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World Languages

World Languages

In an increasingly global world, the ability to communicate in multiple languages is more important than ever. Our world language programs help students learn to speak and read in Spanish, French, German, Chinese, and American Sign Language. The programs also help to gain familiarity with the countries and cultures in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Pacific Rim, as well as North and South America where these languages are spoken. Through our study abroad programs, international film series and various international festivals, we also introduce students to a range of cultures throughout the world.

Whether you major or minor in a world language or just complete the general education requirements, world language experience can open up a world of opportunities for you. Students who earn an A in two semesters of any world language may apply for the Alpha Mu Gamma Honor Society, becoming eligible for study abroad and other scholarships and grants. Students who study or have native speaker proficiency in languages that are less common in the US, such as Chinese, Russian, Hindi, Arabic, Swahili, Punjabi, and Urdu, may qualify for the Critical Language Scholarship Program or a Fulbright U.S. Student Program and Critical Language Enhancement Award. Students who complete four semesters of Chinese are eligible for the Critical Language Scholarship program. 

Explore world languages through the following major and minor programs:
Your Ticket to the Spanish-Speaking WorldMajors and Minors in Spanish & Spanish
Your Ticket to the French-Speaking WorldMinor in French

Your Ticket to the German-Speaking World
Minor in German Studies

Which Course Should You Take?
  • Entering students should take the world language placement test during orientation to determine the appropriate course level. According to the Academic Catalog, "The minimum acceptable level of competency is completion of the 101 level of a language. Students who place into the 102 or higher level of a language satisfy the language requirement but will have additional hours in general education electives, if hours are required by their degree program." Students who successfully complete more advanced levels of world languages demonstrate competency above this minimum level and should not be required to complete the lower-level world language courses. 
  • Current or prospective USC Upstate students may take the Chinese, French, German, Russian, and Spanish placement tests in the Testing Center in Media 218. The test takes about 30 minutes. Walk-ins are accepted if space permits. Scores are posted on screen automatically at the end of the test.
  • Native speakers, legacy speakers or students with advanced language skills in Chinese, French, German or Spanish may place out of the introductory language requirement or earn credit for more advanced courses via exam by contacting the Department of Languages, Literature and Composition. 
  • Multilingual students who are fluent in languages we do not teach at USC Upstate may be eligible for an exemption to the world language requirement. Contact the Department of Languages, Literature and Composition for details.  SLC08 breakout
What Do Your World Language Placement Exam Scores Mean? 
  • Spanish: 0-240 places into SPAN 101; 240-315 places into SPAN 102; 316-397 places into SPAN 201; 398 and above places into SPAN 202 or higher. Students with scores over 500 should talk to Dr. Araceli Hernandez-Laroche to determine appropriate placement in upper-level Spanish courses in order to pursue a major or minor in Spanish, or a minor in Spanish translation and interpretation, or a minor in international studies.
  • French: 0-240 places into FREN 101; 240-316 places into FREN 102; 317-382 places into FREN 201; 382 and above places into FREN 202 or higher. Students with scores over 500 should talk to Dr. Araceli Hernandez-Laroche to determine appropriate placement in upper-level French courses in order to pursue a minor in French or international studies. 
  • German: 0-230 places into GERM 101; 230-306 places into GERM 102; 307-372 places into GERM 201; 372 or above places into GERM 202 or higher. Students with scores over 480 should talk to Prof. Jay Coffman to determine appropriate placement in upper-level German courses in order to pursue a minor in German studies or international studies. 

PHOTO CAPTION: Spanish senior instructor Douglas Jackson and USC Upstate Spanish student Ron Fuentes (center of top row in photo above) work in China with teachers to share strategies for teaching English to speakers of other languages. Here teachers, parents, and students celebrate the end of the program with Ron and Douglas. 

Languages, Literature and Composition

World Language Programs
Dr. Celena Kusch

Department Chair
Dr. Araceli Hernandez-Laroche
Assistant Chair
Department Faculty in the News

Student Support
Study Abroad Opportunities
Peace Corps Prep Program
CIS Global Distinction
World Languages Lab

To schedule an appointment with tutors in Spanish, French or Chinese stop by HPAC 136 or call 864-503-5883.

Student Organizations
Alpha Mu Gamma
Hispanic Awareness Assoc.

Community Outreach
Reflections Foreign Language Teachers Conference

Contact Us
USC Upstate
Department of Languages, Literature & Composition
HPAC 222
800 University Way
Spartanburg, SC 29303
Phone: 864-503-5688
Fax: 864-503-5825
Faculty & Staff Directory