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Washington State University

Building Language Skills

The foreign language requirement is an integral part of the Honors College’s mission to prepare students for the 21st-century global economy. Knowledge of a foreign language is important to a wide range of businesses and organizations. In a recent article in the Financial Times of London it was reported that “[companies] hire more multilingual employees, because these employees can communicate better, have better intercultural sensitivity, are better at cooperating, negotiating, compromising. But they can also think more efficiently.”

The foreign language requirement may be satisfied in one of the following ways:

  • Satisfactory completion of the STAMP test*
  • Satisfactory completion of a foreign language 204 level course**
  • Completion of a minor in a foreign language
  • Earning the Honors College Certificate of Global Competencies
  • Students whose native language is not English and came to the United States after 8th grade will be exempt of this requirement upon discussion with an Honors adviser

* The STAMP test is a standardized assessment tool that measures reading, writing, listening, and speaking language skills. Students fulfilling the requirement in French, Italian, Spanish, German, will be required to demonstrate proficiency at the Intermediate Low level, while students studying Chinese and Japanese are required to demonstrate a Novice High level of proficiency. Students can also meet this requirement through proficiency in other languages that might not be offered at WSU (see an Honors adviser).

** This level of proficiency is approximately equivalent to that obtained through four years of high school work or four semesters in college