Intercultural Knowledge

This component consists of the following requirements:

One to two courses in a language other than English.
One Intercultural Diversity course.
One American Social Diversity course.

This component responds to a contemporary world in which communication, travel and trade increasingly juxtapose cultures, values and ideas. Courses help students understand, interpret, and appreciate cultural, social, moral, economic and political systems different from their own.

Language Requirement [LA]

By learning another language, students see the world from a different linguistic and cultural perspective, and increase their awareness of their own language and culture. In a globalized world the ability to understand and appreciate cultural differences is imperative. These courses help students understand that all languages have similarities and differences, but that each language offers insight into the culture of a particular community.

Requirement: One of the following options, subject to high school language study and placement test.

  • FRN, GMN, GRK, ITA, LAT, SKT, or SPA 101/102
  • FRN, GMN, or SPA 101/102*
  • FRN, GMN, or SPA 201 Intermediate Spanish I/202
  • One FRN, GMN, or SPA course at the 300 level or higher

High School
Placement Test
Required Language Sequence
None or no
language study
for six full years
100 or none 101/102
200 102/201* or 201/202
300 or higher One 300 or higher level course
1-2 years in Grades 9-10 or 1 year in Grades 11-12 100 101/102
200 102/201* or 201/202
300 or higher One 300 or higher level course
2 years in Grades 11-12 100 102/201* or 201/202
200 201/202
300 or higher One 300 or higher level course
3 years 100 or none 201/202
200 201/202
300 or higher One 300 or higher level course

*102/201 option requires the permission of the chair of the Languages Department.

International students who are fluent in a native language other than English are exempt from the Foreign Language requirement.

Language Placement Test: Students who meet any the following conditions are required to take the placement test:

  • All students who, in six years prior to enrollment at LVC, have completed at least one year of French, German or Spanish in high school, or at least one semester in college even if they are considering beginning study in a new language
  • Native speakers of French, German or Spanish
  • Students in whose home French, German or Spanish is the primary language
If a student chooses to take a level lower than the level indicated by these guidelines, up to 6 hours of elective credit can be granted. If a student would like to take a level higher than that indicated by the placement test, they should consult with a faculty member in the Languages Department.

Transfer Students: Transfer students who have completed a two semester (6-credit minimum) language sequence at another institution, subject to LVC’s transfer policy, will be considered to have satisfied the language requirement, regardless of placement or high school language study. For the purposes of this requirement, transfer students are those who, after graduating from high school, have attended another college or university for at least one semester prior to enrolling at LVC.

Exemptions: The language requirement may be waived, with permission from the chair of the Languages Department, for a foreign national (typically one who holds a student visa) who has grown up in a non-English speaking culture and successfully completed secondary school work taught in a language other than English. Official certification from the school of the language of instruction and completion of the TOEFL exam for entry into LVC will be required. Students who have competence in a language other than English and do not meet these requirements are encouraged to take the CLEP test (see CLEP section of this catalog) or another appropriate test approved in advance by the chair of the Languages Department and the Registrar.

Students with significant language-based learning disabilities or auditory disabilities (e.g., auditory processing deficits or deaf/hard of hearing), as verified by the Office of Disability Services, will be permitted to substitute Intercultural Diversity courses for required language courses.

Intercultural Diversity [ID]

Courses increase students’ global awareness by introducing them to important aspects of societies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America to foster an understanding of cultural, social, political, ­religious, or economic systems outside the European tradition.

This requirement may be met through one of the following options:

  1. Successful completion of one course from the approved list below.
  2. Complete the Language requirement at the intermediate level (201/202) or higher. Note: Entering students who score a 4 or 5 on the AP language exam in Spanish, French, or German must complete either one 300-level Language course or one Intercultural Diversity course. Students who score a 4 or 5 on the AP literature exam in Spanish, French, or German must complete one Intercultural Diversity course.
  3. Participate in a semester-long study-abroad program or complete approved course work that involves substantial on-site immersion in a foreign culture. For this option, the restriction to cultures “outside the European tradition” is waived.
Approved courses:
ART 116 Non-Western Art
FRN 360 Hist & Culture of Franco World
GMN 305 Summer Study in Germany
HIS 275 Modern Latin America
HIS 303 The History of South Africa
HIS 304 History of Brazil
HIS 305 History of Mexico
MSC 202 World Musics
PHL 140 Encoun. World Philosophies
POL 210 Comparative Politics
REL 140 Encountering World Religions
REL 200 Comparative Scripture
REL 204 Hindu Scripture
REL 252 Hinduism
REL 253 Buddhism
REL 255 Islam
SPA 360 Hist. & Culture of Latin Amer.
Criteria for Intercultural Diversity courses:

  • At least two-thirds of the content of these courses shall be devoted to studies of non-western cultures. This requirement does not apply to study abroad programs described in the third option above.
  • Courses that involve comparisons of aspects of western and non-western societies or address factors that influence culture in non-western societies (e.g., geography, climate, environment, natural resources) are eligible as long as these other considerations are clearly subordinate to the primary goal of understanding different cultures.

American Social Diversity [AD]

Requirement: One Course

Courses focus on the social diversity in the United States and allow students to engage critically the issues—such as race, gender, class, sexual orientation, religion—that historically have divided and defined Americans. Students who participate in semester-long programs in Philadelphia or Washington, D.C., sponsored by the Study Abroad office will be considered to have fulfilled the American Social Diversity requirement.

Approved courses:
AMS 229 Culture & Conflict/Modern Amer
AMS 280 Gen & Sexual Minorities in Am.
AMS 362 Multiculturalism & Amer. Iden.
ASD 330 Diversity in the Workforce
EDU 240 Lang, Diversity, Achiev.: Pk-8
EDU 245 Lang, Diversity, Achieve: 7-12
ENG 420 African-American Literature
ENG 421 Literature by Women
HIS 220 Colonial America
HIS 241 Working-Class Studies
HIS 330 The Ruling Class
LAW 316 Civil Liberties & Civil Rights
MSC 201 Music of the United States
PHL 229 Culture & Conflict/Modern Amer
POL 316 Civil Liberties & Civil Rights
PSY 247 Psycholog'l Perspect./Gender
REL 120 Religion in America
SOC 224 Native American Experience
SOC 226 Women and Gender Issues
SOC 240 Div. & Intercultural Comm.
SOC 262 Race Minorities Discrimination
SPA 311 Spanish for Heritage Speakers
SPA 431 Latinos in the United States

Criteria for American Social Diversity courses:

  • Courses focus on social diversity within the United States.
  • Courses require students to analyze critically how race, ethnicity, gender, economic class, sexual orientation, and/or religious convictions have divided and defined Americans.