UChicago’s Practical Language Proficiency AssessmentTM measures students’ ability to functionally use a foreign language in most personal settings and some academic or professional settings.

Both the College and graduate students across all Divisions and Schools at the University of Chicago can take the Practical Language Proficiency Assessment to earn Practical Language Proficiency Certification. This certification documents what a student can do with the language in a meaningful and impactful way and how their language abilities–listening, reading, speaking, and writing–will serve them in their professional and academic careers.

The Practical Language Proficiency Certification will also strengthen students’ resumes and expand their career opportunities.

Eligibility Criteria

Our goal is to ensure success on this assessment. Therefore, students should carefully read these guidelines to determine their eligibility to sit for an Practical Language Proficiency Assessment:

  • For Romance and Germanic languages + Persian (e.g., Catalan, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish): completion of the final course in the second-year sequence at the college level. Students placed beyond the second year must have completed one language course at a higher level.
  • For other languages (e.g., Arabic, Bangla, Chinese, etc.): completion of the final course in the third-year sequence at the college level. Students placed beyond the third year must have completed one language course at a higher level. 

*Some languages take more time to gain higher levels of proficiency.


  1. The exam fee is $90, but it is currently waived for College students and graduate students in the Humanities Division.
  2. A student may only take a UChicago Language Proficiency Assessment in a given language once within a twelve-month period.
  3. Students can only register for one exam each test administration cycle.
  4. Native speakers of a given language are not eligible to take a Language Proficiency Assessment in that language.
  5. The Office of Language Assessment has the right to determine each student’s eligibility, based on the criteria above.
  6. Since these assessments take significant planning and proctoring, no makeup dates or rescheduling can be provided.

For questions about these policies, visit the FAQ page or contact languageassessment@uchicago.edu.

Taking the Practical Language Proficiency AssessmentTM

The Practical Language Proficiency Assessment will be administered once in the Autumn quarter and once in the Spring quarter each academic year.

Test dates for the 2023 – 2024 academic year:

  • Autumn 2023: Tuesday, Nov 7, 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
  • Spring 2024: Tuesday, April 16, 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Languages offered in Spring 2024:

  • Arabic
  • Bangla/Bengali
  • Catalan
  • Chinese
  • French
  • German
  • Hebrew (Modern)
  • Italian
  • Korean
  • Persian
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish

Spring 2024 Registration and Deadlines

Registration for Spring 2024 is now closed. 

Registration Begins Registration Ends Test Administration
Monday, March 25th Sunday, April 7th Tuesday, April 16th, 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM