Most departments in the School of Arts and Humanities require reading proficiency (measured by the SAH language exam) in at least one foreign language for the MA or PhD degrees (for individual department requirements, please refer to the Student Handbook for your department). SAH offers the exam four times per academic year (two during the Fall semester and two during the Spring semester; no exams are offered during the summer except through the Writing Center intensive workshops). Students are required to pay a $25 fee upon registering for the exam.
The foreign language exam consists of an excerpt taken from a graduate-level text. Students are given two hours to translate the text into English and are expected to translate the majority of the text with precision and accuracy. Most importantly, the general meaning of the text should remain intact. International, non-native English speakers may take an extra 30 minutes to complete their translations. Exams are graded on a pass/fail basis. In case of failure, the student is allowed to repeat the exam.
CGU regularly offers exams in French, Spanish, German, and Latin. Students should refer to their department's Student Handbooks and/or their advisors for requirements about which language exam should be completed.
If students wish to fulfill the language requirement by examination in a language other than those mentioned above, they must first receive written approval of their language choice from their department advisor. After approval, the student should inform the Humanities Secretary, who will work with SAH staff and faculty to arrange an exam and grader. Because this process may be lengthy, students should inform the Arts and Humanities Program Coordinator at least two months before the exam date.
Things to Bring/Not Bring to the Exam
Students should bring:
one book-form dictionary (e.g. English-French, English-German, etc.); electronic dictionaries are not allowed
International, non-native English speakers may use an additional dictionary in English and their native language
Students preparing for the exam on their own may find the practice texts available in the booklet below useful. It is also useful to practice translating journal articles or primary texts, which can be found via the library's databases. The SAH office also has a few books from the Religion department list, which students can use to study.
For those students who need instruction in the foreign language before taking the exam, the CGU Writing Center offers intensive courses (usually during the summer) in Spanish, French, and German for a fee. Students enrolled in these classes take the exam on the last day of class (the $25 fee for the exam is included in the price of the class). For more information about these classes, please visit the Writing Center’s webpage. Since these are non-credit courses, SAH does not provide tuition assistance.