Core Curriculum Language Requirement in RLL

Language study is encouraged and required at Villanova University as part of the core requirement. You may satisfy this requirement at the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures by choosing French, Italian or Spanish. For other options, please see page 31 of the Enchiridion.  

Students may fulfill the Core Curriculum Language Requirement in one of four ways:





Students may satisfy the Core Curriculum language requirement by attaining a score of 4 or 5 on the applicable Advanced Placement exam. 

Students who satisfy the language requirement with AP Exams in languages not offered at Villanova must take two additional free electives to assure that they will have enough courses to fulfill graduation requirements. 

Any questions regarding Advanced Placement credit should be directed to in the Romance Languages Department, located in SAC 303.

Students may satisfy the Core Curriculum language requirement through satisfactory performance on a proficiency exam administered by the department. Proficiency exams are administered on specific dates and students must register in advance at the website address below. The deadline to register for a proficiency exam is noon the day before the exam. Students deemed proficient by achieving a grade of B- or better on the proficiency examination must instead take two additional free electives to assure that they will have enough courses to fulfill graduation requirements. The two electives can be in the same language to reach a greater proficiency.

Comprehensive proficiency examinations may be scheduled online here.

Registration requires a Villanova username and password.


Students who would like to pursue credit for language fluency may do so through the Credit by Exam Program for any language taught at Villanova other than their native language. Students must meet all conditions in place through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for the Credit by Exam program. There is a fee per credit. 

Arrangements for Credit by Exam should be made in the Office for Undergraduate Students in SAC 107. 

Additional conditions for the Credit by Exam program are listed here.

Students selecting this option must pass the Intermediate II course, as well as any necessary previous courses, for the language they have chosen and are not required to go further in that language.

Students who studied French, Italian, or Spanish in high school must complete an online language placement test to be placed into the appropriate level course sequence. Placement tests provide only a rough indicator of a student’s level, so students who are placed into a course higher than Intermediate II must complete the course to fulfill the requirement.

Students interested in one of these languages who have no prior experience in the language are required to take the two-semester introductory course sequence before they may register for the intermediate level courses that fulfill the Core Curriculum language requirement. These two Intro courses will count towards credit as electives.  

(Remember: A student wishing to demonstrate proficiency via a test must take one of the tests listed above under Options A, B, and C.) Students who are placed directly into an Intermediate II or higher course must take one additional free elective to assure that they will have enough courses to fulfill graduation requirements. The course could be in the same language to enhance proficiency.


Please visit this page to find additional information on online placement exams or to take the online test.

For additional information in Romance Languages and Literatures 
(French, Italian, Spanish),
please contact Ms. Joyce:


  • Language courses vary from three to four credits in our department; regardless of the number of credits, an individual language course counts as one course.
  • Placement tests are used to place students only; they are not to be confused with a proficiency Intermediate Exam.

Language learning disability

Some students have a learning disability that interferes with their ability to learn a language. They must have documented evidence by a professional to support their claim. If this occurs, students will be referred to Nancy Mott at Learning Support Services.Those who have such disabilities will satisfy the language requirement by taking 2 upper level culture or literature courses offered in English by the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures.