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. Or, I studied the language for one year or more, but I studied over five years ago." (see A)

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

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

"I have taken language classes at another college or have dual enrollment credit." (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 (grew up with the language, but never studied it formally.” (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, email [email protected], call 406-994-4448 or go to the Modern Languages main office in Gaines 117. We can remove the "consent of department" error or we can 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.  We may require an oral proficiency interview to complete the assessment.  Please contact Lisa Roots at [email protected] after completing the WebCAPE if you have any questions.

  • A WebCAPE exam is required for students with previous experience in French, German, or Spanish, or ChineseTo 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, email, call or speak with Lisa Roots in Gaines 117 (phone: (406) 994-4448; email:  [email protected]). Students seeking placement may also need to complete an oral proficiency interview. After discussing your score & placement, we will register you for a class.
  • 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.  Email [email protected] to coordinate an assessment interview.


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 2:   credit for 102 (see advisor)
    • AP score of 3:   placement in 201; credit for 101 and 102 (6 cr.)
    • AP Score of 4:   placement in 202; credit for 101, 102, and 201 (9 cr.)
    • AP Score of 5:   placement in 300-level courses; credit for 101, 102, 201 and 202 (12cr.)
    • IB scores:   contact us for details about placement
  • Make sure that your results are sent directly 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 Lisa Roots in Gaines 117 (phone: (406) 994-4448) with your score for registration.


D.  If you took courses in the language at another college, show us (Gaines 117) or email us ([email protected]) a copy of your transcript (it does not need to be official), and we will enroll you in the appropriate course. 


E.  If you have taken university-level language courses at an institution abroad:

  • See an advisor in Modern Languages (Gaines 117).  We will normally place you based on the courses you have taken.  See list of advisors below. 


F.  Native speakers of a language need to talk to a Modern Languages advisor.   See advisor list below.


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.
  • Cost is $95 (verify at and it 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, please 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.

H.  Language Placement Advisors:

All:  [email protected]
Spanish:  Patricia Catoira, [email protected]
French:   Ada Giusti, [email protected]
German:  Peter Schweppe, [email protected]
Chinese:  Hua Li, [email protected]
Japanese:  Peter Tillack, [email protected]
Arabic:   Aisha Garged, [email protected]

Note: If you are placed in any course above 101 and you complete that course with a C- or better, you may get credit for any classes that you were able to skip. Email [email protected] with your full name and the last four of your student ID number.  Lisa is unable to process that request until your grade has posted in DegreeWorks.