University of Wisconsin-La Crosse |

Modern Languages

Expand page menu
Skip to page menu

  • Advising

    If you need more information than is available here, please call (608.785.8324) or stop by our main office (315 Graff Main Hall). You are always free to schedule an appointment with your language instructor in order to discuss your needs and questions. Our advising fairs in the fall (Spanish only) and spring (all languages) are great opportunities to have all of your questions answered.

    Placement Exams

    You can find more information about placement exams here.

    Classes and Registration

    Overrides for Modern Language Classes

    If a class is full and you want to gain access, you must contact the course instructor with your request. You may also contact the Academic Department Assistant in 315 Graff Main Hall (608.785.8324) for information about being placed on a waiting list.

    Independent Studies Courses Requiring Permission

    To register for any French, German, or Spanish Independent Study course, you must first complete the Independent Study Request Form (PDF) with information about your research plans, texts to be used, and a study timeline.

    Degree and Certificate Programs

    The Department of Modern Languages offers a variety of program options in French, German, and Spanish. We offer programs that lead to both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees. We also offer major and minor programs with business concentrations, a certificate in French Studies, and a minor in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).

    Please note that visiting the webpages for the languages in order to familiarize yourself with program-specific requirements is a very important step in planning your studies.


    French, German Studies, and Spanish


    French, German Studies, Spanish, and TESOL

    Business Concentrations

    French and Business, German and Business, Spanish and Business


    French and Russian

    Teacher Education:

    Certification in Modern Languages

    Advising FAQ

    1. If I enter UWL with previous language study can I receive credit for it?

    A student may receive credit for the first UWL modern language course in which he or she is enrolled and retroactive credit for all of the prerequisite courses he or she skipped in order to take the higher course. The Department of Modern Languages does not offer an exam to establish retroactive credit. Instead, a student may receive retroactive credits provided a grade of "B" or higher is earned in the student's first university course in a particular language. This is the department's method of rewarding students for their high school language classes or for previous language experience prior to college.

    2. What about Advanced Placement credit?

    For credit and placement based on AP language and literature tests please refer to the department AP Policy (PDF).

    3. How do I choose which course-level to take?

    All new students must take the UW System Placement Test in order to determine the appropriate class level of a language previously studied.

    4. Will lower-level language courses count toward my major or minor in Modern Languages?

    No; all major and minor requirements must be met from courses in the 300-400 level.

    5. What if the class I want is filled? Can I get an override?

    If a class is full and you want to gain access you must contact the Academic Department Associate in 315 Graff Main Hall (608.785.8324) for information about being placed on a waiting list.

    6. How do I go about declaring the major or minor in Modern Languages?

    Students who want to major or minor in French, Spanish, or German Studies must apply in the office of the College of Liberal Studies at any time throughout the year with the exception of the registration period.

    7. Is study abroad a requirement for all majors?

    Study abroad is required only for German Studies majors and Education students with Modern Languages majors and minors. However, we strongly advise all students to participate in study abroad.

    8. Can I waive the reentry course required after study abroad?

    A student pursuing a major in French, German, or Spanish may earn up to 66% of the credit hours for the major requirement through approved study abroad programs. The student must earn a minimum of 34% of the program credit hours at UWL. All students are required to take a strict minimum of one 3-credit course in the language after returning from study abroad. While every student has the right to petition this policy, we must stress the seriousness of the waiver process and that the petition process will not result in a guaranteed waiver. In the event of a petition, the Chair of the Department of Modern Languages shall appoint a committee to evaluate the case in terms of the following criteria:

    1. Proficiency examinations (oral and written).
    2. Evaluation of the student’s performance prior to the study experience in the foreign country.

    The Committee shall submit its findings to the Department Chair, who will in turn report to the student concerned. Before beginning the petition process for waiving the reentry course, students must consult at length with their advisor.

    9. What alternatives are available if I need a course to graduate and it is not offered my last semester at UWL?

    Some possibilities include a correspondence course through UW Extension, an online course from another university, a summer course, a transfer course from another college or university, or a substitution (if appropriate) of another similar course and an independent study. All of these alternatives require close consultation with an instructor and should be reviewed by the sectional chair of the particular language.

    10. How do I register for Independent Study courses?

    To register for any French, German, or Spanish Independent Study course you must choose a professor to work with and complete the Independent Study Request Form (PDF) with information about your research plans, texts to be use, and a study timeline.

    11. Can I skip a course in the 101-202 sequence?

    While this is not encouraged, on rare occasions students may be able to skip a course in the 101-202 sequence by learning the material on their own. This should be done only after careful consideration of the issues and in consultation with the instructors involved.