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Global Studies students are strongly urged to continue developing their language fluency each semester of their college career, even beyond the major’s required total of six levels of language study. Optimally, students will pursue six levels (required) or more of a language appropriate to their declared area.

If a student chooses to pursue four levels of one language and two levels of another language (to fill the required six levels for the major), the four levels of language must correspond to their declared area. For example: If a student wants to declare ASIA as an AREA, they must be aware that French can only be used for a supporting two levels of language.

The Curriculum in Global Studies does not have authority to grant foreign language credit nor to evaluate foreign language proficiency. Only the relevant language departments at UNC do. In order to satisfy your global language requirement for the major, your transcript must include either the required course work or the officially recognized placement equivalent, as determined by the language department responsible for your language.

Native speakers: Please refer to this Language Placement website. 



  • Arabic, French, Kiswahili, and Portuguese (six or more levels offered @ UNC).
  • Lingala (four levels @ UNC)
  • Wolof (four levels offered @ UNC)


  • Chinese, Hindi-Urdu, Japanese and Korean (six or more levels offered @ UNC)
  • Turkish (four levels offered @ UNC)

Latin America

  • Spanish, Portuguese (six or more levels offered @ UNC)

Middle East

  • Arabic, Modern Hebrew and Persian (six or more levels offered @ UNC)
  • Turkish (four levels offered @ UNC)

Russia/Eastern Europe

  • Russian, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Serbo-Croatian (four levels offered @ UNC)

Western Europe/European Union

  • French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Dutch is also an appropriate language but only three levels of this language are offered at UNC. See Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages for more information about Dutch language classes at UNC.
  • Greek is also an appropriate language but Greek language courses taught at UNC are for “Classical Greek,” not the modern, spoken Greek language pertinent to the GLBL major. Modern Greek is taught at Duke.

Global Studies majors are strongly encouraged to develop proficiency beyond the required minimum by taking additional language, literature, or LAC (Languages Across the Curriculum) courses, and are urged to study abroad in a country where their language is spoken.