Second Language

In addition to taking the standard high school courses needed for admission to NMSU, high school students planning to major in an Arts and Sciences area should consider taking the third year of a second language. Competency in a second language is required for all Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in Arts and Sciences, as well as the Bachelor of Criminal Justice.

Students with no background in a second language must complete four semesters of a language at the college level, but students who have completed three years (or the third level) of a second language in high school may have this requirement waived. Students who have completed one or two years of a language in high school enter the four-semester college sequence at their level of competency and continue the sequence through the fourth semester.

NMSU offers Arabic, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish, and also offers American Sign Language as options for satisfying the second language.

Some departments in the college require a second language and some do not.  For those students whose major requires a second language, the following parameters apply unless otherwise specified in their departmental requirements.  A student must meet one of the following requirements.

  • Complete the normal foreign language course sequence: 111, 112, 211, 212.  Students should enter the sequence at their proficiency level.  Spanish speakers should complete 113-213-214 sequence.  Students who successfully complete either SPAN 113 or 213 or 214 (or all) may not take SPAN 111, 112, 211 or 212 for credit.
  • Challenge the 212 level of French, German, Japanese, or Spanish, or the 214 level of Spanish for Heritage Speakers, or Portuguese.
  • Obtain college certification of completion of a second language at the high school level by fulfilling one of the following:
    • Option A:  For those departments requiring one year of a second language a student must pass two years of a high school language with a C or better in the last year level
    • Option B:  For those departments requiring two years of a second language a student must pass three years of a high school language with a C or better in the last year level.
  • Obtain, from the head of the Department of Language and Linguistics, certification of a working knowledge of a second language if such language is not taught at New Mexico State University.
  • Obtain certification of a working knowledge of a Native American language form the American Indian Program Coordinator.
  • Successfully complete a regular university course taught in a language other than English.  A student can receive credit only once for the same course taught in two languages.
  • Pass a three-credit upper-division course (numbered 300 or above) taught in a foreign language by the Department of Languages and Linguistics
  • Pass C D 476, American Sign Language III with a grade of C or better.
  • In the case of a foreign student who is required to take the TOEFL exam, the dean will automatically waive the foreign language requirement.

Students should satisfy the language requirement as soon as possible and take the necessary courses in consecutive semesters.  Please note:  ESL or English Language may not be used to fulfill the language requirements.
NMSU offers Arabic, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish, and also offers American Sign Language as options for satisfying the second language.

Placement tests for French, German and Spanish are available online.

©2005 NMSU Board of Regents - Legal Information - Search - NMSU Home - Organ Mountain photo by Mike Groves
view photo