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LLRC's Commendation in Advanced Language Studies (CALS)

There are many students on our campus who wish to become proficient in a language other than English  but may not have the opportunity to complete a minor. For them, and for everyone who needs evidence of their competence in a foreign language for professional reasons, the LLRC has created a program that issues a Commendation in Advanced Language  Studies (CALS). This Commendation is an official recognition of  the efforts and the achievements of the students who successfully complete a minimum of 12 credits of upper-division courses in a foreign language, with a grade of B or higher for each courseThe languages currently covered by this program are Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and Spanish. CALS is open to all students at Stony Brook University, regardless of their degree. For example, students who major in science, engineering or business and aspire to work in a global context, can receive an additional professional qualification through this certificate. Even graduate students and the students who major or minor in one of the area studies with a foreign language component can apply and receive this commendation, which demonstrates their high-level of proficiency in a foreign language.

How to apply for the LLRC's CALS

First, successfully complete a minimum 12 upper-division (300+) credits of  coursework in one of the following languages  at Stony Brook University with a letter grade of  B or higher in each course (Credits from tutoring courses such as Directed Reading as well as transfer credits do not count):

  • Chinese (CHI)*
  • French (FRN)
  • German (GER)
  • Italian (ITL)
  • Japanese (JPN)*
  • Korean (KOR)*
  • Russian (RUS) 
  • Spanish (SPN)             

*      For Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Russian, up to two 200+ courses can be counted for satisfying the requirement for the CALS.

After completing the above requirements, fill out the CALS application form online. (Stony Brook University login is required to access this form.) If you are applying for CALS in two languages, please fill out the form for each language separately. To apply, you must be a matriculated student. You cannot apply for CALS after you graduate.

Then, an LLRC's faculty officer will confirm your course history and send you a commendation letter (PDF)  by email attachment by the end of the semester. At the same time, your name will be added to the list of successful CALS recipients on the LLRC’s webstite 

If you have any questions about the CALS program, email us at with your SBU ID#. For language specific questions such as course offerings, contact one of the following CALS advisors:

Chinese: Dongmei Zeng (
French: Sarah Jourdain (
German: Birgit Viola (
Italian: Giuseppe Gazzola (
Japanese: Eriko Sato (
Korean: Jiwon Hwang (
Russian: Anna Geisherik (
Spanish: Lilia Ruiz-Debbe (

* The CALS Program was initiated as a part of the project "Developing and Strengthening Herritage and Advanced-Level Language Education" funded by the US Education Department's UISFL Grant (2014-2016).

(Last updated on July 24, 2023)

Recipients of the LLRC's Commendation (Legacy Certification) in Advanced Language Studies (CALS) at Stony Brook University

Congratulations! All members of the faculty and staff at the LLRC look forward to seeing the positive impact you will make on our increasingly diverse and multilingual societies with your advanced language skills and rich global perspectives!  

Anders Johnson (2023)
Anthony J. Otters (2023)
Jina Ren (2023)
Alison Chan (2023)
Osakwe Nelly (2023)
Olivia Ford (2020)
Claire Garfield (2019)
Emma Galvin (2019)
Zaid Rahman (2019)
Jeanie Bogart (2018)
Abigail Maher (2018)
Connor Stewart (2018)
Alana Bennett (2023)
Maicey-Chrystel Ocampo (2023)
Lan Yi(2018)
Alana Bennett (2023)
Alvin Chung (2023)
Caitlyn Chen (2023)
Chandrika Joshi (2023)
Christina Bennett (2023)
Martin Kordas (2023)
Naomi Idehen (2023)
Sabrina Burkey (2023)
Sophia Kim (2023)
Sydnie Lee (2020)
Brianna Young (2019)
Aya Kaneko (2018)
Taya Podvorchan (2023)
Mary Brantley (2023)
Julia Wos (2023)
Yelizaveta Yanovskaya (2017)
Lenni Joya Amaya (2023)
David Clark(2019)
Paul Alberti(2018)
Allison Link(2018)
Ornella Riquelme(2018)
Brianna Rodriguez (2018)
Paul Alberti(2018)
Lily Finkelstein(2017)
Tiffany Larson(2017)
* The year specified in the parentheses indicates the year when the completion of the CALS requirement was confirmed by the LLRC.