Submit your application to study with the Center for World Languages.

Through the Center’s innovative programs, students have the opportunity to study languages not currently offered in classroom courses at any of the Five Colleges. We admit highly motivated students with a record of past success in language learning and demonstrated readiness to undertake independent work. We look forward to meeting you!

How to Apply

  1. Review the program FAQ and application FAQ below.
  2. Complete the application. 
  3. Schedule an intake interview using the link provided after application submission. If you do not promptly receive an email, check your spam folder or contact

Deadline: Monday, January 30. Note that this deadline is before the start of UMass classes. Some languages have limited availability and will close early. 


What language(s) do you speak at home? In what language(s) did you receive your formal education? What other language courses have you taken previously?
Why are you interested in this language? Have you had any other experience with the language or its culture(s)—for example, through coursework, time abroad, exposure at home, etc.?
Our courses require a significant and regular time commitment, as well as self-discipline. What are your other commitments this semester (classes, extracurriculars, work, etc.)? How will you make time for your language study? What makes you a good candidate for self-directed learning?

Application FAQ

No. The intake interview is a chance for us to get to know you, tell you about our program, make sure it’s a good fit, and answer your questions.

Most of our courses have no prerequisites, with the exception of Cantonese for Mandarin Speakers and spoken Arabic dialects.

Cantonese for Mandarin Speakers is open to advanced and native speakers of Mandarin Chinese and heritage Cantonese speakers who have taken at least one year of college-level Mandarin Chinese or the equivalent. Asian Language and Asian Studies majors must have their academic advisor's permission to enroll.

Arabic dialect courses are open to students with the ability to read and write in Arabic and basic speaking ability in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA/fusha) or a spoken Arabic dialect. More information about Arabic placement is available here.

Most are, but some languages have limited or inconsistent availability. To inquire about the availability of a specific language, email or submit an application. 

Check to see if your language of interest is one of the many available through the campuses, including French, German, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Hebrew, and more. View a list of all languages offered for Five College students.

If your language is not currently available, contact to discuss your options. We periodically add new languages to our roster. It can take up to a year or more to develop a course in a new language, so you are encouraged to contact us as early as possible in your academic career.

Be sure to describe your previous experience in your application and in the intake interview. During the interview, you will work with a program staff member to determine appropriate placement.

No. Classes are for students enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program at Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, Smith, or UMass only. 

All students in their second semester or beyond are welcome to apply. First-year, first-semester students are occasionally admitted with special permission from the program director and their home campus advisor/registrar.

No, continuing students do not need to submit a new application. Email your course organizer or to indicate your interest in continuing.

Contact Us

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Center for World Languages Staff