Foreign Language Requirement
All M.A. and Ph.D. students must demonstrate proficiency in one language other than English.
The purpose of the language requirement is to enable students to enter an international community
of scholars and to work with primary texts and scholarship across national and linguistic boundaries.
The department therefore strongly encourages students to exceed the minimum level of proficiency
required by the department.Graduate Programs
In addition, different fields of study may require proficiency in more than one language. Therefore,
students in both the M.A. and Ph.D. programs must consult with the Chair or provisional Chair of
their committee by the second semester of their course work to decide if proficiency beyond the
department’s minimum is required.
Native speakers of a language other than English or students with a B.A., M.A., or Ph.D. in a
language other than English meet the minimum language requirement by default. However, such students
should nonetheless consult with the Chair of their committee to decide what is necessary for their
field of study.
Students should seek to establish minimum proficiency as early in their program as they can.
Minimum proficiency is defined in this manner:
1) One year in a language besides English with a grade of “B” or
better (6-10 credits), or
2) Passing grade on a translation exam as administered by Modern
Languages, Literature, and Linguistics, Classics, or
3) One class in a graduate-level reading class (3 credits).
The department accepts course work from outside OU. Students must provide official transcripts
or appropriate documentation. Translation exams must be taken at OU.
All students must provide proof of proficiency to the Graduate Director. Ideally, students
should provide proof in the second semester of study. At the latest, M.A. students must do so
prior to scheduling their exams or filing thesis paperwork; Ph.D. students must do so when filing
out the Advisory Conference Report prior to General Exams.