The Language Placement Test

All students who studied French or Spanish in high school must take the online placement exam before enrolling in their first French or Spanish course at UMaine. Transfer students who have been awarded college credit are exempt from this requirement. They should instead visit the department chair at 201 Little Hall or email the department to request placement assistance based on their transcripts. 


  1. Contact the department for assistance accessing the placement exam.
  2. If you place above the 101 level (first semester), you will need to be enrolled manually by the department. You can do this in one of two ways: 
    1. Submit an online enrollment request. 
    2. Email us your placement results and/or instructor permission along with your MaineStreet ID number and the 5-digit course ID number of the course you wish to take. 

Please contact the department if you have questions about your placement.

Credit by Examination

Students who have studied French or Spanish for three or more years in high school may opt for credit by examination at the intermediate level. No credit is awarded for elementary language courses.

In order to obtain credit by examination: 

  1. Complete at least one French or Spanish course at the 300 level or above with a grade of B or higher.
  2. Take the online placement test, or login to retrieve your previous results. Print your results or save a copy as a PDF file.
  3. Bring your printed placement test results and proof of your grade in the completed course to the chairperson at 201 Little Hall, or email as PDF files to the department with a request for credit by examination. 

Credit is awarded retroactively. Three to six credits at the intermediate level will be awarded upon successful completion of a course at the next higher level. For example, a student who places into Intermediate II is eligible to receive three (3) credits for Intermediate I upon successful completion (a grade of B or higher) of Intermediate II. A student who places into the 300 level and higher is also eligible for credit for Intermediate II if they successfully complete a second course at a higher level.

The chairperson will determine which credits are to be awarded and will write a letter to the Office of Student Records, which will post the credits to you academic transcript. No credit is awarded for a student’s native language.


1. What languages are available?

You can study French and Spanish right through the minor or major.  Elementary and intermediate courses are offered in German, as well as elementary courses in Arabic, Hebrew, Latin, and Mandarin Chinese.  The Critical Languages Program offers courses focusing on beginning speaking skills in Japanese, Irish Gaelic, Italian, Korean, Portuguese, and Russian.  Intermediate speaking is available in certain languages.  For a full list of languages and levels available each term through the Critical Languages Program, please contact the Department of Modern Languages & Classics (581-2072).

For a full list of languages and levels available each term through the Critical Languages Program, please contact the Department of Modern Languages and Classics.

2. I’ve had some language study in high school. How do I know what level of language to take?

You can take a free placement test online, which will let you know which level is best for you.  This is available for French and Spanish.  You can also get a good idea of what level you should take by the assumption that one year of high school language is usually equivalent to one semester of college language study. Scroll to the top of the page for instructions.

3. Are all languages available for me to begin and continue my language study in fall 2016?

For fall 2017, Elementary French and Accelerated French, Elementary Spanish and Accelerated Spanish, Elementary German, and Beginning Hebrew are available in the classroom.  Elementary Latin is available online.  Intermediate courses in French, German, and Spanish are also available in the classroom.

4. What about upper-level courses?

You can take upper-level courses in French and Spanish, but not all courses are available every semester.  When you register, please consult the schedule of classes or the Department of Modern Languages and Classics to learn what courses are available.

5. What languages can I major in?

You can major in French and Spanish. You can also major in Romance Languages, a combination of upper level courses in French and Spanish.

6. What languages can I minor in?

You can minor in French, Spanish, Professional Languages, and Classical Studies.  You may also wish to consider a certificate of proficiency, which is offered in French, Spanish, and German.

7.  What about study abroad?

The department offers travel study courses, and the Office of International Programs can provide information about extensive opportunities to study in your target language for a semester, academic year, or summer program.