Proficiency Options - Master of Arts

The prerogative of requiring a second language for the MA degree rests with the degree program.  MA students enrolled in a degree program which requires a second language may fulfill this requirement by demonstrating intermediate proficiency via any one of the options below:

    1. Presenting an official undergraduate transcript from Baylor University or another regionally accredited institution of higher learning showing that while enrolled the student received a grade of "B" or better in the Baylor University 2320 course or its equivalent course in the foreign language taken at another institution.  Note: This option is valid if no more than five years have passed since the student was enrolled in the above course.

    2. After matriculation into the graduate program at Baylor University, and after having satisfied the necessary prerequisites, enrolling in 2320 and receiving a grade of "B" or better

    3. Enrolling in the French, German, Spanish 5370 or Latin 5321 and 5322 sequence and receiving a grade of "B" or better in 5371 or 5322

    4. Taking the reading examination offered by the Department of Modern Languages & Cultures (Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, or another modern language approved by the candidate's department), Department of Classics (Greek and Latin), or the Institute of Biblical and Related Languages (Hebrew and related Semitic Languages)

    5. Presenting a degree from a foreign university.  This procedure is valid if the student's native language is not that of the country in which the degree has been obtained.

Explanation of Option #3--Reading Courses for Graduate Students--French, German, Spanish 5370/5371 and Latin and Greek 5321/22

The Classics Department will offer Latin and Greek 5321/22.

The Department of Modern Languages & Cultures will offer summer courses in French, German, and Spanish 5370 and 5371.  These will be taught as intensive courses with 5370 and 5371 combined in one summer session. No prior knowledge of the second language is required for any 5370 course.  In this course, especially designed to meet the needs of graduate students, the instructor will endeavor to develop reading skills by a variety of means including grammar analysis, vocabulary acquisition, and translation of texts to enable students to read at the intermediate-mid level by the end of 5370.  By the end of 5371, students should be able to read at the high intermediate level.

For the current information, please see Graduate Reading Courses.

Explanation of Option #4--Written Translation Examination

By taking a written translation examination, students demonstrate understanding and reading knowledge of another language publications in their major field of study, as determined by a previously designated evaluator who is a member of the Baylor University Department of Modern Languages & Cultures.  (Dr. Richard Durán will administer and evaluate examinations in French, Dr. Ann McGlashan in German, Dr. Michael Long in Russian, and Dr. Marian Ortuño in Spanish.)

The reading material is usually selected by the designated MLC faculty evaluator. It may, however, be selected by the candidate's advisor; in this case it is subject to the approval of the MLC evaluator.  The examination will last no more than two hours and will consist of reading and translating into correct, comprehensible English, a 500-word passage (excluding articles, prepositions, and conjunctions).  A paper dictionary may be used.  The commission of more than 10 errors in sense will constitute failure.  There is a limit of one retake, and the student--rather than the graduate program or department--will then pay the re-testing fee.  If the candidate fails the examination two times, no additional opportunity will be provided to meet the language requirement by this method.  Official notification of the candidate's performance will be sent by the MLC evaluator to the Graduate School.

Candidates must indicate their intention of satisfying the language requirement in this manner to their graduate advisor and to the appropriate evaluator in the Department of Modern Languagea & Cultures no later than mid-semester.  When the student contacts the MLC examiner, he/she should make an appointment for a brief diagnostic evaluation of reading/translations skills.  If the evaluator feels that the student is ready, individual arrangements about further preparation for the exam as well as the scheduling of a time and place for the test can be made.  If the evaluator determines that the student is not yet ready to take the test, arrangements can be made for improving the necessary language skills.

Explanation of Option #5--Degree from a Foreign University

A student may satisfy the proficiency requirement through the presentation of a diploma that certifies conferral of the equivalent of a baccalaureate degree from a university in a French-, German-, Russian-, or Spanish-speaking country.  This procedure may be used only by students whose native language is not that of the country in which the degree has been obtained.

Note: Students in International MA degree programs (Master of Business Administration in International Management, Master of Arts in International Relations, Master of Arts in International Economics, Master of International Journalism must pass an oral examination in addition to the reading examination (Option #4).  Bona fide foreign International MA students may use English as their second language provided their TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score is 550 or higher (paper format), or above 213 (computer-based format), or above 80 (internet format).

The language requirement must be met before the form for application for admission to candidacy for the master's degree is filed.  The student is responsible for securing proof of having satisfied the language requirement.