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Programs with No Foreign Language Requirement


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I'd like to know whether MA programs in Art History, which have foreign language requirements (e.g. French, German, Italian), are at all likely to waive or delay their foreign language requirement for an applicant if that applicant cannot immediately meet that requirement. And if not, would you be willing to recommend some programs that do not require a foreign language or are at least more flexible about when an MA student must pass their foreign language exam (meaning no test in the first or second semester!)?

I ask this because I learned Greek during my graduated B.A in Philosophy, and most MA Art History programs seem to require modern foreign language competency, at least they do for my intent, which is to focus on modern and contemporary art, theory, and criticism - influence from my philosophy background, no doubt! I'm aware that UConn and SAIC do not have foreign language requirements, so those are appealling choices.

I will be studying either French or German independently; however I'm not confident I'll be profficient by the first semester of an MA program, hence my concern. By the way, my liberal arts college doesn't have an Art History department, so I'm struggling to get a full picture, or even an adequate one, of the Art History academic domain before I apply. This is why I need your help! I've searched to see if a similar post has been made before, and I don't believe one has.

Thanks for any help!

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Most MA programs don't expect you to pass a test immediately like a PhD program would. I know many of them will allow you to take "for reading knowledge" courses or a certain number of semesters of language and even then sometimes that's all you need, rather than an additional translation exam. If the websites just say that you need to be proficient in one language, contact the DGS and find out the specifics. I got my MA from a terminal program and some people finished their language requirement the last term of the first year.

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I've never heard of a program that required you to do the translation exam for admission. People in my PhD program were still trying to pass the German exam the semester they were turning in their dissertations!

Take German, by the way.

Yes, German seems to be the most important language everywhere, so take that instead of French. You may be able to sub French for something else if you go on to get your PhD, but you will have to have German.

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