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Certificate in Advanced Language Studies (CALS)


There are many students on our campus who wish to become proficient in a foreign language 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 Certificate in Advanced Language Studies (CALS). This certificate 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 course.

The languages covered by this program are Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and Spanish. Certification 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 certificate, which demonstrates their high-level of proficiency in a foreign language.

You may enroll in the CALS program at any time, even before taking your first advanced foreign language course. You may also enroll in the CALS program for two or more languages, as long as you intend to complete the requirements for each language. Once you enroll in the CALS program, the Advisor for the language, listed below, should be notified to assure that the courses are relevant to the particular language certification. The LLRC is here to help with any further questions you may have regarding advanced language learning at Stony Brook University. Interested students must do the following:

  1. Fill out the CALS declaration form online:  ( Note : Stony Brook University login is required to access this form.)
  1. Complete at least 12 upper-division (300+) credits in one of these languages with the grade of B or higher:
    • Chinese (CHI) **
    • French (FRN)
    • German (GER)
    • Italian (ITL)
    • Japanese (JPN) **
    • Korean (KOR) **
    • Russian (RUS) *
    • Spanish (SPN)             

                              Note: You can also count the credits that you earned  at SBU before enrolling in the CALS Program. However, tutoring courses and Directed Readings (e.g. FRN 447) cannot be counted.   Credits earned through the Challenge Exam   cannot be counted, either.   T ransfer credits from other institutions generally do not count towards the CALS certificate (please consult your language advisor). {Note updated: 5/7/18}

  1. Apply for this Certificate online as instructed above, AND Submit an e-mail to: with CALS in the Subject Line. An official copy of your transcript is no longer necessary as the LLRC can reference the information needed in our system to check that the CALS requirements were satisfied.
  2. A copy of the certificate will be emailed to you upon receipt of all authorized signatories.
  3. Your name will be added to the list of successful CALS recipients on the LLRC’s website (see below).

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 (

For general questions, contact .

CALS recipients (2020)

Olivia Ford
Sydnie Lee

CALS recipients (2019)

Claire Garfield
Emma Galvin
Zaid Rahman
Brianna Young
David Clark

CALS recipients (2018)

Jeanie Bogart
Abigail Maher
Connor Stewart
Lan Yi
Aya Kaneko
Paul Alberti
 Allison Link
Ornella Riquelme
Paul Alberti

CALS recipients (2017)

Lily Finkelstein
Tiffany Larson


(*) Upper-level course offerings in Russian are currently limited; students are recommended to consult with the RUS advisor.

( **)    For Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, up to two 200+ courses can be counted for satisfying the requirement for the CALS certificate, in consultation with the advisor.