Foreign Language Requirement

What is the Foreign Language (FLEX) Requirement?

Many undergraduate degrees at FAU require students to demonstrate a basic level of proficiency  with a language other than English in order to graduate. This is commonly known as the FLEX (Foreign Language Exit) requirement. The needed level of proficiency is defined as that which is at or beyond the second-semester college level (e.g. SPN 1121, FRE 1121, ITA 1121, etc).  

How do I fulfill the FLEX Requirement?

(i) Take language classes at FAU

The most common way to fulfill this requirement is to take language courses in the Department of Languages, Linguistics, and Comparative Literature (LLCL). We provide classes to fulfill this requirement in Arabic, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Latin and Spanish. Students can begin with the first-semester of any language (e.g. SPN 1120, SPN 1340 [for heritage learners], FRE 1120, etc.), or they can take a placement exam to determine the course most appropriate for them. If students take the placement exam, they may be able to take one class rather than two.

(ii) Prove language proficiency 

If a student already has proficiency with a language other than English, they can fulfill this requirement in two ways other than FAU coursework, either by presenting:

  1. academic documentation (e.g. a transcript from a secondary or postsecondary institution primarily taught in a non-English language),
  2. results from a college-level examination taken as a high school student (e.g., AP, IB, or AICE exams), or
  3. proficiency testing documentation.

In all of these instances, please follow these steps:

  1. The student needs to fill out and have their academic advisor sign the Application for Proof of Foreign Proficiency.
  2. The student may either:
    1. obtain academic documentation,
    2. obtain documentation from their college-level examination taken as a high school student, or
    3. register and take the test through a third party institution (listed below)
  3. The student should then send:
    1. the completed application and
    2. the testing or academic documentation results to Mrs. Jackie Carassa, LLCL Coordinator, Academic Support Services ( )
  4. LLCL will then make a determination, whether to approve or disapprove the application, and, if approved, will send the approval to the to the Registrar's Office.

In all cases, the Application for Proof of Foreign Language Proficiency form needs to be completed and provided with the documentation or test results. The top portion of this form must be filled out by the student and the middle section must be signed by the student’s academic advisor. This should then be sent to Mrs. Jackie Carassa ( ) for approval and processing. 

The student will be notified via email of the evaluation decision. The Registrar's Office and the student's advisor are also notified. Upon receipt of this email, the Registrar's Office will update the student's record. Upon approval of application, the student will have fulfilled the Foreign Language Exit Requirement.  Students can check the status of their Application on > Degree Audit. NOTE: The student will NOT receive academic credit. 

What counts as proof of proficiency?

(i) Academic documentation

If a student has completed a minimum of 1 year of secondary or postsecondary studies in a country in which English is not the language of instruction, students should submit: 1) a copy of their transcript or high school diploma (in addition to an English translation of these if they are in a foreign language) and 2) the Application for Proof of Foreign Language Proficiency form. Acceptance of this documentation is at the discretion of the Chair of LLCL.

(ii) College-level examination as a high school student (e.g., AP, IB, or AICE exams)

If a student has successfully completed college-level coursework and the associated examination at the high school level and achieved a score on the associated exam (as indicated in the links below) they may earn credit sufficient to fulfill FLEX. Please contact LLCL if your exam is not listed below.

Advanced International Certificate in Education (AICE)

Advanced Placement (AP)

International Baccalaureate (IB)

(iii) Proficiency testing documentation

If a student has proficiency in a foreign language, they can take a test and submit the results along with the Application for Proof of Foreign Language Proficiency form. The below options have been approved by FAU:

  • Foreign Language Achievement Testing Service (FLATS):

FLATS is a computerized multiple-choice language examination designed by Brigham Young University (BYU) to cover the knowledge and skills that would be acquired during the first three semesters of college-level language courses. It has three testing areas: listening, reading, and formal grammar. There is no speaking portion. Please see the following link for the languages offered:

The FLATS exam is not administered by FAU. We do not provide proctoring or any other services associated with FLATS.  It is provided by a third party institution. In addition, there are fees associated with FLATS. Please see the link for further information about the test itself and proctoring: .  When prompted to enter Proctor Information, click on Autofill Proctor360 as My Proctor. 

When prompted to enter the Sending Results to Your School information, please enter:

Name: Jackie Carassa
Department: Languages, Linguistics, and Comparative Literature
University: Florida Atlantic University
Address: 777 Glades Road, CU 232A
City, State Zip: Boca Raton, FL 33431
Phone: 561.297.0341

Students receive registration confirmation via email with the information to log on to the examination page. Students will take the examination completely online. Students failing the FLATS can retake it after six months with the proper registration and payment of fees.


Please see the following link for the languages offered and how to register:

  • American Sign Language (ASL):

To register for the test, students should contact the ASL testing service at Gallaudet University ( where they will provide the student with the schedule for getting tested. At that point, students should ask that the results be sent directly to Jackie Carassa ( ).

What is the difference between the placement exam & a proficiency exam?

A placement exam is provided by FAU in order to place a student into the language course most appropriate for their skill level. A placement exam cannot, in and of itself, satisfy the FLEX requirement.  Rather, it places a student into a class that can satisfy that requirement.

A proficiency exam (e.g. FLATS and ACTFL) is provided by an outside institution in order to determine language proficiency.  A sufficient score on approved exams can satisfy the FLEX requirement.