Gaines Hall

If you are thinking of taking a language at MSU, classes fill up fast so read this and take action before you come to your MSU orientation!!


What is your case?

"I have never had a course in the language before, or I have studied the language for less than a year." (see A)

"I have studied the language for one year or more in High School but did not take an AP exam." (see B)

"I took an AP exam in a language in High School." (see C)

"I have taken language classes at another college." (see D)

"I learned a language primarily through non-academic experience while living abroad." (see B)

"I have taken university-level language courses abroad." (see E)

“I am a native or heritage speaker of another language.” (see F)

"I just need to fulfill a language requirement based on my previous experience and do not wish to take a language class at MSU." (see G)


A.  If you have never studied the language before or have studied it for less than a year, go to the Modern Languages main office in Gaines 117. We must enroll you in your first language class at MSU.  After completing this first class you will be able to register for successive classes.


B.  If you have had one year or more of the language in High school or you have learned the language while living abroad, you will need to take a WebCAPE exam in order to enroll in a class.

  • A WebCAPE exam is required for students with previous experience in French, German, or Spanish.
  • AP or IB exam scores can also be used to place you in FrenchGerman, Spanish, Chinese, or Japanese. (See C below.)
  • For Arabic and Japanese, there is no WebCAPE exam. Please come talk with a Modern Languages advisor regarding placement in these languages if you do not have an AP or IB exam score.  Check this directory to see a list of advisors.
  • This exam is used for placement into language courses at MSU. Once you complete a language course at MSU with a C- or better, you can get credit (including diversity credit) for any classes that you passed over. 
  • To take theexam, go to and create an account. The cost is $10 payable by credit card.

  • Bring a printout of your results, or a picture on your cell phone, and talk to Lisa Roots in Gaines 117 (phone: 994-4448 or fax 994-6199). Students seeking placement must also complete an oral proficiency interview. After discussing your score & placement, we will register you for a class.

C.  If you have taken an AP (Advanced Placement) or IB exam in the language (offered through your high school):

  • Receive from 3 to 12 credits (up to four MSU classes) and placement in the appropriate course.
    • AP score of 3:   credit for 101 and 102 (6 cr.); placement in 201
    • AP Score of 4:   credit for 101, 102, and 201 (9 cr.); placement in 202
    • AP Score of 5:   credit for 101, 102, 201, and 202 (12 cr.); placement in 300-level courses
    • IB scores:   contact us for details about placement
  • Make sure that your results are sent to MSU so that you will receive credit here. Have them sent to the Registrar's Office (101 Montana Hall, Bozeman, MT 59717-6650).  If you want further information, you can contact Enrollment Services at (406) 994-6620.
  • If AP credit has not been processed by MSU prior to your registration date, see Takami in Gaines 117 (phone: 994-4448 or fax 994-6199) with your score for registration.


D.  If you took courses in the language at another college, show us (Gaines 117) or fax us (406-994-6199) a copy of your transcript (it does not need to be official), and we will enroll you in the appropriate course.  Also make sure to have your other college send your transcript to MSU-Bozeman. You can do this from your home.  The sooner the better!


E.  If you have taken university-level language courses at an institution abroad, two things could happen:

  • If your courses were accredited by another university, show us (Gaines 117) or fax us (406-994-6199) a copy of your transcript (it does not need to be official), and we will enroll you in the appropriate course.  You can do this from home.  The sooner the better!
  • If your courses have not been accredited by another U.S. institution, you will need to either take the WebCAPE exam (see B) or have your transcript sent to MSU by the foreign institution.


F.  Native speakers of a language need to talk to a Modern Languages advisor.   Check here to see a list of advisors.


G.  CLEP exam information:   for students who wish to receive credit without taking a class at MSU.

  • Students can receive between 3 and 9 credits for 101, 102, and 201. This exam is primarily for students who wish to receive credit but do not want to enroll in a language class. The CLEP exam does not grant diversity credit.
  • Costs $110 at MSU and is offered through MSU’s Testing Services (and many other locations / schools listed at the College Board website). Computer-based, multiple-choice format, maximum of two hours.
    • Apply and pay for the test at
    • Schedule a test time with MSU’s Testing Services (19 Renne Library, 406-994-6984) or at another institution.  For a location near you, search by state and city in the "Search Institutions" section at
    • If you are taking the CLEP at another institution, ask to have your results to be sent to MSU-Bozeman!
  • Results are obtained at the completion of the test and are good for one year.  If you do not get the score you’d like, you must wait three months to re-take the exam.