Waiver of the Foreign Language Requirement
Foreign Language Waiver Policies
College of Science students pursuing a BA degree (available in biology, chemistry, geography, geology and mathematics) must demonstrate intermediate level of foreign language proficiency in one language.
Students may be eligible for a waiver of the foreign language requirement if they can demonstrate language proficiency through documentation of previous language experience. Students who are granted a waiver do not receive credit.
- Students will automatically receive a waiver of the foreign language requirement if they provide:
- Qualifying scores on the Advanced Placement Exam, the International Baccalaureate, the SAT Subject Test, or others, submitted with the application to Mason. See the Office of Admissions Academic Credit by Exam page (linked below) for details. Students cannot take these exams for credit once they have matriculated at George Mason University.
- Placement into a 250 or 300-level class on the placement exam administered by the Department of Modern and Classical Languages
- Students who can document proficiency in the following ways may request a waiver of the requirement by submitting the Foreign Language Waiver Request Form to the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs along with the required official supporting documentation.
- A qualifying TOEFL score submitted with their application to Mason. No other documentation is required.
- Attendance at a high school (or equivalent institution) in which the language of instruction is not English. Students must have attended the institution for at least four years or have graduated. An official transcript showing dates of attendance and/or degrees received is required.
- Certification of language proficiency from another accredited institution. An official transcript showing the certification and any additional information available about the testing or credit awarded by the other institution is required.
- Certification of language proficiency through a test certified by the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). Official test results in a sealed envelope are required.
- Students who have studied or are proficient in languages not taught at Mason and cannot obtain the documentation required above may request a waiver of the foreign language requirement based on assessment by a qualified professional.
- The student is responsible for locating an acceptable authority in the relevant language who is willing to administer an exam. An authority is someone who is affiliated with an accredited institution or embassy and is familiar with language-level designations at U.S. universities. Often these are instructors at another institution who teach the language.
- The student must provide the examiner with a Modern and Classical Languages Foreign Language Waiver Form (linked below).
- Following the proficiency assessment, the examiner should return to the Department of Modern and Classical Languages these two completed forms along with a detailed description of the examination (on institution or embassy letterhead) and any written work completed by the student as part of the examination.
- It is recommended that students provide a stamped envelope for the examiner addressed to: Department of Modern and Classical Languages 4400 University Drive, MS 3E5 Fairfax, VA 22030.
- Alternatively, the examiner may give the forms directly to the student in a sealed envelope that has been signed by the examiner across the seal. The student must deliver the evaluation forms to the Department of Modern and Classical Languages in the sealed envelope.