Faculty in the College of Arts & Sciences believe that the study of language plays a central role in a liberal arts and sciences education, and is fundamental in creating global citizens. In support of this, students in the College of Arts & Sciences must either pass an intermediate Cornell language course (at the 2000-level or above) or complete at least 11 credits in a single foreign language. Cornell students have access to one of the most extensive language offerings of any university: a choice to pursue one of over 50 living or extinct human languages, including American Sign Language.
AP and IB credits do not fulfill the language requirement, but usually indicate that a student will place into a higher-level course. Bi-lingual students may be granted an exception to the foreign language requirement if they 1) completed secondary education at a foreign institution where the language of instruction was not English, OR 2) have native or near-native proficiency in speaking, reading, and writing a second language, as determined by examination.