Current Students

Modern Language Placement Exam (MLP)

Foreign Language Requirement in the College of Fine Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities

Students enrolled in Bachelor of Arts programs in the social sciences and humanities (with the exception of Economics) are required to demonstrate intermediate level proficiency in a foreign language. Students with documented learning disabilities may be allowed to fulfill the language requirement through an alternate set of courses. Such students should file appropriate documentation with the office of Disability Services, at which time they will receive information on their alternative requirement. This foreign language requirement can also be found in the UMass Lowell Catalog.

General information

During the first week of the fall and spring semesters, the Modern Language Placement Exam in French, German, Italian and Spanish is offered on a date and place TBA at 5 p.m., (please check in advance). There is a sign-in sheet for each language at the Dean’s Office at 150 Wilder Street (College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences). Please go in person to sign up, no requests are accepted by email or by phone. On the day of the exam, please be on time and bring a valid picture ID with you (UMass Lowell Student ID, a valid driver's license, military ID, passport, or other official proof of identity). Students arriving without proper identification or late will not be able to test (no exceptions).

About the Exam

This exam is intended for students with prior knowledge of a foreign language and is NOT mandatory. It can only be taken once during your academic career. This test is designed to evaluate your general level of knowledge in the target language and does not give you any credit. Its purpose is to place you at the proper level. Each test is broad and covers a wide variety of material. No specific study guides or texts are recommended for preparation; however, reviewing textbooks in use in our programs, self-study guides, or software programs may help you to review prior to testing. All tests address the written language, reading and grammar (there is no listening). None of the tests require speaking on the part of the participant. Students have 90 minutes to complete the exam.

Special Accommodations

If any special accommodations need to be made for persons with disabilities, contact the Office of Disability Services and in order to request such accommodations prior to any accommodations being implemented. Students must make this request early in the prior semester so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

What about Other Languages?

If you have a prior knowledge of a language other than French, Italian, German and Spanish, please refer to the following section for more information:

Criteria for waiving the language requirement - Students who are required to prove intermediate mid proficiency as a requirement for their major can satisfy it through one of the following options:

  • College Entrance Examination Board Advanced Placement Examination (AP) - students must contact the Registrar’s Office for more details.
  • CLEP Examinations - students must contact the Registrar’s Office for more details. Please note that the University does not proctor these exams. Please refer to the following website for all information about registration, places, dates, and fees for this exam: CLEP:\ACTFL test. The languages that can be tested through this program are listed at this web site. 
  • ACTFL Examinations: You will need to complete both the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) and the Official ACTFL Writing Proficiency Test (WPT) at the intermediate mid level. No credits are awarded for this exam. Please note that the University does not proctor these exams. Please refer to the following website for all information about registration, places, dates, and fees for this exam: Please contact with your results.
  • A satisfactory score in the Modern Language Placement Exam (MLP) prepared and administered by the Department of Cultural Studies at UMass Lowell. No course credits are awarded for levels waived by exam. Please contact for details about the next examination date and place on campus.
  • A high school diploma obtained in a foreign country at a non-English school. This will waive the language requirement, but no course credits are awarded. Please contact to make an appointment for document evaluation.
For policy information please review the details in the UMass Lowell Catalog. View the CLEP result information page for more details on understanding results.

Please contact if you have any further questions.