GraduateLanguage Requirement

Graduate – Prospective – Language Requirement

In practical terms the purpose of the foreign language requirement is to prepare students to read literary and critical works in languages other than English. However, departmental faculty believe that there is also an intrinsic value in linguistic study for anyone seriously interested in literature.


Students in the Ph.D. program are expected to demonstrate a reading knowledge of one language other than English either through examination or coursework. Examinations requiring written translation of literary and critical passages are offered by the department each quarter in French, German, and Spanish and once a year in Italian. Other languages are acceptable, by petition, as long as comparable examinations can be arranged by the student in another UCLA department.  Reading proficiency can also be demonstrated through coursework equivalent to at least one full year of college level study and passed with a letter grade of B or better.  For a more detailed description, please refer to the Guide to Graduate Study (“First Stage”).

The language requirement must be fulfilled before the student is permitted to take the Part One examination.