The Language Requirement

By the time they complete Year 3 of the PhD program, students must provide evidence that they have a reading knowledge of at least one language other than English. That language will, in appropriate instances, relate directly to the candidate’s thesis area.

Note: Old English may not be used to satisfy this requirement.

The requirement can normally be satisfied in one of the following ways.
  • For native speakers of other languages, possession of English language competence at the level required for admission to the program.
  • Completion of one or more university courses in the chosen language, at or beyond the first-year university level (or its equivalent).
  • A pass in a "challenge test," taken without any requirement for prior course-work in the language. A student wishing to have the Department arrange such a test must notify the Chair of the Committee on Graduate Studies through the Graduate Assistant by the end of the second term of residence.
Responsibility for finding a means of satisfying the requirement in the chosen language rests with the student. In practice, unless the student already has competence in the chosen language, it will be advisable to select languages that are supported by staffing and instruction at Western University.

In exceptional cases, satisfaction of the above requirements notwithstanding, the Committee on Graduate Studies may rule that further study of a language is required because of the specific demands of the chosen area of research for the Thesis.