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Bulletin Archive

This archived information is dated to the 2011-12 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.

Proficiency in Foreign Language Notation

A student who demonstrates levels of achievement equivalent to those expected at the end of the third quarter of the third year of study in a language may be awarded the notation "proficiency in" that language on the official transcript. Successful candidates tend to have completed the third year or beyond of language study at Stanford and spent considerable time studying abroad in the foreign language.

In order to receive the proficiency notation, the student must complete the following oral and written requirements according to the time ta appear on the official transcript, the student must: complete below. Successful completion of the oral component is required before proceeding with the written component.

Both oral and written components must be completed no later than the quarter preceding the graduating quarter.

For more information contact Patricia de Castries (

Application and Oral Component: Two quarters prior to graduation

  1. Notify the Language Center via email of the intent to pursue the notation and request an official Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI). Since this is a formal interview conducted according to national academic and professional standards, at least two quarters of lead time are essential for scheduling.
  2. Complete the 30 minutes Oral Proficiency Interview as scheduled through the Language Center and conducted by a certified OPI tester. The interview must take place no later than one quarter prior to graduation and be administered on campus

Writing Component: One quarter prior to graduation

  1. Once approved to continue with the writing component, schedule a Writing Proficiency Test (WPT) through the Language Center. As an official writing assessment, the 90 minute exam must take place no later than one quarter prior to graduation and as soon as possible after the interview. The WPT is administered on campus and rated by a certified rater.
  2. Receive an official rating of Advanced Low or higher on the Foreign Service Institute/American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (FSI/ACTFL) scale of the oral and writing proficiency, except in the non-cognate languages which require a minimum rating of Intermediate High. Students who do not meet the minimum levels for the notation will nonetheless receive an official OPI (or OPI and WPT) rating, which carries national recognition of their oral and writing proficencies.

Proficency Notation Timetable

  1. Graduating Spring/Summer: Apply Autumn. Interview Autumn/Winter: writing Winter.
  2. Graduating Autumn: Apply Winter, interview Winter/Spring: writing Spring.
  3. Graduating Winter: Apply Spring, interview Spring/Autumn: writing Autumn.

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