Free online placement testing is available on this site in Spanish, French and German. Testing should take 15-30 minutes depending on ability. Your test results do not go automatically in your record. Please allow at least 3 business days after completion of the test for results to be reflected in your student record. Please plan to take a placement test before the registration week! Guessing or cheating on a placement test will only lead to placement in a course that is too hard for you. Just answer what you know with confidence.  You should plan to continue foreign language study right away as a freshman. If you put it off, you may feel you need to go down a level to review, which only wastes time, money, and effort, and may delay graduation.

Please know that you won’t receive any credit until you take and complete a class at ECU – the placement test itself does not result in credit. You are not allowed to take a placement test multiple times within the same year.

Students exercising the option to take the foreign language placement test may enroll in a course one level lower than the placement indication without departmental approval or one level higher with permission of the chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures either during the course adjustment period or by the fifth day of class. After successful completion of the course, students will, upon request, receive bypass credit for the course(s) sequentially preceding the one completed. This policy is to be applied to all students regardless of the date of their entry to the university.

SPANISH PLACEMENT TEST -- required to enroll in Spanish, even level 1001. We apologize for the inconvenience to those new to the language, but we must require a placement test of all students enrolling in Spanish, to restrict those with previous experience -- who properly belong at a higher level -- from enrolling in level 1001.

FRENCH and GERMAN PLACEMENT TESTS -- are NOT a pre-requisite for enrolling in French or German. However, students with previous experience should take a test in order to be able start at a higher level.

»» access Spanish, French and German online placement tests here.

The login password is "pirates1". At the next screen, select your language from the drop-down menu, and click "Begin". It is important when prompted to identify yourself, use your full name, Banner ID (starts with B then eight numbers) for the ID Number, and your ECU e-mail address. Not identifying your Banner ID will result in the score NOT being recorded! After completing the placement test and clicking "Finished," your score will be sent to the placement coordinator, Irina Swain (, who will send you an e-mail when results are recorded in Banner.

The online placement tests are only written tests. They will not measure speaking or listening ability. If you are coming from a program in which class was not conducted predominately in the foreign language and you did not practice speaking and listening regularly (college classes are taught almost entirely in the foreign language), you may wish to request an adjusted placement from the language coordinator referenced in the e-mail from Irina Swain.

We do not offer automated online placement tests in other languages, and do not require them for enrollment, but students with prior experience may contact faculty below for a placement interview.

Foreign Language Requirement and FAQ’s

How is Foreign Language Requirement met?

Courses with prefix CHIN, FREN, GERM, GRK, ITAL, JAPN, LATN, RUSS, and SPAN satisfy the Foreign Language Requirement.  Courses with prefix CLAS, FORL, and RUSI, which are taught in English, do not satisfy the Foreign Language Requirement.  

Students must demonstrate foreign language proficiency through level 2004 (12 sh) to meet BA degree requirements and BS Communication Journalism Concentration requirements. They must demonstrate foreign language proficiency through level 1002 (6 sh) to meet BS degree requirements in other BS Communication Concentrations. Students who transfer in a higher level of foreign language proficiency such as SPAN 1002, will have the lower levels waived (no credits awarded).

By-Pass credit without grades

Students with no college-level credit in the language may also receive bypass credit for language levels 1001 through 2004, but only upon satisfactory completion of validating procedures administered on this campus. Upon satisfactory completion of a course taught at East Carolina University, the registrar will award credit without grades for courses by-passed, as follows:

·       Upon completion of level 1002 with a passing grade, students with no college-level credit in the language will receive bypass credit (3 sh, no grade) for level 1001.

·       Upon completion of level 2003 with a passing grade, students with no college-level credit in the language will receive bypass credit (6 sh, no grades) for levels 1001 and 1002.

·       Upon completion of level 2004 with a passing grade, students with no college-level credit in the language will receive bypass credit (9 sh, no grades) for levels 1001, 1002, and 2003.

A student places out of a foreign language course above 2004 level

Students who is required to complete 12 s.h. in foreign language as part of their degree sometimes take the placement test and place above the 2004 level. In these cases, the student must complete an upper division (3000+) foreign language course to meet the Foreign Language Requirement. The student should contact the Chair of Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures to determine the most appropriate 3000 level course based on placement. Upon satisfactory completion of the course recommended by the department, the Office of the Registrar will mark the Language Requirement as satisfied, but the student will not receive grades for the courses waived. 

·       Students with no college-level credit in the language who take a course above 2004 will have levels 1001, 1002, 2003, and 2004 waived (no credits awarded).

Students with college transfer credit

Students with college transfer credit, prior credit in the language at ECU from years past, Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or CLEP credit from another institution, have already established a college language placement and are not eligible to take the placement test in that language. Students who wish to study a different language from the one taken in high school may earn credit beginning with level 1001. Students who need to review a course for which college credit has already been earned before going on, may register to audit. For more information about College Transfer Credit go to Placement Credit.

Transfer of a foreign language course above 3000 level

When students transfer an upper-level foreign language course into ECU, the chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures may evaluate the course to determine if the course is sufficient to demonstrate foreign language proficiency through level 2004. The chair must submit a memo to the Office of the Registrar with this information and the Foreign Language Requirement can be waived.

Foreign Language Requirement Waivers

Native speakers of a foreign language may have the Foreign Language Requirement waived. The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures defines native speaker as a person who has graduated from high school in a language other than English. In order to determine if a student fulfills this definition, the department reserves the right to request official documentation.

If a student believes that their record fulfills this definition, they should contact the chair of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. The chair will determine if the Foreign Language Requirement can be waived. The chair must submit a memo to the Coordinator of DegreeWorks so the memo can be loaded into the student’s record and the requirement waived in Degree Works. The comment box in SharePoint should include that the memo has been emailed to the Coordinator of DegreeWorks.

Foreign students are not eligible to receive credit for levels 1001-2004 of their native language, but may register for courses level 3000 and even minor or major in the language. When English is a second language, the department chair, after an oral interview, may recommend that it be allowed to substitute for the foreign language requirement, without credit (the 12 sh required for graduation must be made up with electives). 

Can Sign Language courses count for the Foreign Language?

Sign Language courses do not count for the Foreign Language Requirement

Admissions information on AP, IB, and CLEP credit

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