Massachusetts State Seal of Biliteracy

Middlesex Community College supports and recognizes the Massachusetts State Seal of Biliteracy, a part of the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s Equity Agenda.

What is the Massachusetts State Seal of Biliteracy?
The State Seal of Biliteracy is an award provided by the State of Massachusetts that recognizes public high school graduates who attain high functional and academic levels of proficiency in English and a world language in recognition of having studied and attained proficiency in two languages by high school graduation. The vision is to help students recognize the value of their academic success and see the tangible benefits of being biliterate. The State Seal of Biliteracy takes the form of a seal that appears on the transcript or diploma of the graduating senior and is a statement of accomplishment for future employers and for college admissions.

The Massachusetts State Seal of Biliteracy acknowledges linguistic equity because all world languages are included.  Proficiency of the languages is evaluated via testing that measures all modalities of communication: listening and understanding spoken language, speaking with fluency (use of vocabulary), reading and comprehending the reading, and writing to demonstrate knowledge of grammar. 

What Type of Credit is Recognized at MCC?
Massachusetts public high school students who prove by their language proficiency skills (biliteracy) with equal strength in a world language plus English earn the Seal of Biliteracy. Students will receive:

  • Placement into college-level English Composition without the need for placement testing or developmental courses
  • 9 credits (3 semesters at 3 credits each) of World Language Electives for the Seal of Biliteracy
    (Intermediate High level of proficiency)
  • 12 credits (4 semesters at 3 credits each) of World Language Electives for the Seal of Biliteracy with Distinction
    (Advanced Low level of proficiency)

Language Determination

  • Following an initial recognition of general World Language Elective (LAN) credits upon admission to MCC, the student will be notified that they can optionally request a verification process for a specific language to be recognized on their transcript.
  • If the college offers the language (see below), the student can receive credit for that specific language rather than general, unidentified World Language credits. 
  • World Language credits recognized from the Seal of Biliteracy count as general Humanities Electives, whether the specific language has been identified or not. They could also count as open General Education Electives or Fee Electives. 
  • However, in order to count for the specific 3 credits of Humanities in the 21-credit MCC General Education Core required for all programs, a specific language would need to be determined and assigned. (See a college adviser for further explanation.)

Avoidance of Double Counting

  • Before a student can receive credit for Advanced Placement (AP), CLEP exam languages, or specific World Language courses taken at MCC, the college will need to determine which language the student's Seal of Biliteracy was for in order to avoid double counting of credits for the same language from multiple sources.
  • Students may opt to not have their Seal of Biliteracy credits recognized by MCC if they wish to take the same World Language courses at MCC for regular, graded credit. 


  • On student transcripts, these credits will not be graded and instead be identified as TR (for transfer) with a descriptive line as sourced from the Seal of Biliteracy.
  • Whether recognized as a specific language or a generic World Language, these credits may or may not be transferable to another college. 
  • Each college and university determines if or how the Massachusetts State Seal of Biliteracy will be recognized and, if so, the number of credits may vary.
  • Students may opt to not have their Seal of Biliteracy credits recognized by MCC if they wish to take World Language courses at MCC for regular, graded credit in order to better facilitate transferability. 

Which World Languages are Offered for 4 Semesters at MCC?

  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • Finnish
  • French
  • German
  • Japanese
  • Hebrew
  • Italian
  • Khmer
  • Latin
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish

For More Information, contact:

Matthew Olson, EdD
Dean of Liberal Arts
Last Modified: 10/4/23