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 (6 credits)
  • FRN, GMN, or SPA 102/201*
  • FRN, GMN, or SPA 201 Language and Culture in the Spanish-Speaking World - Intermediate Level I/202
  • One FRN, GMN, or SPA course at the 300 level or higher
  • Effective

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.

Note: Effective with the Fall 2016 semester, all language courses above the 101 level are offered for 4 credits with an added focus on intercultural competence. Students will have the option to complete the language requirement by taking one 4-credit language course at the 102 level or higher, depending on the placement level at time students enrolled at LVC.  Students who have taken one 3-credit course as part of a two course sequence described above must still complete the next level course for 4-credits. For the purpose of satisfying the language requirement in French and German, 200 courses are considered equivalent to former 201 courses; 280 courses are considered equivalent to former 202 courses.

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. For more information regarding the placement test, please visit

Transfer Students: Transfer students who have completed a two semester (6-credits 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 the Foreign Language Proficiency test of the New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies, or another appropriate test as approved in advance by the chair of the Languages Department and the Registrar. Students who takes the NYU test and earn a minimum score of 13 on the 16-point exam will be exempt from LVC's Language requirement and earn four elective credits.  The College will provide a proctor and test facility for the NYU test to be administered at LVC.  Alternatively, students may take the test at NYU.

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, 201/280, or 200/280) 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 250 World Architecture
FRN 360 Francophone Cultures and Civilizations Countries
GMN 305 Summer Study in Germany
HIS 202 Historical Geography
HIS 275 Modern Latin America
HIS 303 Seminar on the History of South Africa
HIS 304 Seminar on the History of Brazil
HIS 305 History of Mexico
IME 240 Semester in Buenos Aires, Argentina
IME 242 Semester in Melbourne, Australia
IME 243 Semester in Shanghai, China
IME 246 Semester in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
IME 247 Semester in Santiago, Dominican Republic
IME 249 Semester in London, England
IME 251 Semester in Montpelier, France
IME 253 Semester in Berlin, Germany
IME 254 Semester in Athens, Greece
IME 255 Semester in Perugia, Italy
IME 258 Semester in Hamilton, New Zealand
IME 260 Semester in Belfast, Northern Ireland
IME 263 Semester in Valladolid, Spain
MSC 202 World Musics
PHL 140 Encountering World Philosophies
POL 210 Comparative Politics
REL 140 Encountering World Religions
REL 150 Encountering Other Religions
REL 200 Comparative Scripture
REL 204 Hindu Scripture
REL 240 Hindu Traditions
REL 242 Buddhist Traditions
REL 244 Islamic Traditions

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 280 Gender and Sexual Minorities in America Culture
AMS 362 Multiculturalism and the American Identity
ASD 330 Diversity in the Workforce
EDU 240 Language, Cultural Diversity and Academic Achievement: PreK - Grade 8
EDU 245 Language, Cultural Diversity and Academic Achievement: Grade 7 - Grade 12
ENG 420 African-American Literature
ENG 421 Literature by Women
ENG 423 The Literature of Native America
HIS 220 Colonial America: a History in Red, White, and Black
HIS 241 Working-Class Studies
HIS 330 The Ruling Class
IDS 210 Intergroup Dialogue
IME 267 Semester in Philadelphia, PA
IME 269 Semester in Washington, DC
LAW 316 Civil Liberties and Civil Rights
MSC 201 Music of the United States
MSC 203 All That Jazz: Performance Survey of American Musical Theatre Literature
PHL 229 Culture and Conflict in Modern America
POL 316 Civil Liberties and Civil Rights
PSY 247 Psychological Perspectives on Gender
REL 120 Religious Diversity in America
SOC 162 Race and the Intersections of Identity
SOC 224 Native American Experience
SOC 226 Women and Gender Issues
SOC 240 Diversity and Intercultural Communication
SPA 311 Spanish for Heritage Speakers
SPA 385 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.