Knowledge of a Second Language

Exposure to a second language is an important part of Global and International Studies.  Before completing the M.A. program, students must demonstrate familiarity with a language other than their native tongue.  This can be done through two years of successful college-level study (either before entering the program or concurrently) or — if the student has gained competence through other means (such as tutoring or living outside their country of birth)— through certification by the appropriate language department.

Options for Meeting the Language Requirement

  • Ideally, your language training will be relevant to your regional focus in your master’s coursework; however, there is no requirement that these be consistent. Thus, you can complete the language requirement in any language that is of interest to you.
  • While no regular undergraduate language courses are offered at the KU Edwards Campus, we are fortunate to have the Confucius Institute at Edwards. The Confucius Institute's courses in Mandarin Chinese cannot be directly counted as coursework toward our language requirement, but students are welcome to take these courses and complete the KU East Asian Language and Culture's proficiency testing to receive some level of certification in Chinese. Please contact the GIST advisor for more details.
  • There is no requirement that language courses be completed at KU. If you are predominantly an Edwards Campus student, you may want to explore language courses offered at JCCC or any other college in the KC metro area that is convenient for you.
  • KU’s French, Spanish, and German departments offer language reading courses designed to help graduate students meet the language reading requirements of certain doctoral programs. These courses can be counted as part of GIST's four semester language requirement.
  • KU’s Office of Study Abroad offers many options for summer language study. Often a student can get credit for the equivalent of 2 semesters of study in a 6-8 week program. If summer travel is possible for you, explore the program options.

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