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Please find here essential information that will help you navigate your way through the exciting world of languages at Northwestern University.


A comprehensive overview of what you need to know is given in our brochure Everything You Need to Know about Learning Languages at Northwestern that you can download as a pdf file for your reference in the column at your right.


The Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences offers the following languages:

Ancient Greek | Arabic | Chinese | Czech | French | German | Hebrew | Hindi-Urdu | Italian | Japanese | KoreanLatin | Persian (Farsi) | Polish | Portuguese | Russian | Spanish | Swahili | Turkish |


Students with prior knowledge of a language who have not taken the College Entrance Examination Board Advanced Placement Examination (AP Exam) and would like to continue their language studies, will have to take a language placement exam to determine appropriate placement. Departments teaching this subjects use the results of these exams to help plan an appropriate academic program. If you have taken the AP Exam, please consult this AP/IB Credit Recognition Table on the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences webpages or our brochure to find out where this places you in our language programs.

Language placement exams are given over the summer or during New Student week. For a comprehensive overview of locations and times, consult the Weinberg Advising webpages.

Placement Procedures

  • Placement exams for the following 11 languages are available online: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Russian, Spanish, and Swahili.
  • You are required to take the placement exams before you arrive on campus except for Russian and Japanese, which are available only during New Student Week and by appointment.
  • For information on placement exams in Czech, Ancient Greek, Hebrew, Hindi-Urdu, Persian (Farsi), Polish, Portuguese or Turkish, contact the respective language placement coordinators. Please consult individual departments or the language placement page under new student orientation or the brochure Everything You Need to Know about Learning Languages at Northwestern.
  • As a rule, online placement exams should be taken as early as possible; however, incoming first-year students should not attempt to take an online language placement exams until a supported test date (for August or September prior to the fall quarter) is announced on the New Student Week web page, which is posted during the summer.

How to Take the Test Online

  1. To begin, you will need a Northwestern University Network ID (NetID) and password to gain access to the testing system.
  2. After logging in to the system for the first time, you will be asked to complete a short profile, which also requests your student ID number.
  3. After completing the profile information, you will be presented with a list of available language tests.
  4. After selecting a placement exam, you will review the testing agreement that affirms your adherence to the Northwestern honor code and then begin the exam. Some departments make a practice exam available which you should feel free to take.
  • You must finalize the exam if you wish it to be reviewed by a placement coordinator. After finalizing your exam, you will receive a confirmation number that can either be printed out or written down.
  • Access the online placement exams and view the instructions. Access placement results.
  • For questions regarding your individual exams or the results of your exams, please consult the placement coordinators in the respective departments. Feel free to download the list of language placement coordinators, which is also given on page 7 of the brochure.
  • For technical support, please e-mail or call 847-491-7761 (9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. CST).




Northwestern has a wide variety of cultural student groups that also address the interests of international students and students who are interested in world languages and world cultures. Here is the university’s list of cultural groups as part of all the student groups at the university listed on Wildcat Connection!

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