Whether or not you are seeking a degree in a foreign language you can earn a BYU Language Certificate. The Language Certificate Program is available to all matriculated BYU students who are pursuing any BYU undergraduate or graduate degree.
The recognition of your foreign language proficiency will make a meaningful addition to your university experience and strengthen your resume or portfolio as you seek employment, begin your career, or apply to graduate school as a diversely skilled individual.
-Your BYU transcript will have an official notation of your advanced coursework and language proficiency.
-You will receive a BYU Language Certificate endorsing your completion of advanced coursework and proficiency achievement.
-You will receive official certificates from the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) documenting your proficiency for speaking and/or writing.
In order to be eligible to earn a BYU Language Certificate you need to complete three specific courses. One course in each of the following categories: (1) Language (2) Civilization and (3) Literature. You must receive a B- or better grade in each course and the coursework must be taken at BYU-Provo. Transfer credits do not qualify.
See Course Options for more information about which courses are eligible for each language.
Note for Language Degree Seekers: Students who have completed all of the coursework required for a language major or a language minor will also have satisfied the coursework requirement for the Language Certificate.
Students who have completed (3) language Bridge courses through a Utah high school concurrent enrollment program and received a B- or better grade in each course are eligible to take the proficiency assessments upon admittance to BYU-Provo, to assess for qualification for a BYU Language Certificate.
In order to increase the validity of our assessment process, BYU utilizes an off-site assessment service: Language Testing International (LTI), the testing office of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).
You will be required to take two tests:
-Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI): As described by ACTFL, “The Oral Proficiency Interview is a carefully structured, 20-30 minute telephone interview between an ACTFL Certified Tester and a candidate. The interview is interactive and adaptive to the experiences and linguistic competence of the candidate. The digitally recorded sample is double rated.” Learn more about the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI).
-Written Proficiency Test (WPT): As described by ACTFL, “This is a proctored, standardized test for global assessment of functional writing ability, measuring how well a person writes in a language. Candidate’s writing samples are double rated.” The WPT is a 90-minute hand-written short essay-answer writing sample, or an 80-minute computer-based short essay-answer writing sample, depending on your language. Learn more about the Written Proficiency Test (WPT).
NOTE: These tests must be done on the BYU-Provo campus and must be scheduled before graduation.
When you are ready to take your proficiency tests, please send an email request to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The proficiency ratings are structured as follows:
-Advanced (High, Mid and Low)
-Intermediate (High, Mid and Low)
-Novice (High, Mid and Low)
The higher of the two ratings you receive on the OPI and WPT will determine your eligibility for the Language Certificate as well as the level of the notation that will be placed on your transcript: Advanced, Mastery, or Professional notation. Some languages do not have a WPT available. For those specific languages, only an OPI is required.
The ratings for each assessment will typically be available within 2-4 weeks after taking them.
You must score at least an Advanced Low or above on the OPI or the WPT to be eligible for the Language Certificate.
Graphic Courtesy of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages