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Proof of Proficiency Policy

The proof of proficiency examination option can be pursued to satisfy college, school, department or program requirements for language study at Saint Louis University.

Credit hours will not be awarded for the successful completion of a proficiency examination and therefore will not apply toward the total credit hour requirements for graduation. Foreign language proof of proficiency by examination must occur not later than the achievement of 60 credit hours (90 credit hours for transfer students).

Proof of Proficiency Examinations are scheduled through Language Testing International (LTI)* in conjunction with the University's Student Testing Center. Students schedule an Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) through LTI and are evaluated against standards established by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).

For a successful examination, the ACTFL OPI results must minimally be rated at:

  • Intermediate-Low level for languages in Foreign Service Institute categories 1-3, which include French, German, Italian, and Spanish.
  • Novice-High level for languages in Foreign Service Institute categories 4-5,
    which include Chinese and Russian.

For languages not categorized by the FSI, an intermediate-low level is required for all Romance and Germanic languages. Non-Romance, non-Germanic languages require a proficiency level at the novice-high level.

For questions on the Proof of Proficiency policy, please contact the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at

ACTFL OPI Examination Steps for Students

Contact the SLU Testing Center at 314-977-2963 or to set up dates and times for the ACTFL (OPI) before applying online to take the OPI language proficiency exam. The SLU Testing Center proctors the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview.

Register for the ACTFL OPI Exam

  1. Contact Scott Sewell in the Testing Center to arrange the following:
    • Two separate testing dates with a three-hour block of time (example: May 4, 2019 from 8 a.m.-11 a.m. and May 12, 2019 from 12 p.m.-3 p.m.)
    • All exams/arrangements must be made at least two weeks prior to testing dates. Recommended time frame is early in each semester (Jan-March for spring, Sept-Oct for fall) or over the summer break.
  2.  After testing dates are scheduled, you will receive further instructions on how to register and submit payment for your exam from the Testing Center.  

In lieu of an LTI-delivered ACTFL OPI, students may submit certified exam results from member institutions of the Association of Language Testers in Europe. These results are rated according to The Common European Framework of Reference. Students must achieve a B1 rating for FSI categories 1-3 or an A2 rating for categories 4-5.



Proficiency examinations are not available for all languages. For demonstrating language proficiency in Latin or ancient Greek, please contact Dr. Joan Hart-Hasler in the Department of Theological Studies.



Please contact Scott Sewell for Testing Center availability and scheduling questions at 314-977-2963.