Language Requirement

There is no language requirement for MA students. All students, M.A. and Ph.D., must be proficient in the English language.

PhD students must demonstrate proficiency in one or more languages other than English that is related to their dissertation research, as determined by their supervisor. Certain areas of study may require more extensive language training, which will be determined by individual supervisors. In cases where dissertation research does not require non-English proficiency, PhD students must demonstrate proficiency in French.

Proficiency can be demonstrated by any of the following means:

  • proof of native fluency (e.g., primary and secondary education in the chosen language);

  • proof of two years of post-secondary study (i.e., the equivalent of 12 credits) in the chosen language at an intermediate level with a minimum grade of B in all courses;

  • passing a translation examination administered by the Department.

Translation exams: students shall translate into English 1000-1500 words of non-fiction prose in the chosen language, selected from a text determined by the supervisor. The English translation should demonstrate that the candidate has a highly-reliable reading knowledge of the chosen language. The candidate may use a translation dictionary during the examination. The examination will last no longer than 2 hours. The examination will be graded pass/fail. There is no penalty for not passing the examination, or taking the examination more than once. The language requirement should be satisfied no later than the end of the candidate’s third year in the program.

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