Graduate Language Examinations Policy and Guidelines

There is no general foreign language requirement in Graduate Studies; students should consult their program directors for the language requirements in their programs. Students wishing to demonstrate their competency in an ancient or modern foreign language may take a language examination.  The following guidelines and policies have been established for students in all programs in Graduate Arts and Sciences except Philosophy and Classics Studies; the Department of Philosophy and the Classics Program conduct their own examinations.

1.  Procedure
a.  All foreign language examinations, modern or ancient, are administered by the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures.
b. Students may take the language examination any time during their course of study; a GPA of at least 3.0 is required in order to take the examination.
c.  Students wishing to take the examination in any modern or ancient language should complete the application form.
d. Students should submit the form directly to the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, SAC 303, by the deadline specified in the academic calendar.
e.  After reviewing the application, the chairperson of Romance Languages and Literatures will submit a recommendation to the Office of Graduate Studies, which in turn informs the student whether they will be permitted to take the examination.
f.  When students apply to take the examination in Greek or Latin, the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures will also send a copy of the application to the director of the graduate program in Classics.

2.  Scheduling the Examinations
a.  The language examinations are given each term on the date and time specified in the graduate academic calendar.
b. The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures determines the location and provides a proctor for the examination.

3. Instructions for Taking the Examinations
a.  Students must bring their Villanova University ID to the examination.
b. The use of print dictionaries is permitted; electronic dictionaries are not permitted.
c.  Students may not use their computers to write the examination. (Students with learning needs requiring the use of a computer must provide documentation to the Chairperson of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures.)

4. Content of the Examinations
a.  The entire examination is three hours in length.
b.  Students must translate two passages out of a choice of three. Each passage should be approximately 400 words in length. (This requirement may differ for Greek and Latin; see the director of the graduate program in Classical Studies for details.)
c.  The passages should be in the subject area of the student’s academic discipline.
d. In the case of Greek and Latin, the examination is prepared by the director of the graduate program in Classical Studies, in consultation with the program director of the student’s discipline.
e.  In the case of modern languages, the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures prepares the examination in consultation with the program director of the student’s discipline.
f.  Different texts should be used each time the examination is given.

5.  Evaluation of Examinations
a.  Examinations are graded on a Pass/Fail basis.
b.  The minimum expectation for a grade of pass is that the student has demonstrated that s/he has accurately understood the passage’s basic content: its ideas, arguments, and reasoning.
c.  Examinations should be graded within three weeks.
d. Graders will inform the Chairperson of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures of the examination results, who in turn informs the Graduate Studies Office.
e.  Students’ examinations will be retained by the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures for five years from the examination date.

6. Re-taking the Examination
Students who do not pass the language examination may retake it, but not within the same semester.  The examination may be re-taken up to three times; each re-examination should use different passages.