Information and Enrollment

In order to enroll in any Critical Language course, the student must complete an application in early April to be accepted into the program. Generally, Forms are available on this page for two weeks after Spring Break. This year, 2021, application period will be open April 13 – 27. Geared toward the highly motivated and disciplined learners, students must demonstrate the ability to sustain language study in the independent format and meet these basic eligibility requirements:

  • have second-year standing or higher
  • demonstrate proven capability of independent work
  • describe previous success in foreign language study
  • present a coherent proposal explaining how the language integrates with their academic interests
  • have at least a 3.o GPA
  • attach a copy of Williams academic transcript
  • obtain a letter of support from a Williams faculty member

In some cases, a placement test will be administered.

A Critical Languages course will be scheduled only if and when at least two students are accepted into the course.

Students should note that Critical Languages courses are hyphenated, meaning no credit is given for the first semester until the second semester is successfully completed. The courses cannot be taken Pass/Fail. It may be taken as a graded fifth course.


The application and information period is open for two weeks before the Fall semester pre-registration period. Acceptance will be communicated in time to pre-register. For any questions not answered in the FAQ, email [email protected].


  • ☞  This form was available here between 4/13/2021 and 4/27/2021.

  • Dear Faculty: Students wishing to enroll in the Critical Languages Program at Williams are required to have a faculty member support their application. This program offers students one-year of elementary Hebrew, Hindi-Urdu, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, and Swahili in a self-instructional format with weekly review sessions conducted by native speakers. A full-time language professor at another institution serves as the consultant for the course – providing the syllabus, monitoring student progress, administering the exams and determining the grade.

    Since students must be highly motivated to sustain study of these less commonly taught languages in an independent mode, your input on the applicant’s ability to successfully complete the program is greatly appreciated.

    ☞  This form was available here between 4/13/2021 and 4/30/2021.