Second Language Requirement

Learning a second language has many benefits, from broadening your perspective to making new friends, and is a highly desirable skill when you look for a job down the road. Find your degree-type below to determine whether or not this requirement applies to you. Please note: a double major does not qualify for a CHC second-language waiver if neither of the individual majors qualifies for that waiver. If you are a double major, and one of your majors only offers the BA option, then you must fulfill the BA second language requirement. In no case do CHC language requirements remove departmental language requirements.

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

If you are pursuing a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree then you must complete the second language requirement. Many UO majors offer students the option of either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science. Make sure to talk with your major advisor if you are unsure which degree path you are on. If you are a double major, and one of your majors only offers the BA option, then you must fulfill the second language requirement. The following UO majors award only Bachelor of Arts degrees:

  • art history
  • Asian studies
  • Chinese
  • cinema studies
  • classics
  • comparative literature
  • English
  • folklore
  • French
  • German
  • humanities
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Judaic studies
  • Latin American studies
  • linguistics
  • medieval studies
  • romance languages
  • Russian
  • Spanish

Bachelor of Science (BS)

The Clark Honors College has a more rigorous standard than the university overall, which waives second language requirements for all Bachelors of Science degrees. As a CHC student, if your major requires fewer than 90 credit hours for completion, then you must fulfill the second language requirement. A double major whose requirements total more than 90 credits does not qualify for a CHC second-language waiver if neither of the individual majors qualifies for that waiver.

The following UO majors are exempt from the second language requirement because they require 90 or more credit hours, as long as you are pursuing the BS (and not the BA) option:

  • accounting
  • biology
  • biochemistry
  • business administration
  • chemistry
  • child behavioral health
  • computer science
  • cybersecurity
  • data science
  • earth sciences
  • environmental science
  • environmental studies
  • general science
  • human physiology
  • marine biology
  • mathematics & computer science
  • multidisciplinary science
  • neuroscience
  • ​physics
  • product design

Arts, Architecture & Music

The following majors require 90 or more credit hours for completion. Students pursuing these majors therefore do not have to fulfill the second language requirement.

  • architecture
  • interior architecture
  • landscape architecture
  • music education
  • music composition
  • music technology
  • music performance
  • jazz studies

If you are pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) then you must complete either the BA proficiency in a second language, or the BS proficiency in mathematics and/or computer and information science. If you choose to fulfill the BS requirement, then you do not have to fulfill the second language requirement, unless study of a second language is a requirement for completion of your major.

*Please note that the Music major’s General Music (GMUS) and Popular Music (MPOP) concentrations do not qualify for an exemption from the CHC’s second language requirement.

Fulfilling the Requirement

To fulfill your second language requirement, you must demonstrate two-year proficiency in a second language through one of the following methods:

  • Waive the requirement with successful completion of a competency test if you already speak a second language.
  • Fulfill the requirement with transfer, AP, or IB credits. See the Office of the Registrar for minimum test score requirements.
  • Take and pass second-language courses at the University of Oregon through the 203 course (please note the specifics of the second-language requirement below):
    • Grades of C- or higher (or Pass if taken P/N) will satisfy the CHC’s second-language requirement.  Please remember to speak with both your major and CHC advisors before deciding to take the P/N option, however, because one or both of the following conditions may apply:
      • You may still be required to take all second language courses for a letter grade for your major/minor.
      • Taking several of these language courses P/N may cause you to exceed the 12 credits of P/N allowed for most undergraduate degrees.
    • For Latin, Greek, and Hebrew (which do not have a 200-level sequence) please consult your CHC faculty advisor.

You can take any of the below languages at UO to fulfill your second language requirement. Courses are taught in their individual departments, not through the Clark Honors College.

American Sign LanguageArabicChinese French German GreekHebrew Italian JapaneseKorean Latin PortugueseRussianIchishkiin Spanish Swahili Swedish

You can use this interactive website to get information about how to fulfill the BA second-language requirement, which will also fulfill the CHC’s second-language requirement.