Important Program Information

*NOTE* If you are ready to take the proficiency assessments, please send an email request to


1. Student Status:

The Language Certificate Program is available to all matriculated BYU students who are pursuing any BYU undergraduate or graduate degree.

2. Required Courses:

1. Completion of three courses* each focusing on one of the following:

a. Language

b. Civilization

c. Literature

*See Course Options for more information about courses eligible in each language.

*A minimum of a B- grade in each class is required for the program.

*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.

* The coursework must be taken at BYU-Provo—transfer credits do not qualify.

3. Required Assessments:

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 assessments.

1. 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.”  Please see the OPI page for more information.

2. Writing 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. Please see the WPT page for more information.

NOTE: These assessments must be done on the BYU-Provo campus, and must be scheduled before graduation.

IMPORTANT:  When you are ready to take your proficiency assessments, please send an email request to:

4. Assessment Results:

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

Graphic Courtesy of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages