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the language requirement in spanish

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If you are beginning your language study at Penn at the 110 - 140 level (elementary and intermediate language) you will only receive credit for the course you have been placed into, either through the SAT II exam, the Transfer Credit Exam (for transfer students only), or a departmental placement exam. 

If you have already completed the language requirement and you wish to learn another language in the Romance Languages department, you qualify to take an accelerated elementary course - 112. You must request authorization from the Undergraduate Coordinator via e-mail explaining how and in which language you completed the language requirement, as well as for which course you wish to register.

You do NOT need to take the online language placement exam if:

  • You have never studied the language.

  • Your SAT II score is 650 or above. You are then exempt from the language requirement and may enroll in 202. If your score is between 600 and 640, you qualify to take an oral exam to be exempt from the language requirement. The oral exam is offered during the first two weeks of a semester only. Please sign up for the exam with the Undergraduate Coordinator. If your score is less than 600, you may use your SAT II score for placement at the 110 - 140 level. Check out the SAT II Placement Scale. Please bring a copy of your official score to the first day of class.

  • You have scored a 4 or 5 on either the language or the literature Advanced Placement exam. In that case, you may directly enroll in 200 level courses. AP scores of 1, 2, and 3 are not used for placement purposes. 

    • Students who have scored a 4 in the AP Spanish language examination and who wish to continue in Spanish should enroll in SPAN 202.

    • Students who have scored a 5 in the AP Spanish language examination and who wish to continue in Spanish should enroll in SPAN 212.

    • Students who have scored a 5 in the AP Spanish literature examination and who wish to continue in Spanish should enroll in SPAN 219.

    • Students who scored a 4 or 5 in the AP Spanish language exam may also consider SPAN 205 or 208.  Students who scored a 5 are also eligible to enroll in SPAN 215, 221 or 222.  For further advising, contact the Acting Undergraduate Chair, Professor Toni Espòsito, or the Director of the Spanish Language Program, Victoria García-Serrano.

  • You have successfully completed the previous language course in sequence at Penn. 

  • You are a transfer student who is seeking transfer credit for Spanish. Instead, please consult our transfer credit regulations.

You must take the online placement exam if:

  • You are continuing a language begun elsewhere, either in middle school, high school or at another college or university. Without a proper placement score you will not be allowed to remain in a course for credit. 

When is the online placement exam given?

  • The Spanish placement exam is an online examination which may be taken at any time from any computer with a connection to the internet. An active email address is required. You must print and save your score, as well as the e-mail confirming your score. You will be asked to present this copy of your online score in class. If you do not present a proof of placement, you will not be able to receive credit for the course

  • The MCE department placement exam is offered to those students who score above 546 on the online examination at the beginning of each semester.The placement exams for this year will take place on Monday, August 24, 2015 from 9:00-11:00am in David Rittenhouse Laboratory, Room A-1.In order to take the placement exam, eligible students must register by  August 23rd at 8pm. For more information, please contact the main office at 215.898.7429.

If you feel the placement score does not reflect your level:

  • College students: You may take a course one level higher from your placement score without seeing an advisor for approval. You may not, however, move higher than the 140-level in any language.

  • Wharton, Engineering, Nursing, or CGS students: You should contact the appropriate course coordinator if you wish to move up a level. 

  • Normally students are not given permission to take a course below the level indicated by their placement score. If you feel you have special circumstances, consult the specific course coordinator