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Language Placement, Testing, and Transfer Credit

At The Ohio State University there are many language options from which to choose. The French and Italian Department offers not only language skills at a beginning level, but also immersion into the widespread cultural heritage of the two languages. The Language Program is perfect for students looking to satisfy their GE World Language Requirement, or for students who would like to begin studying French or Italian. The Language Program consists of French or Italian 1101-1103. This three-course sequence satisfies the GE World Language Requirement


French - Kelly Campbell

Italian - April Weintritt

Placement Test for French or Italian

When do students take a Placement Test?

Many students take the placement test during Orientation. If you do not take it during orientation, French & Italian placement tests are available online. Please read this page thoroughly and then refer to the instructional PDF above listed under the language you plan to test for. Contact the cllc@osu.edu or call at 292-4361 if you have any questions. It is strongly advised that you begin your language courses immediately after you have taken the placement test.

Schedule a Placement Test

Who takes the test?

Students with any previous French or Italian experience must take the language placement test before registering for a French or Italian course.

All Heritage Learners (one who speaks another language elsewhere) who graduated from a high school where the main language of instruction was English should also take a placement test. Heritage Learners may choose to test in their heritage language or a world language that they had two or more years in high school.

Are there circumstances for which the Placement Test requirement may be waived?

In the case of students with a learning disability, special arrangements and/or petitions may be initiated through the Office for Disability Services.  If the students have been out of high school for over five years or are 22 years of age or older, the Placement Test need not to be taken unless they wish to begin at a level higher than 1101.01. Native speakers of French or Italian should contact the Department if they wish to take courses.

What if students have already taken a nationally recognized placement test in a language?

Students who have successfully passed an Advanced Placement, CLEP, or IB examination are awarded credit and placement proportionate to the score obtained. These students do not normally need to take the OSU placement test, but when going through orientation they should verify that their scores have been received.

How many times can students take a placement test in each language?

Students can only take a placement test once in each language.

How do you know what course you've placed into?

For French, placement into a course is made according to both placement test score and number of years of high school study.  For Italian, placement is determined by your placement test score.

Will I receive EM credit as a result of my Placement test?

No, EM credit is not awarded for the placement test. Students are expected to enroll in the course in which they placed.

How do students find out the test results?

When students take the French and Italian computerized language Placement Tests, results are obtained immediately.

What happens if students find that placement is unsatisfactory?

Students are asked to contact the appropriate language director to discuss their test results.

French Placement Test Chart 

Italian Placement Test Chart 

Guidelines for Awarding EM Credit in the World Languages

Examination credit (EM) for proficiency in a foreign language must be given in accordance with Faculty Rule 3335-8-21-F-2 and subject to the following specific provisions:

1.      that EM credit be given for specific courses and the students be tested on specific material;

2.      that EM credit be given to a student for courses in which he or she demonstrates a level of satisfactory proficiency, as specified by the department, on a placement or proficiency test;

3.      that no student be given foreign language EM credit for 1101, 1102, or 1103 for language courses at any level for the primary language if he or she attended high school or its equivalent in his or her native country;

4.      that EM credit be given to an American student who has attended a foreign university if such credit does not duplicate transfer credit from that university.

5.      that EM credit in French or Italian shall not be awarded for 1101, 1102, 1103, or 1155 via Departmental exam or EM exam.

Careful attention should be given to the published policy that "a student may not obtain EM credit for a course which is prerequisite to one in which the student has earned college credit."   This means that, as in other disciplines, a student who transfers from another university with K (transfer) credit in French 3103 cannot receive EM credit in French 2101 or 3101.

1.      The following steps should be followed to obtain EM credit for courses above 1103.

2.      According to University policies, EM credit can be given for any course above 1103 with this limitation:

  • "In the Arts and Sciences a student may not obtain EM credit for a course which is a prerequisite to one in which he or she has earned college credit."
  • In addition, native speakers have restrictions on courses for which they can earn EM credit.  Please check with the course bulletin for these restrictions.

3.      The advanced proficiency test administrator should determine the student's eligibility before authorizing an examination.  This person should see the student's record and verify that the rule about prerequisites is observed. 

4.            Students need to receive a B- (80) or above to receive EM credit. 

Minimum proficiency in a foreign language must be validated in the following ways:

1.      Successful completion of the third semester course in the language at this University (see Colleges of the Arts and Sciences Bulletin statement).

2.      Examination and certification by the appropriate foreign language department in the college of students whose level of proficiency, however gained, is equivalent to that of a student who has passed the third semester course with a grade of "B-" (80%) or better. No credit is awarded for this exam.

3.      Transfer credit from another accredited institution and certification by the appropriate language department in the college that such credit is the equivalent of the third and fourth regular university courses in that particular foreign language.

Questions about French EM Credit should be addressed to Kelly Campbell. Questions about Italian EM credit should be directed to April Weintritt.

AP, IB, CLEP, and Transfer Credit

The Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) programs approved for French and Italian EM credit at OSU are listed below. Students who desire to earn EM credit through Advanced Placement or IB must have their official score reports sent to the Admissions Office, SAS Building, 281 W. Lane Ave, Columbus, OH 43210. Contact AP at 1-888-225-5427 or IB at 1-301-202-3121 to designate Ohio State University as an official score recipient.

AP Score Credit for French Language and Culture Test

  • Score of 3 receives 8 credit hours (French 1101 and 1102) = Enrollment in French 1103
  • Score of 4 receives 12 credit hours (French 1101, 1102, and 1103) = Enrollment in French 2101
  • Score 5 receives 15 credit hours (French 1101, 1102, 1103 and 2101) = Enrollment in French 3000+ level

AP Score Credit for Italian Language and Culture Test 

  • Score of 3 receives 8 credit hours (Italian 1101 and 1102) = Enrollment in Italian 1103
  • Score of 4 receives 12 credit hours (Italian 1101, 1102, and 1103) = Enrollment in Italian 2102
  • Score 5 receives 15 credit hours (Italian 1101, 1102, 1103 and 2102) = Enrollment in Italian 3000+ level

IB (High Level or HL) Score Credit 

  • French A: Language and Literature score of 6+ receives 8 credit hours (French 1101 & 1102) = Enrollment in French 1103.
  • French A: Literature score of  6+ receives 8 credit hours (French 1101 & 1102) = Enrollment in French 1103.
  • French B score of  6+ receives 8 credit hours (French 1101 & 1102) = Enrollment in French 1103.
  • IB Standard Level scores not accepted for credit.

Visit the Prior Learning Assessment webpages at the University Registrar for more information about AP and IB Tests, scores, and credit awarded

The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests are computer based tests administered in the Office of Testing at Ohio State University. For information about registration, fees, and credit posting, visit the Prior Learning Assessment webpages at the University Registrar - CLEP.

CLEP Exam Level Credit for French 

  • Score of 55-64, Level 1, receives 8 credit hours (French 1101 and 1102) = Enrollment in French 1103
  • Score of 65+, Level 2, receives 16 credit hours (Spanish 1101, 1102, 1103, and French general elective credit) = Enrollment in French 2101

A transfer student is one who has completed undergraduate studies at a university or college other than OSU, and transferred to a degree program at our institution.

Transfer credit is course credit granted by coordinators in the transfer credit center, Office of the University Registrar.

Most transfer credit is assigned automatically by credit coordinators upon admission where equivalent courses have been specified. In many cases, students receive general/unspecified transfer credit for courses taken in French or Italian at another accredited university or college. The general credit must be specified as French or Italian according to established equivalents. In these cases, students must contact the Department for the appropriate transfer credit advisor.

The following documents or information must be provided for proper specification of transfer credit:

  • General credit evaluation form prepared by a transfer credit coordinator in the transfer credit center, university registrar or downloaded from the student’s DARS report.
  • Transcript from previous university or college which includes course work taken and credit earned in French or Italian there.
  • Syllabus for each French or Italian course for which general or specific transfer credit has been granted. Course descriptions from course offerings catalogues are usually not sufficient. Where syllabi are not available, textbooks, notes and papers from relevant courses may be used in the evaluation at the discretion of the credit coordinator.
  • Sequences of courses in the French or Italian program from the catalogue of previous college or university to show where the courses fall in the French or Italian program there.

NOTE: It is the student’s responsibility to provide all required and requested information to facilitate the credit evaluation process. Transfer credit requests will remain pending until all required or requested