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FAQs- Spanish Program

FAQ TravelReadyMD

Q: I took Spanish in high school and I want to take a course in Spanish, how do I register?
A: Everyone must take a placement exam before registering for any courses in Spanish. For dates and location, please click here.

Q: Do I need to take the placement exam if I am a transfer student?
A: If you took Spanish in your previous institution, you should get an equivalency form to determine what are the next courses you need to take.

Q: What if I receive AP credits for Spanish?
A: You can either take the placement exam or register in the next level (level depends on your AP placement) or contact the undergraduate director.

Q: What if I feel my level of proficiency is higher or lower than my placement?
A: You must contact our language coordinator, Dr. Celines Villalba, via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please include your RUID so that she can assess your situation by checking your placement exam. Please Note: Placement exams are rarely ever changed.

Q: Can I re-take the placement exam?
A: No, you cannot re-take the placement exam. Any discrepancies must be discussed with the language coordinator or undergraduate director.

Q: When and where can I receive my placement exam results?
A: Placement exam results will be posted on your Degree Navigator profile under “Course lists” within 48-72 hours after the exam has been taken.

Q: Can I take 131 and 132 during the same semester?
A: No, you must take the courses sequentially. Both courses are offered in both fall and spring semesters.

Q: Can I take 203 and 204 during the same semester?
A: Spanish 203 and 204 is the course for non-heritage speakers. These courses do not need to be taken in sequence and may be taken during the same semester.

Q: I’m a heritage speaker, can I take 203 and 204?
A: If you are a heritage speaker you should be registered in 201 and 202. These courses are designed specifically for heritage speakers regardless if they have studied Spanish formally or not. This course is designed to highlight the linguistics challenges/skills that heritage students possess with the Spanish language.

Q:  How do I know if I am a heritage speaker?
A: You must contact our language coordinator for an evaluation. Our language coordinator is Dr. Celines Villalba, email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Q: What is a minor in Spanish?
A: A minor in Spanish consists of 18 credits. 9 credits must at the 300 or 400 level.

Q: Do I need to take 215 or 261 if I want to complete my minor?
A: Spanish 215 and 261 are NOT required for the minor in Spanish. However, these courses are pre-requisites for courses at the 300 level in literature (215) and linguistics (261). If you want to take courses at the 300 level in literature and linguistics you do need to take these courses.

Q: How then can I complete the minor without taking 215/261?
A: It depends on what level you have phased into. The lowest course that can count towards the minor is 132/139 for heritage speakers (hs). After you can take 203and204/201and202 (hs). These three courses will count as the lower level of the minor. You will then need to take 325 (pre-req for courses at the 300-level that are not in literature and linguistics). After completing 325, you can take courses 313, 326 and 360.

Q: What if I place into 215, 261 and 325? Can I still complete my minor?
A: Yes, Since these are the pre-reqs for most courses in the department you will have completed the pre-reqs for courses in the 300-literature level and 300-linguistics level.

Q: What if I do not want to take 215?
A: You are not required to take 215, but it also means you cannot take courses at the 300-level in literature.

Q: Do I need to take 261 to complete my minor?
A: You are not required to take 261, but if you do not take 261, you cannot take any courses at the 300- linguistics level.

Q: Can I complete my minor abroad?
A: Yes, but it is advisable that you meet with the UD before travelling abroad to confirm that you take the courses required for the minor. UD will review your profile on Degree Navigator (DN) and will give you a written statement of the courses needed to take abroad and courses need for the following semester.

 Q: Do I need the OPIc to graduate?
A: Students registered in Spanish 499 will complete the OPI exam as part of the course. Instructions will be given during the first day of classes.

Q: Do I need to take the language labs to complete my major?
A: All majors in Spanish must complete 389/499 (388-heritage speakers). Both courses must be taken in sequence. Students can take courses back to back in one semester or in two different semesters. But they must be taken sequentially.

Q: How many credits do I need for the major?
A: The major consists of 38 credits:
12 three-credit courses (At 200, 300 and 400 levels)
2 one-credit lab courses
The Oral Proficiency Interview
(Please note: 201/202 or 203/204 are the lowest courses required for the major)

Q: What if I place into 215, do I need to take 203/204?
A: No, you should never take a course below placement. You will begin your major with 215, 261 and 325. No major is exempt from these courses.

Q: What if I took the linguistics course (01:615:101) will it count for my major in Spanish?
A: If you took the 615:101 you will receive credit for the course in linguistics, but not for the major in Spanish. You must stop by the department to make a notation in DN, explaining you can move into the 300-level course because you have completed the pre-reg. Please note: that every time you want to take a 300-level course in linguistics you will need a SPN or course override. The system will not recognize 615:101 as a pre-reg.

Q: How many courses can I take in English to count for my major?
A: You are allowed to take one course taught in English in order for it to count for the major, however all work must be completed in Spanish.

Q: Can I take a 300-level course in literature and linguistics without having taken 215 or 261? 
A: No. Students are not allowed to take courses without taking the pre-reg.

Q: Can I take a 300-level course and pre-reg during the same semester?
A: No. You must take the pre-requisite prior to the course.

Q: What do I need to study abroad in Valencia?
A: You need to stop by the UD office to discuss your requirements. It is strongly recommended that all majors complete 215 and 261 before travelling abroad to Valencia.

Q: What do I need to do to apply for the Valencia, Salamanca and Peru?
A: You must see the UD to discuss the completion of requirements.

Q: I just got back from studying abroad, what are my next steps?
A: Once the grades are posted on DN, you must stop by the office of UD to make sure that requirements/grades are credited to your major/minor. Specifically for fulfilling the minor/major. YOU DO NOT NEED TO MAKE A PRIOR APPOINTMENT, BUT YOU MUST MEET WITH THE UD UPON GRADES BEING POSTED.

Q: What is the best mode of communicating with the Undergraduate Director?
A: Email at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Contact Us

Academic Building-CAC
15 Seminary Place
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

P  848-932-9323
F  732.932.7126 

Email: info@spanport.rutgers.edu