Requirements and Testing Information
Anyone with prior French and Spanish experience (except heritage/native speakers or students with AP/IB scores) and/or two or more years of high school instruction should plan to take the placement test.
You may take the placement test at the testing office, 207 Student Services, 517-355-8278.
You can also take the test online at Foreign Language Placement Test.
Before you take the test, be sure to click on “About This Test” (located in the logo at the top of the screen). You are responsible for understanding the rules and regulations of this test. You will be expected to enroll in the course of your tested level; exceptions are not made.
*HERITAGE or NATIVE speakers of Spanish and French who wish to study should NOT take the placement test. Contact the Academic Advisor for the Department of Romance and Classical Studies regarding placement
**If you plan to take the AP or IB exam, regardless of whether or not you have your results for AOP, you should NOT take the placement test. If you are interested in enrolling in a Spanish course contact the Spanish adviser regarding placement.
How to place into FRN 101/SPN 101
FRN 101/SPN 101 is reserved for those students who have limited prior experience with the language, either in a classroom setting or in a home or abroad environment. You may take this course only if you have less than two (2) years of high school study of language, do not speak the language in the home, and/or have lived in a French- or Spanish-speaking environment.
The department reserves the right to remove students from a 101 course during the first week of classes if they do not meet the above requirements. If so, you will be moved into a more suitable course, assuming availability.
How to place into FRN 102/SPN 102
Students with two to three years of high school French or Spanish may self-place into 102 or take the placement test to see if they place higher. In addition, students with one semester of college study (i.e., 101 equivalent) may enroll directly into FRN/SPN 102.
How to place into FRN/SPN 201 or 202
Students must place into these courses via the placement test. Alternatively students may enroll into FRN/SPN 201 if they have the equivalent of 102 at another college or university. They may enroll in FRN/SPN 202 if they have the equivalent of 201 at another university or college.
How to place into 300-level courses
Students may place into 300 level courses through appropriate scores on the AP exam, from having the equivalent of FRN/SPN 202 at another college or university, or by score on the placement test.
Italian and Portuguese placement
- Students how have studied Italian before coming to MSU can contact the Italian Language Coordinator regarding placement.
- Students with previous Portuguese study will need to contact the Portuguese Language Coordinator.
Language Placement Frequently Asked Questions
What if I have AP credit?
AP scores of 3 or better place students in 300-level classes.
What if I’m not happy about my language placement?
Students must take the course at the level they placed into. Students cannot place lower than their original score. Students may retake the placement exam after 6 weeks if they want a better score (higher class level).
How do I get an override?
Overrides will not be considered for 100- and 200-level courses by any instructor. Watch for someone to drop the course! Students are expected to continue to check the enrollment system for openings and register during open enrollment.
It is departmental policy not to grant overrides for 300- and 400- level courses until the drop/add period is over at the beginning of each semester. Keep an eye on the enrollment. Put on alert on the course and add the course if someone drops it. If you are unable to add the course before the semester begins, attend the section that you would prefer to enroll in, do the work, and speak with the instructor. Only the course instructor can provide the authorization for the override.
Spanish 100- and 200-level course placement, please contact Francisco Morales
French 100- and 200-level course placement, please contact Matt Kanefsky
For questions regarding equivalencies of language courses from other institutions, consult: transfer.msu.edu
See also College Board Advanced Placement Program and International Baccalaureate Program equivalencies.