UMass Foreign Language Requirements

Foreign Language requirements at UMass Amherst differ among colleges and schools at the University. Students transferring to UMass Amherst are often unaware of these differences and find out only when they get to the University that they may be lacking two or more semesters of foreign language, or that the degree program they are in does not require foreign language at all and they took two or more semesters nonetheless.

Here is a brief explanation of language requirements to help you in your advising sessions:

  • College of Engineering – no language requirement
  • College of Computer Science – Students in the Computer Science B.S. no longer have foreign language course requirements; students in the B.A. program will meet the 4-semester language requirement
  • Isenberg School of Management – no language requirement
  • School of Education – depends if the second required major falls within the Colleges of Arts or Sciences
  • College of Nursing – no language requirement
  • School of Public Health & Health Sciences – no language requirement
  • Bachelor’s Degree with Individual Concentration – Completion of the foreign language requirement if the student’s major concentration falls predominantly within the Colleges of Arts and Sciences (Colleges of Humanities and Fine Arts, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and Social and Behavioral Sciences)
  • College of Humanities & Fine Arts – four-semester sequence of a foreign language (American Sign Language can be considered) with some exceptions:
    • Bachelor of Arts in Art – four-semester sequence of a foreign language
    • Bachelor of Fine Arts – no language requirement
    • Bachelor of Arts in Dance – four-semester sequence of a foreign language
    • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance – no language requirement
    • Bachelor of Arts in Music – four-semester sequence of a foreign language
    • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music – no language requirement
  • College of Natural Sciences – Students seeking B.S. degrees will be exempt from foreign language; students seeking B.A. degrees in this college meet the four-semester language requirement (PSY majors seeking the B.A. in this College will meet the Global Ed. Language requirement – see below)
  • College of Social & Behavioral Science – Global Education Language requirement; this college has a 15-credit foreign language requirement but offers a Global Education option. That is, students are required to take 2 semesters in a foreign language (6 credits), and then for the remaining 9 credits can opt to take courses in the culture, history, etc. of that language. Or, a student can elect to take fours semesters of a foreign language, but all semesters must be in one language.
    • Environmental Design, Landscape Architecture, and Resource Economics majors in this College are waived from the Global Education Requirement.
    • This College will approve ASL as a language option.  The student works with an advisor to construct a program tailored to the student’s particular interest.
    • Students who plan to transfer to majors in the College of Social & Behavioral Science should be told about the Global Education option, particularly for those students who may not want to or cannot opt to take a four-semester sequence of a foreign language. 

Effective 2014-15