Students in the areas of Computational Math and Theory must pass a foreign language competency exam as part of the admission to candidacy process. This exam is not required of students in other areas.

The language exam consists of translating part of a paper into English. The goal of the exam is to present the main points of the paper by translating the introduction and main results. The use of dictionaries and public-domain translating software (but no hired consultants) is permitted.

The requirement is very broad in terms of choice of language, subject only to the approval of the student's Examination Committee.

At the discretion of the committee, the requirement can be waived, if the either the area of study or the student's linguistic background make that an appropriate choice.