To be able to communicate in a foreign language is a fundamental asset in any profession, from careers in education, translating, and interpreting, to those in international studies, health, business or law. The knowledge of a foreign language is also useful for traveling and research in many parts of the world. The School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts offers four foreign languages for UC Merced students: Chinese, French, Japanese and Spanish.
All lower division courses in Chinese, French, Japanese and Spanish are content-based, learner-oriented and follow the communicative learning approach. In addition to helping students develop skills to communicate in the target language, these courses attempt to promote a cultural awareness of the countries and communities where the languages are spoken.
In addition to lower division courses, the Spanish and Japanese programs at UC Merced offers courses at the lower and upper division level that provide students with the opportunity to broaden their knowledge of the language and culture of the countries where those languages are spoken. Interested students can also pursue a minor and a major in Spanish. Consult the Spanish Minor and Spanish, B.A. sections of this catalog for additional information.
To ensure appropriate placement in our foreign language courses, students with previous academic instruction in the language that they would like to study are encouraged to take the placement exam for that language. Spanish heritage speakers who wish to improve their oral, writing and reading skills should not take the Spanish placement exam, yet should register for SPAN 010 or SPAN 011. Students must have fulfilled the requirements (SPAN 004 or SPAN 011) or equivalents to register in an upper division Spanish or Japanese courses. For information about placement exams please go to orientation.ucmerced.edu or speak to a UC Merced academic advisor. You can also contact the Foreign Languages Program Coordinator for questions related to the placement exam or any other foreign language issues.
See the SSHA Advising website for more information on Foreign Language Placement: ssha-advising.ucmerced.edu/policies-and-procedures/foreign-language-placement-guidelines.