Certificate FAQs

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What is the certificate? The International Engineering Certificate, a collaboration between the College of Engineering and Applied Science and some of the foreign language departments in the College of Arts & Sciences, is a credential that can be added to your Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering. Tracks are available in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish languages and cultures. Other languages may be added in the future. The certificate indicates to a potential employer that you have a basic understanding of a foreign language and culture and the ability to work as part of an international team.

What are the requirements? : The certificate includes courses in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, or Spanish language, as well as language-specific culture or literature courses. Your foreign language course placement depends on your proficiency level entering CU.

Why international? Each of the major U.S. companies employs 500-5,000 people per year outside the U.S. Knowledge of a second language is essential in over 60 occupations. Even if you never leave the U.S. during your career, the odds are that you’ll be interacting with people of many cultures and languages. A lack of cultural understanding is often cited as the most frequent reason for international projects to fail. Training in language and culture should give you the necessary skills to work in our global marketplace.

What if you don’t know the language? Students who have had no prior language experience in Chinese, German, Italian, or Japanese can take beginning courses. Students interested in obtaining the French or Spanish certificates should have intermediate proficiency upon entering CU.

Won’t this program delay my degree? No, with careful selection of courses, you should be able to complete the certificate without delaying your graduation date. All engineering majors require a certain number of humanities and social science courses, so you can select foreign language or culture classes to meet these requirements.

Can I go abroad to study or work? Yes, certificate students are strongly encouraged to pursue a study, research, or internship abroad experience. For more information, please visit the CU Study Abroad Programs Office.

I like languages and would like to take more classes. Where do I start? Engineering students who would like to expand their foreign language studies are encouraged to add a minor or second major in a language. Please visit the appropriate language department for more information. However, be aware that we cannot award both an International Engineering Certificate and a major or minor in the same language. 

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