L201 Frequently Asked Questions

MLLI FAQs: 201 Language Requirement & More!

I am a prospective student. Click Here.

I am a UMBC student who’d like to know more about the L201 requirement. Click Here.

I am a UMBC student interested in continuing my language study at UMBC. Click Here.

I am a UMBC student interested in counting my college-level language study elsewhere in the US for my UMBC language requirement. Click Here.

I am a UMBC student who speaks a language other than English at home. I would like to continue my language study at UMBC. Click Here.

I am a UMBC student interested in demonstrating L201 proficiency through examination. Click Here.

I am a UMBC student interested in counting my language study outside the US for my UMBC language requirement. Click Here.

Please also look for answers to your questions here


I’ve not yet matriculated at UMBC, who can I contact to review my language profile?

Thank you for your interest in UMBC! Please contact Admissions (https://undergraduate.umbc.edu) and review the information available on this webpage (https://registrar.umbc.edu/services/transfer-credits/). Whether you are an incoming freshman or incoming transfer student at any level, the first step in language proficiency evaluation is to send your transcripts (High School and, as the case may be, Community College or university) to the Registrar. Please be sure to conduct communications using your UMBC e-mail when it is available to you. For additional information and complete requirements:mlli.umbc.edu


What is the 201 language requirement?


What is the 201 language requirement (L201)?

According to UMBC’s catalog: Students must complete a language sequence through the 201 level or demonstrate proficiency at that level; B.A. students must also complete two culture courses with a general education designation; B.S. students must also complete one culture course with a general education designation.(https://catalog.umbc.edu/content.php?catoid=28&navoid=1766)


What if I studied a language in High School, at Community College, or at another university in the US?

You should have submitted your transcripts to the Registrar. If so, your PeopleSoft Advising Profile in MyUMBC should detail this study. This is the first step towards evaluating your language level. Note in the table via MLLI link below that (1) only classes in which you earned a C or better will be considered and that (2) we considerlevelsrather thanyears.



How do my AP or IB exams transfer?

Students who have successfully completed High School AP language courses should refer to the links below and seek advisement for registration in either 200 or 300-level courses. If you do not find your AP or IB exam listed, please contact Transfer Services (https://registrar.umbc.edu/services/transfer-credits/).




With regards to language study in the US prior to college, are 4levels and 4 years the same thing?

Not necessarily. Please refer to this table: https://mlli.umbc.edu/l201-proficiency-and-high-school-language-levels/


Does it only take the successful completion of 201 level language to satisfy UMBC’s requirement?

Yes, but keep in mind that prerequisites apply. Additionally, if you begin language studies at UMBC above 201, please be in contact with your MLLI advisor to make note of this in your degree audit. This typically affects students continuing their studies for an MLLI major, minor or certificate. Please contact the main office to be assigned an advisor. Contact Information.


What about middle school language study?

We begin our evaluation of language study in the US with High School transcripts.


Can MLLI exempt me from the 201 language requirement (L201)?

No. 201 level language is a UMBC university-level General Education graduation requirement. Students with a documented disability that affects language learning should review the information on the following website:

UMBC 201 Level Language Requirement


Financial hardship, scheduling conflicts, and/or misinterpretation of the requirement have prevented me from fulfilling the L201 GE graduation requirement, can it be waived?



I would like to continue my language studies at UMBC, what is my placement level?


Placement in language courses (French, German, Russian, Spanish) is generally determined by previous language study in High School and/or higher education courses. For some languages, placement is also determined on the basis of MLLI-administered placement testing. Faculty in each language area are available to help students determine correct placement. Students who have successfully completed High School AP language courses should refer to the webpage below and seek advisement for registration in either 200 or 300-level courses. Please visit this webpage for additional information: https://mlli.umbc.edu/l201-proficiency-and-high-school-language-levels/

Contact Information.


I am a heritage speaker who’d like to continue the study of my language at UMBC. Do I have to start with 101?

No! Please contact the coordinator for your language, communicating in your Heritage language, to inquire about placement in a higher level course. Spanish offers 300-level courses for heritage Spanish learners. Contact Information.


What if I took a placement test at another institution?

We do not recognize external placement tests. We follow levels of study (see above).


Can I take a language at a level below my placement?

Please contact the specific area or level coordinators for more information. We have 103 review levels in some languages (French, Spanish) for students who should be placed at 201 level but, due to a gap of three years or more since their last class or due to weak foundation, prefer to take a review class before taking 201. Notice that Spanish students who do not remember the basics (present tense basics for writing/speaking) should contact Dr. Maria Manni (mariamanni@umbc.edu) to be considered for registration in 101. Contact Information.


I would like to major, minor, or complete a certificate in MLLI. What should I do?

We look forward to seeing you in class! Please first contact Ms. Kahi Fraser or Ms. Carolyn Good, or visit her at FA 463 to be assigned an advisor in your language area. You may also wish to visit FA 463. We are here to help you navigate the program and, in order to do so, require that you to meet with your advisor early and regularly to develop a coherent program of studies. When you apply for graduation in your final semester, the Registrar will review your GEP and university requirements and your major/minor/certificate advisor will do the same for your program requirements. Please also keep in mind that we offer an accelerated BA/MA.


I would like to complete multiple programs in MLLI, how do I navigate the requirements?

Students should develop a cogent program of courses with their advisor that gives priority (and majority) to courses directly related to the primary language of study.


What is the Intercultural Living Exchange?

The Intercultural Living Exchange, a UMBC Living and Learning Community, is an innovative academic living exchange program that incorporates linguistic and cultural components while promoting values of diversity, and sustainability by student-faculty interaction and service learning, three vital elements in the fostering of student success at UMBC. We currently offer LCC’s for freshmen and sophomores in three language clusters: Spanish, French, and Chinese.

Please check out our websites for more information: https://mlli.umbc.edu/ile/ and https://www.facebook.com/UMBCILE/& https://my3.my.umbc.edu/groups/ile


Do you offer an accelerated BA/MA program?

Yes! We offer an accelerated BA/MA in Intercultural Communication that allows you to complete a Master’s in just one additional year. You can save time and tuition dollars by beginning your graduate-level studies during the last year of your UMBC Bachelor’s. No GRE scores are required from applicants who are current UMBC students. Students should apply during their junior year and their applications should include a brief statement of their interest in the program, their UMBC transcript with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, and three letters of recommendation.

Please check out our programs: https://mlli.umbc.edu/undergraduate/

Please contact Dr. MUÑOZ, with any other BA/MA-related questions.


Can I take a course at another college, university, or community college and have it transferred in to satisfy UMBC’s L201 requirement?


Yes, with the proper UMBC equivalency verifications. Please review the information and links on this page: https://registrar.umbc.edu/services/course-articulation-database/

We ask that current UMBC students complete a Verification of Transferability form (VOT) in advance of taking the course elsewhere and submit it to the Registrar. The purpose of the VOT is to verify an external course’s equivalency to a UMBC course. https://docusign.umbc.edu/secure/prd/FormToDocuSign/Form2DS.php?cfg=RR_VerificationOfTransferability.


Could I take an exam to demonstrate L201 proficiency?


MLLI offers courses but not a stand-alone exam for L201 fulfillment. You might consider the following exams as opportunities for 201 fulfillment: (1) CLEP (2) NYU (3) UPenn (4) ACTFL OPI. (1) Students proficient in French, German, or Spanish may receive equivalency for the 201 proficiency requirement upon presentation of proof of the successful completion of the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exam at Level II in one of these languages (See Appendix II of the Undergraduate Catalog: http://catalog.umbc.edu/content.php?catoid=15&navoid=768 – College-Level_Examination_Program__CLEP__Examinations). (2-4) Or, you may consider taking a language proficiency exam through NYU or UPenn or online through ACTFL. Please first learn more here about procedures and qualifying scores and visit Fine Arts 463 or call 410-455-2109 for further information.


What if I studied a language other than English abroad?


I studied a language other than English abroad, can I get a “waiver” for the L201 requirement?

No, “waiving” L201 implies that a student need not study or have studied a language other than English. However, we do offer an L201 “equivalency” application for which an international student must submit documentation (ie transcripts) demonstrating the study of a language other than English abroad at the level of 6th grade or above. This application can recognize the fulfillment of the L201 requirement but does not grant credits and students will still need to complete the number of credits UMBC requires for graduation. You must be signed in to your UMBC e-mail in order to access the application.

Please learn more and access the application here: https://mlli.umbc.edu/l201-for-international-students/


What if I speak another language but never studied it or did not study it beyond 5th grade?

You will not be granted L201 equivalency for this language without further study or examination. Please consider language study at UMBC or a proficiency exam through NYU or UPenn.

Please learn more here: https://mlli.umbc.edu/l201-for-international-students/


What if documentation of my language study is written in a language other than English?

Depending on the language of the transcript, students may be asked to furnish a certified translation. Further information may be obtained in the MLLI Office (FA 463).

You are also invited to learn more here: https://mlli.umbc.edu/l201-for-international-students/


What if I do not have documentation of my language study abroad?

Documentation is required for the L201 equivalency application. In lieu of documentation, an alternative could be to take the NYU or UPenn language proficiency exam. You are also invited to learn more here: https://mlli.umbc.edu/l201-for-international-students/


When is the L201 equivalency application processed and what is its processing time?

The L201 equivalency application is processed during the academic year. It can take up to a month for a complete application to be processed. During campus holidays and winter session, processing time may be longer. Otherwise, delays occur in processing due to incomplete applications. Students are advised to read and re-read the policy and instructions a number of times so that they are sure to submit applications with all the necessary information. Eligible students are advised to submit the application at least a semester in advance of their intended graduation date. https://mlli.umbc.edu/l201-for-international-students/


Miscellaneous Questions


Does work experience, for instance interpretation, satisfy the L201 requirement?

We do not base our L201 equivalency evaluation on work experience.


What if I’d like to take language courses but I’m not seeking a degree at UMBC?

You can take language courses as a “Non-Degree Student”. To pursue any MLLI degree (major, minor, certificate) program you will have to apply to the university. You will need to contact the Registrar’s office (https://registrar.umbc.edu or https://undergraduate.umbc.edu/apply/nondegree.php) and find out the requirements.


What if I’d like to complete a certificate in MLLI but am not seeking a degree at UMBC?

It is against university policy for students to pursue a certificate without also pursuing a major at UMBC. We in MLLI do not have a certification course. Our “Certificate in Language Studies,” available in several languages, is to be completed as part of a regular academic program.


Have your questions been answered? For additional information and complete requirements: mlli.umbc.edu


Contact Information

Dr. Hogan, MLLI Undergraduate Program Director


Main Office Contacts: Kahi Fraser and Carolyn Good, or visit FA 463


Language and Area Coordinators:

Applied Linguistics: Dr. Steven Young

Arabic: Dr. Samir El Omari

ASL: Dr. Laila M. Shishineh

Chinese: Dr. William Brown

French 100-200 level: Dr. Rebecca Grenouilleau-Loescher

French 300-600 level: Dr. Zakaria Fatih

German: Dr. Susanne Sutton

Hebrew: Dr. Aharona Gazit-Rosenthal

Hindi: Dr. Omar Ka

Intercultural Communication Certificate: Dr. Sara Poggio

Japanese: Dr. Tomoko Hoogenboom

Korean: Dr. Kyung-Eun Yoon

Russian: Dr. Steven Young

Spanish 101, 102, 103: Dr. María Manni

Spanish 201, 202: Dr. Milvia Hernández

Spanish 300-600 level: Dr. Maria Manni

Wolof: Dr. Omar Ka


Graduate Program Director: Dr. Irina Golubeva

Honors Program Director: Dr. Renée Lambert-Brétière

MLLI Chair: Dr. John Stolle-McAllister