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2 months ago
Admissions Advice

How important is 4 years of the SAME foreign language?
Answered

I have a question about foreign language for college admissions. I am not asking for the bare minimum requirements, what is recommended for higher-tier schools. Currently, I am in my junior year (I may be able to change my first semester I am not sure) and I have the following world language:

- 2 years of Spanish

- 2 years of French

- 1 year of Latin

- I am in my first semester of Chinese

Should I switch to Spanish for the next two years?

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2 answers

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Accepted Answer
2 months ago

3-4 years of the same language does look good to college admissions officers. There are some colleges that actually require applicants to have studied 3+ years of the same language at the high school level or above. You'll have to check the requirements at each of your desired schools and see what each one says. Many schools just recommend this, though (and don't require it). Admissions officers at these schools would likely find it very impressive that you have 6+ total years foreign language experience even if you don't have 3 or more in a single language. Switching into Spanish or adding Spanish back into your school list for at least one year is probably the safe route, but if you're really passionate about learning Chinese, you might stick with it!

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2 months ago

Typically top-tier universities ask applicants to have 3 or 4 years of the same language. It would be better for you to take Spanish III or French III now. Ideally, you want to switch out of Chinese and get into either Spanish or French III and take Spanish or French IV next year when you apply. They don't care which language you take but aim for 4 years.

I don't know who informed you about your high school coursework but if it was your HS counselor, they didn't do a very good job of explaining that Top schools like Harvard want 4 years of 1 language to show depth and breadth, and proficiency in a language.

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