Foreign Language

Last updated: July 19, 2013 at 1:38 p.m.


Knowledge of a foreign language is intrinsic to a sound education in the liberal arts. Language not only contributes to cultural identity, it shapes the literary and philosophical heritage at the heart of advanced learning in the humanities. Communicating in another language challenges unexamined habits of mind, enriches the imagination and grants access to the world through sources in languages other than English.

Brandeis requires its undergraduates to command a certain degree of proficiency in the use of one foreign language, either ancient or modern. The language sequence is comprised of three courses: 10, 20 and 30-level. The requirement is satisfied when the student has passed a 30-level (or higher) course with a letter grade (not Pass/Fail).

All students who wish to enroll in 20- or 30-level courses must complete a language placement test (see The number of class hours required per week in any given course may vary depending on departmental requirements.

Following is a list of the language programs of study available at Brandeis with the basic course sequence for satisfying the language requirement. Additional courses beyond the basic sequence can be found in the course listings for each of these programs.

Basic Language Sequences

Arabic 10a, 20b, 30a
Chinese 10a, 20b or 29b, 30a
French 10a, 20b, and one of the following: 32a, 34a
German 10a, 20b, and 30a
Greek (Ancient)10a, 20b, 30a
Hebrew 10a or 19a, 20b or 29b, 34a, 35a or 39a
Biblical Hebrew 10a, 20b or 29b, NEJS 10a
Italian 10a, 20b, 30a
Japanese 10a, 20b, 30a
Latin 10a, 20b, 30a
Russian 10a, 20b, 30a
Spanish 10a, 20b, and one of the following: 32a, 34a
Yiddish 10a, 20b, 30a