Test Credits and Placement Exams

Pre-Matriculation Credits 

Pre-matriculation credits are credits you may have earned from certain scores on advanced placement and SAT II examinations, scores on examinations of certain international diplomas, or college courses you may have taken prior to matriculating at Tufts. Pre-matriculation credits are treated as regular course credits and accepted toward fulfilling your degree requirements.

Liberal arts students can have a maximum of 5 pre-matriculation course equivalencies, regardless of Semester-hour units (SHUs), and engineering students can have a maximum of 27 Semester-hour units (SHUs).

Learn More about Pre-Matriculation Credits at Tufts

Language Placement Assessments

You should take a Language Placement Assessment if you plan to continue studying that language. There is no need to take a Language Placement Assessment if you are starting a new language. Please note that while pre-matriculation scores can guide placement, language departments (especially Spanish) strongly recommend a placement test for a more informed assessment. Only the highest placement of your pre-matriculation credits and your placement assessment will be counted, so there is no detriment to taking a placement assessment. Please also note that if you take a lower-level course than you place into, you will forfeit your placement at the higher level, including any pre-matriculation credit for that language.

Who Should Take a Language Placement Assessment?

  • Liberal Arts BA or BS students must fulfill a language requirement for their degree; therefore, they are strongly advised to take a placement assessment if they have any level of proficiency in one of the languages listed in the tab below.
  • International Relations majors must demonstrate a higher standard of language proficiency than the general requirement. Potential IR majors are strongly advised to take a placement assessment and begin study of a language in their first semester in order to fulfill the International Relations language requirement.
  • Engineering students may choose to minor in some languages, study abroad, or gain communication skills useful for a global economy. The Engineering degree program does not have a language requirement, so a Language Placement Assessment is optional.
  • BFA students may choose to study a language for the Language/Culture requirement, especially if they plan to study abroad. The BFA degree program does not have a language requirement, so a Language Placement Assessment is optional.
  • International students and heritage speakers who attended an English-language high school may need to demonstrate foreign language proficiency in order to be exempt from the Liberal Arts language requirement or International Relations language requirement. See the special note below for details on demonstrating proficiency if you are a native speaker of a language other than English.

Students may also determine placement in language courses based on SAT II, Advanced Placement, or International Baccalaureate scores, according to the exam equivalency chart. All students planning to study Spanish must take the placement exam, regardless of whether they have taken SAT II, AP, or IB.

What Languages Are Assessed and Taught at Tufts?

The Tufts language placement assessments will be offered for the following languages: 

  • Ancient Greek
  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • French
  • German
  • Hebrew
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Latin
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Sanskrit
  • Spanish
  • Sign Language (ASL)

See the full schedule and registration details in the section below.

What Are the Language Placement Assessments Like?

In 2021, all language placement assessments will be conducted online. Most of them start with a written component that students may complete any time from June 2 through June 18. Some assessments will have a follow-up oral component. If your language placement requires an oral interview, you will be contacted at your Tufts email address around June 21 to schedule a Zoom conversation with a language professor for late June.

How Do I Register for a Placement Assessment?

Through the New Student Checklist, select the language placement assessment you want to take and initiate the online reading/writing component. If your assessment requires a follow-up interview, Tufts will contact you to schedule this for late June.

When and Where Are the Assessments Scheduled?

In 2021, language placement assessments will take place online June 2 through June 18, with any follow-up oral interviews conducted remotely in late June.

When and Where Are Placement Assessment Results Posted?

Results of the 2021 Language Placement Assessments will be emailed to you at your Tufts email address by 5 p.m. on August 2. The 2021-22 results are posted here. When you meet with your advisor to plan your Fall class schedule, you should be prepared to discuss your results and plans for language study (and, if you are in the Liberal Art BA or BS degree program or an IR major, discuss how you will fulfill the language requirement).

What Accommodations Are Available for Students with Disabilities?

If you require accommodations for a Placement Assessment (such as large size print), or if you have a documented disability that has made it difficult for you to learn a foreign language, please consult the StAAR Center as soon as possible about accommodations and alternatives.

What If I’m Proficient or Fluent in a Language Other Than English?

If you are proficient or fluent in reading, writing, and speaking a language other than English, there are several ways to demonstrate proficiency in order to fulfill the general Liberal Arts language requirement or the higher standards of the language requirement for the International Relations major:

  • Graduated from a high school whose primary language of instruction was not English: exempt from both general Liberal Arts language requirement and the International Relations major language requirement.
  • Attended a high school whose primary language of instruction was not English through the 10th grade: exempt from general Liberal Arts language requirement.
  • French Baccalaureate, International Baccalaureate, AP, and SAT II scores may also be used, according to the exam equivalency chart.

If none of the three items above apply to you, even if you are a native speaker, you should plan to take a Placement Assessment in June for languages taught at Tufts, or, on a later date in September or January, an alternative proficiency assessment for other languages not taught at Tufts. Alternative proficiency assessments for languages not taught at Tufts will be proctored in Dowling Hall in early September. More information about alternative ways of demonstrating proficiency or fluency in your native language will be sent to you soon.