M.A. English – Second Language Proficiency

To complete the M.A. English program, students must demonstrate reading knowledge of a second language in one of three ways:

  1. Pass a fifth-quarter second language course (SPAN 122, FR 122, or GER 122) at Cal Poly; this requires at least a B if you take the course “credit / no credit,” or at least a B- if you take it for a grade.
  2. Pass a 122-level translation exam at Cal Poly with a B- or higher (dictionary allowed).  Please see the Program Director about setting up an exam. Submit a “Request to Take the Translation Exam” to the Graduate Director within the first two weeks of the quarter in which you plan to be tested. You may attempt the translation exam twice.
  3. Provide evidence (transcripts and college catalogue) of having earned at least a B- in a second language course equivalent to a Cal Poly 122-level second language course (ie. the fifth language course offered on a quarter system, or the fourth in a semester system) within the last five years.

To prepare for a translation exam or 122-level course, students can take lower-level language courses at a junior college, study the language through online coursework, or take a relevant class at Cal Poly. Students can audit courses or take them “credit / no-credit” since coursework does not contribute to the degree. Students who prefer working independently can MLL 400, a two-unit independent study course.

Please Note: Cal Poly offers many more Spanish courses than French and German courses. In addition, some courses conflict with M.A. English courses. Those wishing to take Spanish at Cal Poly should take the Spanish placement exam soon after their arrival; the exam is offered once each quarter and twice in the summer.

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