• a year ago •
Admissions Advice

Do I need to learn a language like Spanish for admission in US universities

Im an international student and I wanna know is it necessary for me to learn a foreign language (not English) like Spanish or any other to get admission in US universities like stanford and Harvard. Is it compulsory?

@OFHansona year ago

Conventionally, most students take either Spanish or French (as these are the most popular offered at schools), and they are a requirement for “national students” on their transcripts to 4-year undergraduate programs. However, in your case, I’m not entirely sure. Do you already speak another language? If so, I would at least take that course somewhere to present it on your transcript, but you can also email your admissions counselor about their school’s policies. —hoped this helped a bit

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• a year ago[edited]

I think it depends on the caliber of the University you are applying to. If it is not a competitive institution, you will have better chances of getting accepted without fulfilling a foreign language requirement. However, if your goal is to apply to Ivy League or near Ivy League elite colleges, I don't know how you can bypass the add'l foreign language requirement.

In addition to establishing proficiency in English by means of submitting a TOEFL, IELTS, or in some cases a DUOLINGO test score that meets the certain colleges' benchmarks, each school has different foreign language requirements that typically range from 2 complete years to 4 years, with the most competitive schools like Harvard and Princeton wanting 4 additional years of coursework.

I also think that if you prepare and take either the SAT Subject II or AP Test in a particular language like Chinese, French, Spanish, that will show you have a certain mastery in that foreign language.

Examples of colleges with no language requirement:


From Princeton's website:

If possible, we expect students will complete the following courses before beginning study at Princeton:

Four years of English (including continued practice in writing)

Four years of mathematics (including calculus for students interested in engineering)

Four years of one foreign language

At least two years of laboratory science (including physics and chemistry for students interested in engineering)

At least two years of history

To recap, you are going to have to have an academic transcript that shows you are proficient in English and 1 add'l foreign language.

• a year ago

Not always. Some colleges recommend 3+ years of a foreign language but it is all dependent on the university you choose.


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