Foreign Language Translation Requirement

To complete the MA program students must demonstrate a reading knowledge of a modern foreign language useful to their research (Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish). Students take a timed, online translation exam for which internet dictionaries and translation programs are permitted. To pass, students must demonstrate sufficient command of grammar, context, and specialized art-historical terminology, such that they are able to translate a short passage into clear, comprehensible English.

When is the translation exam offered?

MA students are required to take the translation exam no later than the second semester in the program, or after accruing 9 student credit hours (SCH). The Director of Graduate Studies will notify students of exam dates.

How is the translation exam assessed?

The translation exam is assessed by Art History faculty on a pass / fail basis.

How many times can a student take the translation exam?

Students may take the translation exam as many times as necessary to pass, but the exam will be offered only once a semester.

What if I cannot pass the translation exam?

The translation exam is a degree requirement. A “pass” is required to graduate from the program. The requirement cannot be fulfilled through alternative means, e.g. 2-years of language coursework.

Can I take the translation exam in more than one language?

Yes. Students who seek to demonstrate reading proficiency in multiple languages are welcome to do so during the same semester.

Sample Language Exams