GFRs, GERs, GDRs for General Students

re you a student who has completed a number of levels of foreign-language study at an American high school? If so, then the number of language-culture courses you will need to complete depends on
  • the level of foreign-language study attained in high school, and
  • whether you come under the GFRs, GERs, or GDRs.

Please note that GDR and GER students have the option of completing the GFRs instead.

GFRs (beginning with Summer 1996):
The language-culture component of the GFRs consists of
  • completion of a foreign language through the 201-level or demonstrated proficiency at that level, and
  • two additional courses. The two additional courses can be two language courses, or two culture courses, or a mix of "L" and "C" courses.

Students completing a BS degree may substitute a MS course in the Mathematics category for one of the two additional courses.

Depending on previous experience in the language, choices made, and type of degree preparation, the language-culture component of the GFRs can consist of one, two, or three courses. BS students who can demonstrate the equivalent of a 201-level language proficiency have the option of taking an MS course in Mathematics and only one "L" or "C" course. On the other extreme, students who decide to fulfill the requirement by starting on the 101 level will need to take 101 as an elective and then take three more courses to complete the requirement. Here are your choices depending on the number of levels you completed in high school:
  • If you have completed level five of a foreign language in high school, you have the equivalent of the required 201-level proficiency. You need only complete part (2) of the requirement, i.e., any combination of two additional language or culture courses. For the choices available to you see no. 1 under Clarifications about the GFR . Should you wish to continue in the language in which you have reached level 5, then the corresponding GFR placement is the 301 course in the language. Should you feel unprepared for 301, you may request formal permission to take 202 for GFR credit.

  • If you have completed level four of a foreign language in high school, you have the equivalent of the required 201-level proficiency. You need only complete part (2) of the requirement, i.e., any combination of two additional language or culture courses. For the choices available to you see no. 1 under Clarifications about the GFR . Should you wish to continue in the language in which you have reached level 4, then the corresponding GFR placement is 202. If you feel unprepared for 202, you may take 201 (or even 103, the intensive review course) as an elective first, before taken 202 for GFR credit. No formal permission is required to take 103 or 201 as an elective or 202 for GFR credit.

  • If you have completed level three of a foreign language in high school, you need to complete the 201 course in that language and any combination of two additional language or culture courses. If you feel unprepared for 201 because of poor preparation or because five or more years have elapsed since you last took the language, you may ask the department for formal permission to take a 103 intensive review course before taking 201. In that case, both 103 and 201 count towards your GFRs, leaving you with one additional course to complete after 201.

  • If you have completed level two of a foreign language in high school, you need to complete 102 and 201 in that language. Both 102 and 201 will count toward your GFRs, leaving you with one additional language or culture course to complete after 201. If you feel unprepared for 102, you may take 101 as an elective (without GFR credit). But you may want to try 102 for GFR credit first. You have four weeks from the beginning of the semester to request a transfer to a 101 course, should you find 102 too difficult. No formal permission is required to take 101 as an elective or 102 for GFR credit.

GERs (Summer 1989 to Summer 1996):
Please see the catalog copy below. If you have questions, contact the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics at extension 5-2109.

GDRs (before 1989):
If you choose the language area as one of the three out of four areas that you need to complete under the GDRs, then you need to complete a foreign language through the 202-level or demonstrate proficiency at that level. If you have completed level 5 in high school, you have the equivalent of 202-level proficiency. Whatever your background, you may also demonstrate 202-level proficiency by taking the 301 course in your chosen language. In general, if you have completed 4 or fewer levels in high school, you need to count on taking several courses in order to attain proficiency through the 202 level. Because of the number of years elapsed since 1989, we advise you to contact the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics in order to determine the most appropriate course placement.

GFR Language/Culture Requirement Clarifications

1) What are the options for students who have completed level four in a language in high school or who have otherwise demonstrated proficiency on the 201-level?

These students have satisfied the 201-level GFR language requirement and therefore need to take only 2 more courses to complete the language/culture requirement.

The following are the options for BA students: (BS or BSE students may replace one of the two courses with a "MS" course in the Mathematics category.)

  • Two courses above the 201-level in the language already studied.
  • Beginning a new language and receiving GFR credit for that new language at the 101 level. A student may also take two different courses at the 101 level and receive GFR credit for both.
  • One "L" course, for which they have the appropriate placement level, and one "C" course.
  • Two "C" courses.

2) Do students with no prior language experience who therefore have to begin language study at the 101 level receive GFR credit for the 101 course?

Students with no prior language experience who begin language study at the 101 level do not receive GFR credit for the 101 course. Such a 101 course carries elective credit. Students will receive GFR credit for the 102 and 201 levels. (A 101 course is awarded GFR credit only under the circumstances described in number 1 above.)

3) May students who feel uncertain about the quality of their preparation in a language place themselves one course lower than the appropriate placement level based on their prior level of language study?

No, students may no longer place themselves one course lower than the appropriate placement level without permission. Students with a weak background, as well as those with five or more years since their last language class, must contact the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics about permission. If they are unable to do so before the first day of classes, they should speak to the instructor of the course in which they have enrolled for instructions about how to obtain the necessary permission.

4) Which students should be advised to take the 103 courses?

The 103 courses are intensive reviews of the 101-102 courses. They are open to students who have completed level 3 in high school but feel unprepared for 201 because of a weak background or because five years have elapsed since their last language study. Permission of the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics is required as outlined in number 3 above. Students may receive credit for either 103 or 102, but not both, and either course may be used to satisfy the GFR language requirement where appropriate.