Foreign Language Placement Test

The Integrative Studies curriculum at Houghton College requires that all students be competent in a language other than their native tongue, equivalent to the first year of college instruction.

This requirement is an integral part of the College’s mission to prepare students to be global Christian citizens, communicate across cultural boundaries, and develop analytical and writing skills.  Learning a language trains your mind in verbal expression and systematic thinking, and opens up new worlds of literature and ideas.

Methods of satisfying this requirement include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • The successful completion of one of the second level I.S. foreign language courses offered at Houghton College. (We offer French, Spanish, German, Greek, and Hebrew)
  • The successful completion of the Mayterm Spanish course in Costa Rica (which has a prerequisite of SPAN 101 or equivalent).
  • A score of 3 (or higher) on the AP language or literature exam in a non-native language.
  •  Three years of a single foreign language in high school with a cumulative B+ average or better.
  • Any semester abroad experience that includes at least 4 credit hours in a foreign language.
  • An overseas experience without formal language study that requires extensive use of a non-native language; subject to the approval of the Department of World Languages and Integrative Studies.
  • Transferring, to Houghton College, approved foreign language credits from other college coursework or its equivalent: CLEP (College Level Examination Program), for example.
  • The successful completion of 2 semesters (or its equivalent) of American Sign Language.
  • Testing out of the requirement via a placement exam such as the one administered by the Department of World Languages.
  • Students whose native tongue is other than English may demonstrate English proficiency sufficient to satisfy the Foreign Language Competency by successfully meeting all other Houghton College graduation requirements.

If you have previously studied French, German or Spanish, are not transferring credits to meet the requirement, or have not meet the requirement through a high school language, you need to take an online placement test. This test is necessary to determine if your knowledge of that language meets the requirement and if not, to be placed in an appropriate class if you wish to continue your study of that language. There is no need to take the placement test if you want to begin a new language – simply register for the first level! If you have met the language requirement through previous Spanish studies and would like to take more Spanish, contact Prof. David Kinman, the Department Chair, to discuss your next appropriate level. You do not need to take the placement exam unless advised by the Chair.

 Information for the French, German, and Spanish placement tests is at

  • UserID: houghton (all lower case)
  • Password: tower1 (all lower case)
  • For your Student ID Number, you may leave this area blank

This exam requires no more than 20-30 minutes and should be done before you arrive on Campus. If your results, which will be automatically forwarded to us, place you beyond the 102 level, you will not be required to take more language courses for graduation but we would encourage you to do so in order to enrich your studies here.  If you have studied Latin, please contact Prof. David Kinman in the Language department when you arrive on Campus.

 If you have questions or need assistance, please feel free to contact our Departmental Assistant, Jane Miner, by email ( or by phone (585.567.9670).


Prof. David Kinman
Chair, Department of World Languages and Literatures
Office: Chamberlain Center 215

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