Certificate of Language Ability

In the Global Talent Survey from 2014, 93% of the 2100 mid and large-sized companies seek “employees who can show they are able to work effectively with customers, clients, and businesses from a range of different countries and cultures.” 55% of those companies explicitly track foreign language skills of employee candidates.

The Department of World Languages & Cultures offers an Undergraduate Certificate of Language Ability as a credential for students that provides tangible proof of their world language abilities in oral and written communication.

The certificate serves as an ideal complement to a major in another field such as International Relations, International Business, Public Relations, Marketing, Hospitality, Nursing, Public Health, Sociology, Political Science, Anthropology, Psychology, Criminal Justice, and more.

The Certificate of Language Ability offers students the ability to document language skills through a program that allows a more flexible alternative to a minor or major in a language.


The Undergraduate Certificate of Language Ability is open to any student at GSU pursuing an undergraduate degree.

A student may pursue the Certificate for a variety of reasons.

With a notation on their transcript, the Certificate would allow students to:

  • complement their major area of study.
  • note distinction within their language major
  • document language skills as a Heritage Speaker


  • Completion of 12 credit hours of language credit at the 2000 and 3000 level.  A minimum of 6 credit hours at the 3000-level and a maximum 6 credits of elective requirements may be taken through a study abroad program.
  •  A grade of B or higher in each of the courses (or the approved credit equivalent such as a 5 on the AP exam). Students may not retake the class and replace the grade if they score below a B.
  • Students must apply for graduation through the Office of the Registrar for the Certificate of Language Ability at least two semesters preceding your expected graduation date.
  • World Languages eligible for the certificate:
Arabic 2001, 2002, 3001, and 3002
Chinese 2001, 2002, 3001, and 3002
French 2001, 2002, 3010, 3013, or 3023
German 2001, 2002, 3301, and 3302
Japanese 2001, 2002, or 2012, and 3001, 3002, or 3010
Korean 2001, 2002, 3001, and 3002
Spanish 2001, 2002/2501, or 2203, 3301, 3302 or 3303

To apply for the Certificate of Language Ability program, go to the following link:  https://cas.gsu.edu/casugradcerts/