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Frequently Asked Questions

  • I’m interested in studying Spanish. Where should I start?

    Start with a placement test to see which level is right for you.

  • I took the Spanish placement test over a week ago but never got the results. What should I do?

  • I'm afraid my Spanish placement is too high. Should I register for a lower level?

    No, please register for the level you placed into and attend the first day of class.

    • Many students are nervous about their level, especially after some time without practice, but most are able to adjust quickly.
    • It is important for the integrity of our programs and for your own language learning that you take an appropriately challenging class.
    • If you need to move to a lower level, this can be done later, in consultation with your instructor.
  • There were no spaces in the Spanish classes I placed into. Can you overload me?

    We limit the number of students in each class in order to facilitate communication and attention to individual learning.

    • Typically, spaces open up during the add/drop/swap period, so add yourself to a waitlist on OPUS. Contact the instructor for their Zoom link so that you can attend the first classes and you'll be up to speed if you're able to register later.
    • Spanish 212 and 300-level courses are offered every semester, and 101 and 201 will be offered next summer and fall.
    • If you''e looking to fill the language requirement this year, consider studying another language. Students with a background in Spanish are especially encouraged to try Portuguese.
  • What if I'm a native Spanish speaker?

    ¡Te damos la bienvenida! Native and heritage speakers are a vital part of our programs at all levels, and we're glad to have you here.

    • If you grew up speaking Spanish in a country like the United States where it isn't the majority language, you can use Spanish to satisfy the HAL requirement. Please take the Spanish placement test and answer the questions about your background with the language. Most heritage Spanish speakers begin with Spanish 212 or a Foundational Course (300-318), but others start earlier in the sequence.
    • If you went to high school in a Spanish-speaking country, you will need to take a different language to fill the HAL requirement, but you're welcome to take Spanish, starting at the 300 level, as a way of learning more about the language and the Spanish-speaking world.
    • We also invite native and heritage speakers and other advanced Spanish students to take PORT 110: Portuguese for Spanish Speakers, offered every semester.
  • How will classes be conducted this semester?

    All fall 2020 Spanish and Portuguese classes will be taught online.

    • Most will meet for two 75-minute synchronous sessions every week, and some 100-level classes will also meet for a third session.
    • Our department has offered limited online classes in the summer since 2018, and all of our faculty have training in online teaching. Despite the challenges, we find online classes work well for most of our needs, including oral and written communication, small-group work, class presentations, and textual analysis.
  • Can I major or minor in this department?

    Yes, you can choose from a variety of degree programs in Spanish, Portuguese, and the related fields of linguistics and Latin American and Caribbean studies.

  • Can we talk some more?

    We would love to! Come to our department info session on Tuesday, August 18th, at 10 AM. Zoom link:

    You can also email us: