Foreign Language Exemption

The foreign language exemption is only allowed for students who have a verifiable learning disability that specifically affects learning foreign languages. This is not a waiver, so students should be aware that there are additional courses required in place of the foreign language requirement. This request starts with Disability Services, so all initial questions should be addressed with that office. Please see below for additional policies and the process for requesting a foreign language exemption.

Requesting a Foreign Language Exemption

  1. Review all policies below pertaining to foreign language exemption requests.
  2. Contact the Office of Disability Services to find out which specific documentation is required in order to review the request.
  3. Submit appropriate documentation to the Office of Disability Services.
  4. Fill out the foreign language exemption request paperwork with the Office of Disability Services. The Office of Disability Services will submit the request to our office for review.

Foreign Language Exemption Policies

The university complies fully with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Due to (a) the complexity of fully evaluating complete psychoeducational testing documentation and (b) the amount of time needed to fulfill the foreign language requirement, students should submit their requests and documentation several semesters before they plan to graduate. Students who wait until their final semester(s) to begin this process should keep in mind that review of their degree audits may be delayed while awaiting an evaluation. Additionally, academic advisors may not be able to make firm course recommendations for a student's final semester(s) during this process.

Students who wish to request an exemption from the CHSS foreign language requirement due to a specific learning disability must first contact the Office of Disability Services (703-993-2474) for guidance. The Office of Disability Services can review the types of testing required in order to submit an exemption request. Legally and financially, the responsibility of documenting a disability in a timely manner falls upon the student, and the University reserves the right to require certain types of information and testing documentation.

Students who are granted an exemption from the CHSS foreign language requirement are not exempt from the credits needed, but rather from the specific language courses; that is, students must minimally still complete the requisite 120 degree-specific hours. Approved students must go through the Modern and Classical Languages department (703-993-1220) to determine an Alternative Plan of courses. The Modern and Classical Languages department requires 9 credits to be taken in place of courses in the target language and must approve in advance the courses taken by the student. The Alternative Plan must be supplied to our office before the paperwork for the exemption can be processed.