Course Placement and Requirements

What is the UWM World Languages Placement Survey?

This free, online UWM World Languages Placement Survey is a tool for you and your advisor to use in finding the appropriate semester of a world language at UWM for you to begin your language studies at UWM. In addition to questions about your language abilities, it also asks about your language learning experiences, whether in the classroom or beyond.

You will see your placement recommendation immediately at the end of the survey and will receive a copy at your UWM email address, which you should then take to your advisor to discuss. Together you and your advisor can use the UWM World Languages Placement Survey and your transcripts to place you in the best language class for your level, or help you meet with a languages coordinator to confirm your placement. You are not required to complete a world language survey before enrolling in your first language course; however, we strongly recommend it as it sets you up for success by being enrolled in the most appropriate course for you.

You will be able to complete the UWM World Languages Placement Survey on a computer or mobile device. It takes about 5 minutes to complete. The tool can be used to help determine a placement recommendation in the following languages:

Ancient Greek
Anishinaabe
Arabic
Chinese
French
German
Hebrew
Hmong
Irish Gaelic
Italian
Japanese
Korean
Latin
Portuguese
Spanish
Russian

Click the yellow button below to start the process. If you log into the UWM World Languages Placement Survey site below and do not see the option to complete the survey, please email our Interim Director of L&S Web and Data Dan Siercks at dsiercks@uwm.edu to request access. If you have lost your epanther ID or password or have other issues logging in, please visit our epanther ID help page or call our IT department at 414-229-4040.

If you are an incoming freshman, you can learn more about all of your course placement requirements at uwm.edu/freshmanplacement.

Retro Credits

In many languages, a student can receive retroactive credits by completing the course that he/she places into with a grade of B or better. Retroactive credits award students with credits for previous courses in the language sequence. For example, a student who completed a 5th semester French course with a grade of B or better could also earn 4 credits for 1st semester, 4 credits for 2nd semester, 3 credits for 3rd semester, and 3 credits for 4th semester French. Students can earn a maximum of 16 retro credits. Retroactive credits are only given in conjunction with the first language course taken at the university. Students should contact the appropriate foreign language program before the beginning of the semester to verify that the course that they are taking generates retroactive credits.

AP Credits

A score of 3, 4, or 5 on an AP test gives the student credit in a given course or courses. If the student wants retroactive credits, s/he must take the next level course and meet the language department’s retroactive credit requirements in order to receive retro credits for courses preceding the one with which the AP score is associated.

Degree Requirements

Under UWM’s general education requirements, all undergraduate students must take the equivalent of 1 year of college-level foreign language instruction in the same language in order to earn an undergraduate degree. This requirement can be met in a number of ways, such as having studied two years of the same language in high school, taking two semesters of the same language at UWM, or placing in a higher level foreign language class at UWM and earning retro credits for preceding courses.

Some degrees, however, have greater foreign language requirements. For example, all of the Bachelor of Arts programs in the College of Letters and Science require, at a minimum, the equivalent of four semesters of the same language or three semesters of one language and two semesters of another.

Check with the individual program that you are interested in for details on its language requirement.

Graduate Program Requirements

Many graduate programs require students to demonstrate reading knowledge in a language other than English. Some language programs at UWM offer reading knowledge courses to satisfy this requirement. Some language programs may also offer reading knowledge exams. Contact the language program directly for more information.