Texas Tech University

Arts and Science General Requirements-Foreign Language

The requirement on the College of Arts & Sciences General Degree Requirements sheet states:

FOREIGN LANGUAGE: A student enrolling in the first year sequence will have a requirement of 11-16 hours. Foreign Language courses 1301 and 1302 and 1501 and 1502 or 1507 are prerequisites for courses 2301, 2302 (or 2607). A student must complete 6 hours at the sophomore level or above in a single language. Courses taught in English including the following courses may not be used to fulfill the foreign language requirement:" Then follows a list of courses which may be viewed on the most recent Arts & Sciences General Degree Requirements sheet.

NOTE: The course subject abbreviations (course prefixes) are explained in the Reader's Guide to the catalog (instead of clicking on the picture of the catalog choose the link in red on the left that says "Course descriptions". The abbreviations are decoded in the column on the right.)

"Information regarding foreign language credit earned through studies abroad should refer to the 2008-2009 catalog.”

BA: 11-16 hours required.

Note that since I am directing my comments only to those students completing the Bachelor of Arts degree, I am not including notes that relate to those completing the Bachelor of Science degree.

Pertinent information

  • What I tell my students is that they must complete through the second sophomore course in whatever language they choose. Since the courses must be taken in sequence, you have to take the beginning ones first, but you must end up with the equivalent of 2302 (or 2607) in that language.
  • It is not helpful to consider this requirement in terms of hours. That usually just confuses students because the credit you earn for the freshman level courses is different from each other. Some of the freshman level courses are 3 hours, some 4 hours (now only transfer credit comes in this way), and five hours. You need to think of it in terms of: How many semesters am I going to have to complete in this language?
  • The department that offers the foreign language courses is usually referred to as "the foreign language department", but that is a nickname. The official name of the department is Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures. Another nickname is its acronym: CMLL.
  • Foreign language requires students to enroll in person for some classes, specifically the beginning class in some languages. In my experience you must go over and enroll in GERM 1501, FREN 1501 and SPCS 1511 in person. You cannot enroll yourself in those classes via the computer.
  • NOTE: Arts & Sciences advisors will only apply a certain amount of freshmen level courses toward your degree program. So if you have credit for 1501 and 1502 in a language and then take 1507 in the same language, they will throw the 10 hours represented by 1501 and 1502 in the trash. They won't use it for your degree program at all, not even as hours. The same for 1501 alone or 1502 alone, if you take 1507 in that same language later, then the 1501 or 1502 course goes in the trash.

I took two years of a language in high school, what effect does that have on my language requirement?

In Arts & Sciences if you took two or more years of a language in high school AND the language offered at Texas Tech has a review course (numbered 1507), then you may begin in the review course and complete your requirement by completing 2301 and then 2302. That results in three semesters of the language instead of four. French, German, Latin, Portuguese, and Spanish all have a review course (numbered 1507).

NOTE: Spanish 2607 covers all the material covered in Spanish 2301 and 2302 and may be taken instead of those two courses. This results in the completion of the foreign language requirement in two semesters. The catch is that you have to earn an A or B in Spanish 1507 before you can take Spanish 2607. Spanish 2607 has so far not been offered in the summer although Spanish 1507 is.

What if I only took one year or 1 ½ years of a language in high school? Or what if I didn't take a language? Or what if I want to change to a different language?

Then you will need to complete four semesters of whatever language you choose. You will need to research the languages Tech's foreign language department offers and you will also want to find out how they are offered. They usually only start in the Fall (not Spring or Summer). Many are offered Fall-Spring-Fall-Spring. Others are offered Fall-Spring-Summer I-Summer II. So find out so you can make a reasonable plan. Do not make assumptions!

Are there options available in Study Abroad programs?

Absolutely! Some of the favorite programs are those that complete all four semesters of the requirement in only one Texas Tech Fall or Spring. This is possible because you are immersed in the language. Ask Study Abroad for their latest list of these programs. At least two of them are Texas Tech programs taught by Texas Tech teachers. There are also summer study abroad language programs, but most, if not all, only help you complete either the first two freshman courses or the last two sophomore level courses. But new programs are being developed all the time so ask the Study Abroad counselors.