The GPL requires competency in at least two languages other than English. Admission to the Program requires some indication that one foreign language has been acquired prior to arrival and that plans have been made with regard to a second one. Language requirements can be waived in cases where students are able to provide documentation of successful language acquisition. However, even in such cases, the GPL expects that students will, upon consultation with their advisors, decide if further language study is necessary for the successful completion of the dissertation. The question of language proficiency is ultimately dictated by the needs of dissertation research, and close consultation with the advisor should determine final decisions regarding language acquisition.
Students who need to improve their language skills are advised to take an intensive graduate reading course and/or to take language courses for two to three consecutive semesters. Summer reading knowledge classes are funded by a combination of the GPL and the graduate school.