Declaration Process

The College of Letters is a three-year major that students typically declare during their freshman year at Wesleyan. The declaration period this academic year begins on Mon. December 5, 2022 and runs through the winter break and spring semester on a rolling admissions basis. To ensure a seat in the incoming sophomore class, we advise first-year students to declare the COL major early. For students planning to apply for a Summer Language Learning Grant, please note that these awards will be made early in the spring semester.

Declaring the major involves two separate steps:

  1. Complete and submit a COL Major Declaration Form
  2. Go into WesPortal to declare the COL Major. You can do this by opening the Academics tab, and clicking on Major/Minor/Certificate Declaration.

Please note you will not be able to enter the major without completing both the above steps. Submission of the COL Major Declaration Form provides the department with the information needed to advise an incoming major on all aspects of their academic career, including their choice of a foreign language and study abroad planning. Students will be assigned a COL advisor within two weeks of declaring the major.

Total enrollment in the major is limited to 25 students. Students who wish to enter the major after the end of the COL Major Declaration Period or after the major has been enrolled to capacity should contact the Director to discuss their options.

Transfer students wishing to declare the COL major at the beginning of their sophomore fall semester are advised to contact the Director to discuss their options.

Summer Language Learning Grants for Incoming Students

This year the COL is happy to announce a new Summer Language Learning grant opportunity that the department is piloting thanks to the generosity of a donor.  To graduate from the COL all majors must satisfy a foreign language exit requirement that involves a semester-long study abroad experience in their junior-year spring semester.  (Exceptions are granted by petition for student athletes and international students.)Students in the COL typically have to be at a certain level of language learning by their junior year to apply to Wesleyan’s approved study abroad programs.  Most of these programs have language proficiency requirements.  To support members of each incoming class without this required level of language learning or those who need additional language instruction, the COL will provide language immersion learning grants to students in financial need.  Each grant will cover all the costs of an immersion program in the student’s chosen foreign language of study.  While students will generally be expected to attend the program in the summer before their sophomore year, funds will also be available for students in financial need between their sophomore year and junior year.The level of foreign language learning a student requires to graduate from the COL generally depends on where they wish to study abroad.  If, for instance, you qualify for this grant and plan to study abroad next year in France, Spain, or Italy, you may use the funds to attend a language immersion program this coming summer that provides remedial instruction to get you on pace to study abroad in those countries.  Alternatively, if you’d like to begin a new language from scratch like German, Hebrew, Russian, Greek, or Latin, there are a number of high-quality summer immersion programs that will put you at a level to continue your study of those languages abroad in your junior year.Examples of summer immersion programs supported by this grant include those offered by Middlebury Language Schools in Vermont and the Latin/Greek Institute in New York, but if you have alternative summer programs in mind, you can also list them.  Students who are awarded this grant must commit to continuing their language of study upon returning to Wesleyan in their sophomore and junior years.To apply for this grant, please provide the following:
  1. The foreign language you wish to study, details of the proposed immersion program you wish to attend, and the total cost (tuition and board) of attending the program.
  2. Your current level of proficiency in the language (list “none” if you will start from scratch).
  3. A statement of financial need.
  4. An explanation of (i) how the proposed program will provide you with the level of language learning required to study abroad in the spring of your junior year and (ii) how the proposed program will enable you to satisfy the COL’s foreign language exit requirement by the time of your graduation.
Applications should be sent to the COL Director ( and Christine Tappe ( at the time you declare the COL major.  If you have any questions about the application process, feel free to address them to the COL Director.