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Please note: (for the French, Spanish & German)

The information on this page is intended for UMaine undergraduate students. While Early College (high school), non-traditional/DLL, and Graduate School students may request a language placement exam and register for language courses (Not VOX), they must first contact their respective programs for assistance, and if wanting to take a French, Spanish or German course scroll down to placement exam link to request an exam: 

Frequently Asked Questions

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. Please check UM Class Search for the most up-to-date information on classes being offered.

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 check UM Class Search or contact the Critical Languages Coordinator.

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. 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.

For languages other than French and Spanish, please contact a faculty member in that language for placement assistance.

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 (UM Class Search) or consult the course lists available on our front page to learn what courses are available.

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.

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.

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.

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 (for tests taken prior to June 2020). 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 Williams 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.

Oral proficiency exams for International Affairs students

Please refer to the International Affairs website for details about the Foreign Language Experience requirement.

Students needing to schedule an online oral proficiency exam can do so through the ACFTL Language Testing International website; click here to access step-by-step instructions for registering as a UMaine student.

**Please consider taking the exam when the proctor is available during these days and times. **  If these do not work we will still make arrangements and make your time and day work. ** 

There are just suggestions. 

Monday  8:00 am –  2:30 pm (Williams Hall)

Tuesday   12:30 pm –  3:00 pm (Williams Hall)

Thursday   12:30 pm – 3:00 pm (Williams Hall)

Friday   8:00 am – 2:30 am (Williams Hall)

Language placement and enrollment

Do I need to take a 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.

You probably don’t need to take a placement test if you: 

  • transferred to UMaine from another college or university with credits in French/Spanish
  • scored 3 or higher on a French/Spanish AP test
  • earned a Seal of Biliteracy in French or Spanish 

If any of the above apply to you, please visit or contact the department chair with a copy of your transcripts/test results.

How do I request a language placement test?

Click here to request an online language placement test in French or Spanish. You will receive instructions on how to take the placement test and, later, how to enroll in the appropriate class.

If you need placement in a language other than French or Spanish, please contact a faculty member in that language for assistance.

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

How do I enroll in a class above the 101 level?

If you have received your placement test results OR a faculty member has given you permission to enroll above the 101 level, please email Kelly Brown, Administrative Specialist

Enrollment in VOX/Critical Language classes requires a separate process. Click here to learn more!