The Huntsman Program places a heavy emphasis on advanced language training, not only so that students can master the mechanics of communicating in another language, but also so that they learn the cultural context that underlies all communication. Combined with the Area Studies and Study Abroad requirements, the language component builds more than just linguistic skills – it empowers students with the skills and knowledge to move beyond communication to in-depth understanding.

Applicants should demonstrate intermediate proficiency in their target language. The admissions committee considers language coursework taken in high school, language coursework taken outside of high school, language immersion experiences, heritage knowledge of a language, and/or scores on SAT subject tests, AP exams, IB exams, or O-Levels, if available. Applicants to the Huntsman Program also have the opportunity to explain their experience with their target language in the Penn supplement.

All admitted students are expected to pursue the target language for which they were admitted. Typically, students will have already taken prior coursework in their target language. However, students with native or near-native speaker proficiency in Spanish, may apply for Portuguese at the time of admission without having previously taken Portuguese.