to take the overseas placement exam once they are admitted or waitlisted to a BOSP program; this is generally the immediate, subsequent quarter. Students who do not take the placement exam as stipulated by BOSP and the Stanford Language Center will have their admission revoked and/or be dropped from the waitlist. No exceptions will be made.

Yes, but only at the discretion of the Stanford Language Center. Students who consider themselves native speakers should consult with the Stanford Language Center before applying to a BOSP program that requires that language. Only upon written authorization from the Stanford Language Center will BOSP consider a student to have fulfilled the prerequisite. No exceptions will be made.

Yes, but only if the intensive program is offered by the Stanford Language Center via the Summer Session Program. Other intensive language programs offered by other institutions do not satisfy the BOSP language prerequisite. No exceptions will be made.

You may be required to take the overseas placement test to confirm that your current level still fulfills the minimum prerequisite. BOSP and the Stanford Language Center strongly recommend that you take as many additional language courses as possible beyond the minimum prerequisite prior to studying abroad. Additional opportunities overseas are available to students with advanced language skills.

No. No exceptions will be made. However, for students who have already completed the BOSP language prerequisite, oral communication courses of the appropriate level are recommended as a way to maintain language skills.

Placement testing is held at set times during the academic year, during week 6 and/or at the beginning of each quarter (summer quarter excluded). Students required to take a placement test for Overseas Studies must do so as instructed by the Stanford Language Center, no more than two quarters in advance of studying abroad. Summer quarter is excluded from this schedule:

If you're going overseas in Autumn quarter - Take placement test during week 6 of previous Winter quarter (or at the beginning of previous Spring quarter if scheduled).
If you're going overseas in Winter quarter - Take placement test during NSO week in Autumn or week 6 of previous Winter quarter (or at the beginning of previous Spring quarter if scheduled).
If you're going overseas in Spring quarter - Take placement test at the beginning (or during week 6) of previous Autumn quarter (or at the beginning of previous Winter quarter if scheduled).

Students who do not take the placement exam as stipulated by BOSP and the Stanford Language Center will have their admission revoked and/or be dropped from the waitlist. No exceptions will be made. For more information on the placement testing please visit the language center website.

The latest students can take a placement will be week 6 of the quarter before they go abroad, no placement tests are held during the summer. No exceptions will be made.

Students who do not place beyond the minimum BOSP prerequisite will have their admission revoked and/or be dropped from the waitlist. Such students are required to take additional language course(s) at Stanford until the prerequisite has been satisfied. Students may reapply to a BOSP program at a later date once the minimum prerequisite has been met.

Students can meet the language prerequisite by taking language classes Credit/No Credit, however we strongly encourage students to be serious in their language preparation and take the classes for a letter grade.