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Placement in a Modern Language Course:

The department of Modern Languages uses a combination of tools to determine where students should begin their language study at Bentley. These tools include online placement exams, guidelines based on high school study of a foreign language, and individual assessment by professors during the first week of classes. Please read the information below to help determine where to start your language study at Bentley University.

Online Placement Exams in French and Spanish:

Students wishing to study French or Spanish should take our online placement exam to help determine where to start their foreign language studies at Bentley. This test can be found here for French and Spanish. Students will need to remember their scores on these placement exams and be prepared to give their score to their professor during the first week of class. In order for these exams to be accurate, students must complete the entire exam.

Language Training in High School:

The following general guidelines for placement in ML courses are based on years of high school language training. Please note that these are only guidelines and may not apply equally to all students. Professors reserve the right to deny student’s entry to a class they believe is not appropriate for the student’s ability

  • One year or less of high school training in the target language: Beginning I (i.e., all language courses having a 101 designator).
  • One or two years of high school training in the target language: Beginning II (i.e., all language courses having a 102 designator).
  • Two or three years of high school training in the target language: Intermediate I (i.e., all language courses having a 201 designator).
  • Three or four years of high school training in the target language: Intermediate II (i.e., all language courses having a 202 designator).
  • Four or more years of high school training in the target language: Advanced ML courses (300 or 400 level course)

Interview placements at the beginning of each semester:

During the first week of classes each semester, ML professors conduct individual, 10-minute interviews with their students to ensure proper class placement. These interviews typically take place in the professor’s office and are conducted in the target language. If a professor feels the student is misplaced in her/his class (despite having used the above listed guidelines), the student will be moved into a more appropriate class (based on class availability and the student’s schedule).

AP Exams:

Students who have scored four (4) on an AP Language and Culture Exam are ready to continue their chosen language study at the Intermediate II level (202). Students who have scored a five (5) should enroll in any ML course above 202. Students of French or Spanish who have received a four (4) or five (5) on the AP Literature and Culture Exam will receive Bentley credit for MLFR303 or MLSP306, respectively. These students can enroll in any course above 202, except MLFR303 or MLSP306. Once Bentley course credits are granted for an AP course, students may not repeat that same course at Bentley or they will lose the AP credits.

Important Additional Information

Please note: Once students have taken a course beyond the 202 level, they may not go back to take a lower-level courses in the beginner or intermediate sequences. It is advised that students contact the appropriate professor for additional information about interest in registering for a particular advanced course.


For additional information contact:

For Chinese Professor Yuan Li

For French, Professor Laure Astourian

For Spanish and other languages, Professor Christian Rubio