Student Handbook

GFL Foreign Language Requirement

UNCG offers language courses online in Spanish, German, and French.

Foreign Language proficiency at the 204 level is required of all students in the College of Arts and Sciences. For students without prior language proficiency, it takes four consecutive courses in the same language to complete this requirement (101, 102, 203, and 204). Be careful not to repeat course numbers for which you already have credit. Online language courses fill up fast so plan ahead and register early.

If you have completed the elementary level of a foreign language (101 and 102) and have a learning gap of more than five years since those courses, you may qualify to use substitution courses to meet this requirement.

Native Proficiency

If you have native proficiency in any language other than English, you can meet the Foreign Language Proficiency requirement without having to take language classes. The College defines the minimum level of proficiency as “the ability to read a newspaper or magazine without a dictionary and understand approximately 80% of what is read and approximately 60% of the spoken word.” If you have this level of proficiency and wish to pursue this substitution, contact your advisor for details.

The Language Advantage:

As documented by ACTFL, “Global competence is vital to successful interactions among diverse groups of people locally, nationally and internationally…The need to communicate with someone of a different language or culture may arise at any time; knowing more than one language prepares one to know how, when and why to say what to whom.” To be a fully functioning citizen in today’s increasingly interconnected world, one must have the foundational knowledge and intercultural competencies provided by studying a second language.  Research has demonstrated that language study provides significant benefits, including:

  • improved learning outcomes in others subjects,
  • enhanced cognitive ability,
  • development of empathy, and
  • a significant delay in certain forms of aging.

Most impressive of all, language learners develop problem-solving skills that set them apart from their peers. This, in turn, yields increased earning potential for students with intermediate language proficiency. Because of this strategic advantage, liberal arts majors at the peak of their careers earn 3% more than people with degrees in vocational skills.

Fulfilling the Language Requirement:

  • Most students complete a four-course sequence (101>102>203>204) to reach intermediate proficiency. Placement tests are available for students with prior knowledge of the language. Students begin the course sequence at their level of current knowledge;
  • Non-traditional students who completed two semesters of language study more than five years from the date they begin the BLS program can request a cultural substitution.
  • Students can demonstrate intermediate proficiency of a language by providing records indicating their studies in the language, including high school transcripts from another country;
  • Students can demonstrate intermediate proficiency by having a language expert evaluate their proficiency;
  • Students who have done everything within their power to meet the requirement as is written but have encountered circumstances beyond their control that have made it impossible for them to do so may appeal for a cultural substitution. Appeals are made to the College of Arts and Sciences Appeals Committee. Appeals require significant documentation, evidence, and previous attempts to meet the language requirement.

GFL Substitution Courses

Per the Undergraduate Bulletin for SPLS Humanities (U820), SPLS Social Sciences (U862), and SPLS Professional Studies (U873) beginning 2014-15:

GFL—Foreign Language (0–12 s.h.)
[…]
Students in the BLS Program who have previously completed a foreign language through the 102 level, with a subsequent learning gap of five years or more, may apply to the program for permission to use culture-track courses taught in English (from a list pre-approved by the College Appeals Committee) as substitutions for the intermediate-level 203 and 204 language classes.

Courses listed below may be used by qualified students as substitutions toward the College of Arts and Sciences foreign language requirement (GFL). Online or on-campus UNCG courses, or transfer equivalents, may be used as meets the student’s needs. The following restrictions apply:

  • One course may be used as the substitution for the language course at the 203 level (if needed), and another course may be used as the substitution for the language course at the 204 level (which satisfies the GFL requirement).
  • No course used as a GFL substitution may be counted toward another GEC+CAR requirement (per University policy) or BLS major requirement (per departmental policy).

Approved GFL Substitution Courses:

  • AFS 376 Africana Literature
  • ATY 325 Caribbean Societies and Cultures
  • ATY 333 Latin American Societies and Cultures
  • BLS 322 Revolutionary Lives
  • BLS 327 Contemporary Asian Literature
  • BLS 381 Old Europe / New Europe
  • BLS 383 Religious Resistance to Political Power
  • BLS 386 Women, War, and Terror
  • CCI 201 Introduction to Greek Civilization
  • CCI 202 Introduction to Roman Civilization
  • CHI 210 Masterworks of Chinese Literature in Translation
  • CHI 220 Modern China
  • CHI 305 Topics in Chinese Culture
  • FRE 222 Explorations in French Literature: English Versions
  • FRE 323 Albert Camus: English Versions
  • GER 217 Masterworks of German Literature Read in English
  • GER 218 Masterworks of German Literature Read in English
  • HIS 203 History of Africa to 1870
  • HIS 204 History of Africa since 1870
  • HIS 208 Nationalism in Modern History
  • HIS 215 Civilizations of Asia
  • HIS 216 Civilizations of Asia
  • HIS 239 Latin America: Colonial Period
  • HIS 240 Latin America: National Period
  • HIS 306 Islam and Popular Culture in Africa
  • HIS 333 American Indian History to 1840
  • HIS 356 Making of the African Diaspora
  • HIS 385 Japanese History to 1867
  • HIS 386 Creating Modern Japan, 1867 to Present
  • HIS 387 History of the Chinese Frontier
  • HIS 389 West Africa During the Atlantic Slave Trade
  • HIS 392 Holocaust History and Meaning
  • IGS 210 Introduction to Asian Studies
  • IGS 213 Introduction to Russian Studies
  • JNS 220 Modern Japan
  • JNS 230 Women in Japanese Literature and Film
  • JNS 305 Topics in Japanese Culture (when taught in English)
  • JNS 306 Current Issues in Japan (when taught in English)
  • LLC 120 Global Crossings: Topics in Images, Media, and Texts
  • LLC 150 World Cinemas
  • MST 327 Non-Western Film: Asian
  • MUS 343 Music Cultures of the World
  • MUS 354 Modern Asia Through Its Music
  • MUS 425 Music of Sub-Saharan Africa
  • PHI 338 Ethics and International Affairs
  • POR 222 Introduction to Luso-Brazilian Literature
  • POR 233 Topics in Brazilian Culture and Civilization
  • PCS 205 Peace and Violence in the Modern World
  • PCS 309 Conflict and Culture
  • PSC 290 The Politics of the Non-Western World
  • PSC 352 Nationalism and Ethnic Politics
  • PSC 391 African Political Systems
  • REL 218 Chinese Religion
  • REL 220 Japanese Religion
  • REL 221 Buddhism
  • REL 223 Hinduism
  • REL 225 Islam
  • REL 317 Islam and the Construction of Gender
  • REL 366 Religions of China: Selected Topics
  • REL 367 Religions of Japan: Selected Topics
  • REL 368 Religion in South Asia: Selected Topics
  • RUS 201 Russian Literature in Translation
  • RUS 202 Russian Literature in Translation
  • RUS 313 Major Authors in Russian Literature
  • RUS 314 Major Movements in Russian Literature and Culture
  • RUS 316 Modern Polish Literature in Translation
  • SPA 222 Hispanic Masterpieces in English Translation
  • SPA 233 Hispanic Cultures and Civilizations

GFL Substitution Request

Students in the BLS Program who have previously completed a foreign language through the 102 level, with a subsequent learning gap of five years or more, may apply to the program for permission to use culture-track courses taught in English as substitutions for the intermediate-level 203 and 204 language classes.

Fill out this form to apply for the culture-track substitution. Include all foreign-language courses completed and any classes you have completed that are on the approved substitutions list. Use the course number from the institution where you completed the course, not the UNCG transfer equivalent.

If you have not completed a 102-level language equivalent or higher—with a passing or transferable grade and more than five years ago—you will not qualify for this substitution.

Student Information

ID Number (required)

Last Name (required)

First Name (required)

UNCG Email (required)

BLS Program Concentration (required)


101 Equivalent Course Completed (original course number)

Dept: Number: Semester: Year: Institution:

Substitution Course(s) Completed (If Applicable)

Dept: Number: Semester: Year: Institution: