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Placement Policies

Students have the opportunity to begin or continue study at UNC in American Sign Language (ASL), Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish. For information about the studying ASL, please refer to the Department of ASL & Interpreting Studies. For those wishing to study Chinese or Spanish, refer to the Placement Exam information below.

For those wishing to study Japanese, please complete this online Japanese placement test (estimated completion time: 20 minutes). Upon completion, please screenshot your results and send them to HSS.StudentSuccess@unco.edu. A screenshot is required to guide your placement and subsequent course recommendation—please note that you will not be able to access your score after you close the results page. After your score has been received, you will receive follow-up emails with further instructions and, where appropriate, course overrides.

Placement Exam

UNC uses the WebCAPE language placement exam, an examination developed by the Brigham Young University Humanities Technology and Research Support Center. The exam is designed to help you determine which course you should take given the level of your ability.

Taking the Exam

To take the exam, click on the link below and create a user account:


After the Exam

After you have taken the test you will be given a Placement Exam Score. Please take a screen shot of this page or write down the points you have received and the class level that is recommended for you. If you score 200 or less you may register now for CHIN/SPAN 101. You must be released by the Instructor of the class to take any CHIN/SPAN class other than CHIN/SPAN 101. For any enrollment questions or concerns, please contact the Student Success Resource Center at HSS.StudentSuccess@unco.edu.

Students with no experience in the language they plan to study should just sign up for the introductory course in that language.

Course options:

Students with some previous experience in the language they plan to study should contact the following faculty members:


Michelle Low

(970) 351-1366


Sumiko Gibson

(970) 351-2240


Enrique Bernales

(970) 351-4906

Faculty members will ask about the previous language courses you have taken and whether you have traveled or lived in an area that spoke the language and will make a recommendation of which course to take. 

Receiving Credit for Previous Language Study

Transfer Credits

For courses previously taken at another college institution, transfer credit may be available. Please visit the Office of the Registrar for information about transferring college credit.

Retroactive Credits

Please note that placement in a given class does not establish credit in a previous UNC language class. Instead, a student may receive retroactive credits, provided a grade of “B” (3.0) is earned in the student’s first UNC course above the 101 level in a particular language.

To be awarded retroactive credits, students submit a petition to the Registrar’s office, after they have successfully completed their first UNC language course (above the 101 level). Petition forms are available in the World Languages and Cultures Department office or from language professors.

How does Retroactive Credit work? Here are some examples:

  • Take an Elementary Language II (102) course, and you can earn 5 retroactive credits (101) plus 5 course credits (102) for a total of 10.
  • Take an Intermediate Language I (201) course and you can earn 10 retroactive credits (101/102) plus 3 course credits (201) for a total of 13.
  • Take an Intermediate Language II (202) course and you can earn 13 retroactive credits (101/102, 201) plus 3 course credits for a total of 16.
  • Take any advanced language course (300 and above) and you can earn 12 retroactive credits (100/200, 201/202) plus 3 course credits for a total of 19.

AP/IB Credits

Students may qualify for University credit in a World Languages and Cultures course (and thus may exempt one or more courses) through superior performance on an Advance Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate exam (IB). Consult the Office of the Registrar for specific AP/IB test score requirements.

College-Level Examination Program

The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) offers another opportunity to earn credit through demonstration of superior performance in subject matter examinations.