College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Only those students working toward the B.S. degree in International Agricultural Development are required to complete 15 quarter units in one language or pass the foreign language proficiency examination.

College of Biological Sciences

Only those students working toward the A.B. degree are required to complete 15 quarter units in one foreign language or pass the foreign language proficiency examination.

College of Letters and Science

All students working toward the A.B. degree are required to complete three sequenced quarters (15 units) of courses in one foreign language or demonstrate equivalent proficiency. A student may demonstrate proficiency in one of the following ways:

  • by passing the Foreign Language Placement Test;
  • by achieving a score of at least 550 on a College Board SAT Subject Test in a foreign language;
  • by earning a score of 3 or higher on a College Board Advanced Placement Language test in a foreign language, with the exception of Latin;
  • by earning a score of 5 or higher on the following International Baccalaureate Higher Level Examinations: French A1, A2 or B Examination, German A1, A2 or B Examination, Italian A1 Examination, the Latin A1 Examination, Portuguese A1, A2 or B Examination, or the Spanish A1 Examination;
  • by certification of IGETC; or
  • through certain study abroad programs offered by UC Davis through the Education Abroad Program and other accredited institutions.

There is no foreign language requirement for the B.S. degree, although some programs may have specific requirements and recommendations. Foreign language requirements and recommendations for non-language majors in the College of Letters and Science are listed below.


Required for the A.B. degree (Sociocultural Emphasis only): Complete the equivalent to five quarters of course work in foreign language or provide proof of proficiency (two additional quarters of language beyond L&S foreign language requirement). See advisor for further information.

 Classical Civilization

Required: Language course requirements will depend on whether the student pursues Track 1: Classical and Mediterranean Civilization or Track 2: Classical Languages and Literatures.

Comparative Literature

Required: Sufficient preparation to ensure satisfactory performance at the upper division level.

Recommended: Students who do not use a European language toward the major should take one of the remaining required lower division courses in the 53 series, preferably the 53 course that relates to the region of the language the student is using to satisfy the upper division language requirement in the major.

East Asian Studies

Required: Choose two (or the equivalent) of Chinese, Japanese, or other East Asian language study: Choose a series: Chinese 1, 2 or Japanese 1, 2.


Recommended: Appropriate foreign language coursework for students preparing for advanced study.

International Relations

Required: fluency in English and a working knowledge (approximately 24 to 30 units of course credits or equivalent fluency) of one other modern language. See ASSIST or the UC Davis General Catalog for a listing of acceptable language options.


Required: Elementary and intermediate Italian (Italian 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5) and Italian 9 or the equivalent.


Required: One course beyond the 15-quarter requirement of the College of Letters and Science in the same foreign language used to fulfill the college requirement.


Required: Bachelor of Arts degree candidates are required to complete the College's foreign language requirement but are encouraged to consider taking French, German, or Russian.

Recommended: Bachelor of Science degree candidates are advised, but not required, to satisfy the same language requirement as for a Bachelor of Arts degree candidate, and to fulfill it in French, German, or Russian.

 Middle East/South Asia Studies

Required: Two years or the equivalent of Arabic, Hebrew or Hindi/Urdu (other Middle East/South Asia Studies regional languages accepted with petition). Elementary and Intermediate Arabic (Arabic 1, 2 and 3 and Arabic 21, 22 and 23) or Hebrew (Hebrew 1, 2 and 3 and Hebrew 21, 22 and 23) or Hindi/Urdu (Hindi/Urdu 1, 2 and 3 and Hindi/Urdu 21, 22 and 23).

Medieval and Early Modern Studies

Recommended: Courses in Latin and other European languages are strongly recommended, particularly for those planning to pursue graduate study.


Recommended: Students contemplating graduate study are advised to consider pursuing foreign language study beyond the elementary level.

Religious Studies

Highly recommended: Reading knowledge of a foreign language.


Required: Students pursuing the comparative studies and world development emphasis must complete coursework or demonstrate proficiency in one modern foreign language at the two-year (27-30 quarter unit) level.