Language Requirements

The purpose of the foreign language proficiency requirement is to ensure that those holding the Yale PhD in History are versed in the language or languages necessary to conduct high-level research in their field. If you have questions about the requirement, please consult with the DGS and your primary advisor.
1.  African. Students should meet one of three requirements: (1) French and German or Portuguese or Dutch-Afrikaans; (2) French or German or Portuguese and Arabic; (3) French or German or Portuguese or Dutch-Afrikaans and an African language approved by the Director of Graduate Studies and the faculty adviser.
2.  American. One language relevant to the student’s interests. Additional languages as needed.
3.  Ancient. French, German, Greek, and Latin.
4.  Byzantine. Greek, Latin, French, German, and any additional language, e.g., Russian, required for dissertation research.
5.  Chinese. Chinese and Japanese. Additional languages may be necessary; e.g., French, Russian, or German.
6.  East European. The language of the country of the student’s concentration plus two of the following: French, German, Russian, and approved substitution.
7.  Global/International. Two languages to be determined by the DGS in consultation with the advisor.
8.  West European (including Britain). French and German. The Director of Graduate Studies may approve the substitution of another European language for French or German.
9.  Japanese. Japanese and one additional language, as approved by the student’s adviser and the DGS.
10. Jewish.  Modern Hebrew and German, and additional languages such as Latin, Arabic, Yiddish, Russian, or Polish as required by the student’s areas of specialization.
11. Latin American. Spanish, Portuguese, and French.
12. Medieval. French, German, and Latin.
13. Middle East. Arabic, Persian, or Turkish (or modern Hebrew depending on one’s area of research); and a major European research language (French, German, Russian, or an approved substitution depending on one’s area of research).
14. Russian. Russian plus French or German with other languages added as required.
15. South Asia. One South Asian language and a second relevant research language, whether another South Asian or a European or Asian language
16. Southeast Asian.  Dutch or French or Spanish or Portuguese or Chinese or Sanskrit or Arabic and one or more Southeast Asian languages (e.g., Bahasa Indonesia, Burmese, Khmer, Lao, Malay, Tagalog, Thai, Tetum, or Vietnamese).  In certain cases, Ph.D. dissertation research on Southeast Asia may also require knowledge of a regional or local language, e.g., Balinese or Cham.
17. Special. If none of the above guidelines is applicable, language requirements will be set by the appropriate faculty in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies.
Language requirements for the Program in History of Science & Medicine are detailed on the HSHM graduate program webpage