The Foreign Language Exam tests your reading ability in a foreign language of your choice. As a pass/fail exam, you need to show proficiency in the language, sufficient to conduct scholarly research, rather than fluency. The rationale for the exam is to ensure that each MA student can conduct future research in at least two languages. So if English is your second language, you are exempted from the exam. To get the exemption, please provide the Graduate chair with supporting documentation, such as a transcript from a university teaching classes in the language for which you request the exemption
The exam is comprised of a short original text by a major political scholar (such as Alexis de Tocqueville in French, Niccolò Machiavelli in Italian, Max Weber in German, and Guillermo O’Donnell in Spanish) or a recent news article from reputable newspaper. For the exam, you translate that text into English. The exam period is two hours, but typically not all of that time is needed. Here are some sample exams: http://bcpolscima.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/langexamsample.pdf
International Affairs students must take the language exam.
Political Science concentration students may either take 1. A Statistics/Methodology course (POL 7000, POL 7160, or equivalent in another department); or 2. The Language Exam
III. Registration and Dates
To register for the exam, simply e-mail your Graduate Chair by the stated deadline in the college bulletin, indicating your chosen language. The Fall 2012 registration deadline is September 24. The dates for the examination in Fall 2012 are December 4 and 5. If you are not able to take the exam on either of those days, inform the Chair and an alternative time will be arranged.