A PhD student must demonstrate knowledge in two languages other than English and the student's native language (if different from English). One or both languages may be natural (human) language. At most one language may be a computer programming language; at most one may be a mathematical software package; at most one may be a statistics software package. All languages require certification in addition to any coursework completed.
Certification for natural languages is given by the Department of Modern Languages. Chinese, French, German, and Russian are considered "approved natural languages," which the students may use to fulfill this requirement without first obtaining permission from the Graduate Coordinator, provided they are not the student's native language. A student who wishes to use a language other than Chinese, French, German, or Russian to fulfill the language requirement must first obtain permission from the his or her Major Professor and the Graduate Coordinator. The Major Professor will consider whether the language is relevant to the student's field of research in making the determination. After determining the language is relevant, the Major Professor will inform the Graduate Coordinator in writing of the conclusion reached. The Graduate Coordinator will make the final decision based on the information provided by the Major Professor.
Certification for computer languages and software packages is given by the Departmental Graduate Student Language Testing committee. The Committee will decide which languages and packages, and which combinations thereof, are acceptable for fulfilling the requirement. A student will receive certification by successfully completing a project assigned by the Committee. Projects assigned for certification shall be no longer than one week in duration. All languages used to satisfy the requirement are subject to approval by the student's Major Professor.