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The COM 2 Language Requirement

Students may satisfy the second language (COM 2) requirement in a number of ways. Some students come to Richmond already fluent in another language, or with years of previous study. A high score on a standardized exam (including AP, IB, and SAT II) or on a placement test taken at Richmond may fulfill the requirement, as well as place students in upper-level language courses if they decide to continue their language study.

Students with little or no previous knowledge of a foreign language will be able to fulfill the requirement through language courses at Richmond.

More information on situations that fulfill the requirement, as well as information on choosing the right language course based on your experience if you need to fulfill the requirement, is listed below.

Select the situation that best describes your language experience:

You will start language study at Richmond to fulfill the requirement

Arabic, Chinese, German, Greek, Japanese, Russian, and Latin are offered as 1 unit courses that meet 3-4 times a week. You will begin with the 101 course in any of these languages, and normally you will proceed through the 102, 201-202 levels to finish your language requirement (in four semesters).

French, Italian, and Spanish are intensive courses (7 hours of class time per week) that are worth 2 units. You will begin with the 121 (Intensive Elementary) course in any of these languages, and normally you will proceed to the 221 course (Intensive Intermediate) in the following semester. In this way, you will complete your language requirement in just two semesters.

Students interested in taking the 121 course in French and LALIS (Spanish) need advance approval to register. Contact the appropriate person by July 8:

French 121 Dr. Julie Baker
LAIS (Spanish) 121 Prof. Ted Peebles
You will continue studying a language at Richmond to fulfill the requirement

Appropriate course placement is based on experience with a language. Computerized placement tests provide additional guidance and can move students up a level or qualify a student for exemption from the COM 2 requirement. Students who have studied Spanish and plan to continue in that language must take the placement test before they register for a class. Students with 4 or more years of high school French or German language experience are strongly encouraged to take the placement test.

Select your intended language for further assistance:


You scored well on a standardized foreign language test

The following scores fulfill the COM 2 requirement:

  • 630 or higher on the SAT II Subject Test - Language
  • 3-5 on an Advanced Placement Test in a Modern Language
  • 4-5 on the Latin Advanced Placement Test
  • 5-7 on the IB Higher Level Subject Exam in a Modern or Classical Language

If you have fulfilled the COM 2 requirement, you may register for a 300-level course in that language if you wish to continue your study. See the Credit By Exam Policy to determine units earned if you took the AP or IB tests.

You are fluent in a language other than English

If you are fluent in a language other than English, and you are an International student, you have already fulfilled the COM 2 requirement. No language coursework is necessary. To confirm your exemption, you must submit a TOEFL score to the university. Your exemption will be indicated on your academic record once your TOEFL score is received. 

If you are fluent in a language other than English, but you are not submitting a TOEFL Test score, contact the appropriate department for information on qualifying for a COM 2 exemption:

Spanish Contact Prof. Ted Peebles, director of the Spanish language program

Contact Dr. Dixon Abreu, director of Portuguese

Catalan Contact Dr. Sharon Feldman, Professor of Spanish
Galician Contact Dr. Angel Otero-Blanco, Assistant Professor of Spanish
All other modern languages
For other modern languages taught at the University (Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian), contact Mr. John Forsythe, Administrative Coordinator of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures.
For modern languages not taught at the University, apply for a COM 2 exemption using the COM 2 Exemption Request Form.