Undergraduate FAQ

**Please include your student number in all email correspondence**

Exchange and Letter of Permission

Where do I go to get a course equivalency approved?

Students can bring their request to the Undergraduate Assistant in the Department of Modern Languages in UC 2210D or to the Undergraduate Chair, Dr. Victoria Wolff during office hours or by appointment. See below for necessary documents to bring.
Please note that the main office (UC 2210) is open Mon-Fri 9:30am-12:00pm and 1:00pm-4:00pm. The office is closed daily from 12-1pm.

What do I need to have a course approved?

Students should bring the completed Exchange or Letter of Permission Approval Form along with the course description. Students will also need to know the number of contact hours for the course (for example, 40 hours or 80 hours).

The course I want to take is 40 contact hours. Can I be approved for 1.0 credit at Western?

A course that is 40 contact hours can only count for 0.5 credit at Western. For example, most of our language courses are full year 1.0 credit courses and require at least 80 contact hours. Students taking a 0.5 beginners language course at another University can still apply for a 0.5 transfer credit but please note that a 0.5 credit would not satisfy the prerequisite requirement for admission to one of our language modules. Students who wish to pursue a Minor, Major, or Specialization in German, Italian, or Spanish must complete 1.0 credit at the beginners level or score into the intermediate level on the Placement Test.

Special Permissions

I took a Gr 12 U language course in high school. Do I enroll in the beginner or intermediate course?

If you have taken a Gr 12 U language course you can proceed directly to the intermediate level. The Gr 12 language courses are antirequisites with our beginner courses and you won't receive a credit for them. You can either contact the Student Services Live Chat and have them manually enroll you in the intermediate course or you can contact the Undergraduate Assistant for a special permission. Please note that during the registration period it may take up to a week or more to have a permission added to your record so it is usually faster to call the helpline.

I want to take an upper level language course but don't have the prerequisites. What can I do?

Students who do not have the prerequisite for our language courses can take an online Placement Test for Arabic, German, Italian, and Spanish. Simply follow the link to the OWL site and 'Join' the site to continue. Your results will be sent to the Undergraduate Assistant who will assess your score. Should you score high enough, the Undergraduate Assistant will send a Special Permission to your Academic Counsellor to waive the prerequisite and enroll in the upper level course.

There isn't a Placement Test for the language I am interested in. Who can I contact?

If you want Special Permission to take a language course for which we do not offer an online Placement Test, please contact the Undergraduate Assistant.

I was placed in a senior language course but it does not fit in my schedule. Can I take a lower level?

No. The Language Placement Tests are designed to assess your skills and background in such a way that you can enroll in a course that really allows you to improve your competence. You would not want to be in a course that is too easy for you and that would not contribute to your learning.

I want to take a course but I don't have the prerequisite. What can I do?

If you are interested in a course but do not have the necessary prerequisites you can contact the course instructor to discuss the possibility of joining the course. If you are unable to reach the instructor, please contact the Undergraduate Assistant or Undergraduate Chair, Dr. Victoria Wolff. 

I want to take a course that doesn't count toward my module. Can I receive special permission to count it?

Please contact the Undergraduate Chair, Dr. Victoria Wolff or the Undergraduate Assistant to discuss the possibility of counting courses toward a module.

Common Registration Problems

There is a course that I would like to take but I can't find it on Student Center

First make sure that you have not selected the option of showing open courses only. If you have selected this option you will not see courses that are full. Also, not all courses in the Academic Calendar are offered every year. To make sure that the course that you are interested in is currently being offered, please refer to Western's Undergraduate Timetable

I was placed in an upper-year language course but the system won't let me register in lower-level courses because I don't have the prerequisites

If you previously received permission to take an intermediate or advanced language course you may require a separate permission to allow you to take any courses that require the lower levels as prerequisites. For example, if you were placed in Spanish 3300 you won't be able to register in any Spanish courses that require Spanish 1030 or 2200 as prerequisites via web registration. This is because the web registration tool does not recognize special permissions. If this is the case, please contact the Undergraduate Assistant to clarify the permission on your record so that you can register in these courses.