Foreign Language Placement, Assessment, Alternative Credit, and Waivers


Students are encouraged to register for the highest level language course in which they will be successful. By starting your language study in a course appropriate to your existing knowledge and proficiency level, you may be able to complete your language major, translation major, language minor, or foreign language requirement with fewer courses than required for students with no language experience, saving you time and money as you progress towards graduation. You may also take advantage of one or more of Kent State University's Alternative Credit Programs.

Foreign language placement recommendations are based on several factors including, but not limited to: your prior experience with the language whether formal or informal, prior coursework for which you have received academic credit, placement test or placement assessment results, and your academic standing. Our goal is to place you in the most appropriate course based on your knowledge and experience with the language you plan to study. Placement recommendations are advisory. If you feel your recommended placement is incorrect, you should speak with your academic advisor, your current language instructor, or email the Department of Modern and Classical Language Studies Undergraduate Coordinator at We will assist you with registering for the correct course and with making adjustments to your planned academic schedule. Students who place higher than Elementary I in a language may be able to receive university credits for their previous language knowledge as outlined in the Alternative Credit Programs section of the Kent State University Catalog. Before pursuing any of the options for alternative credit, it is recommended that you consult with your academic advisor to verify your eligibility and to confirm how the credits will apply to your program.

American Sign Language Placement

Chinese, French, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish Placement

Kent State University offers WebCAPE 2.0 Placement assessments in these six languages. To take one or more of these assessments. Log in to your Flashline account. Go to the Placement Assessments area in the Student Resources dashboard WebCAPE Placement Assessments are used for placement purposes only. If you place above the first course (Elementary I) in your planned language of study and would like to receive academic credit for prior knowledge, visit the Alternative Credit Programs page in the Kent State University Catalog.

WebCAPE 2.0 Placement Assessment Cutoffs
 Elementary IElementary IIIntermediate IIntermediate IIContact 
Chinese000-249250-349350-449450-599600 or higher
Italian000-180181-269270-319320-449450 or higher
German000-229230-319320-369370-499500 or higher
Russian000-199200-299300-399400-499500 or higher

Spanish Placement:

Years learning Spanish in grades 6-12CAPE scorePlacement
0-1 SPAN 18201
2Less than 180SPAN 18201
180 or moreSPAN 18202
3Less than 270SPAN 18202
270 or moreSPAN 28201
4Less than 270SPAN 18202
Between 271-350SPAN 28201
350 or moreSPAN 28202
5 or moreLess than 450SPAN 28202
450 or moreContact MCLS

French Placement:

Years learning French in grades 6-12CAPE scorePlacement
0-1 FR 13201
2Less than 160FR 13201
160 or moreFR 13202
3Less than 240FR 13202
240 or moreFR 23201
4Less than 240FR 13202
Between 240-299FR 23201
300 or moreFR 23202
5 or moreLess than 400FR 23202
400 or moreContact MCLS

The tables above are general guidelines and students who wish to drop one level should be allowed to do so. Students who believe they can start at a higher level should be evaluated by the Department of Modern & Classical Language Studies, please contact to learn more about the evaluation process. 

Placement in Other Languages:

Write to from your Kent State University email account. 

Outcomes Assessment Exams

All students pursuing a major in the Department of Modern and Classical Language Studies must complete one or more outcome assessment exams prior to graduation. Students should contact their language faculty advisor one semester prior to their graduation term to make arrangements for completing the assessments. Students who need to complete the ACTFL Writing Proficiency Test or ACTFL Oral Proficiency test can find information here on our ACTFL Instructions page.

Foreign Language Requirements

Foreign language requirements are determined by your program of study, not by the Department of Modern and Classical Language Studies. The requirements for your program are described in the Kent State University Catalog. In most cases, your foreign language requirement will be a proficiency requirement, meaning that the requirement can be met by successfully completing the highest course in the requirement or another course above that level. If you place higher than Elementary I in a foreign language or ASL, this means you may be able to complete your requirement with fewer courses than students with no foreign language or American Sign Language experience. If you place into Elementary II or higher in your planned language of study, you should consult your academic advisor and the Kent State University Catalog or contact the MCLS Undergraduate Coordinator at  to explore the best options for completing your language requirement.

Foreign Language Proficiency Waiver

In some cases, students with knowledge of a foreign language or American Sign Language may be granted a proficiency waiver as outlined in the Kent State University Catalog. For more information please see: Kent State University's Readiness Standards and Placement Assessment policies.