College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences


No Knowledge of the Language

If you have not studied the language in high school or college and do not speak it at home, the appropriate course for you will be the first course in the sequence.

  • Chinese: FL 171
  • French: FL 101
  • German: FL 111
  • Spanish: SPN 151

Placement Exam

If you have had some previous language study at either the high school or college level, or if you speak the language at home but are unsure of your abilities, you should take the placement exam.

The exam is online, unproctored, available 24/7, and you can take it from home. There is a charge of $10 for taking the exam, which you pay directly to the company that administers it. You will receive your results immediately upon completing the test.

This is a self-placement option. It is well worth the effort to get it right the first time, making sure you are placed in the appropriate level for you. This keeps you from wasting time and money, and potentially ending up with a lower grade than you might like.

If after taking the placement exam you are still not sure which section to take, please see the language coordinator for French and Spanish, or the appropriate instructor for Chinese and German.

  • Spanish: Dr. Isabel Bustamante
  • French: Dr. Liliane Fucaloro
  • German: Prof. Irene Daniel
  • Chinese: Prof. Meijuan Dong

Please note that the placement exam does NOT grant academic credit, and it does NOT exempt a student from any language requirements. It is for placement purposes only. We recommend that incoming students complete the test prior to attending the Academic Orientation Program.

More Than Two Years of High School Spanish

Students who have completed 2 years of Spanish in high school with a B or better may enroll in a 200 level course without taking the placement exam: SPN 250 or 252 for those who are native / heritage speakers of Spanish speakers, and SPN 251, 252 or 253 for those who are not native speakers of Spanish. Students with AP courses should contact one of the Spanish advisors.

Native/Heritage Speakers of Spanish

If you grew up in a Spanish-speaking household please do NOT register for SPN 151, as this course is not appropriate to your needs. We have a native/heritage speaker track for you: SPN 154 and SPN 250. These courses will address your linguistic needs much better and more efficently than classes designed for second language learners.

Exam Scores Interpreted

You will receive your score immediately upon completing the exam. Please note or print your score, and use it to determine the appropriate language course for you according to the following tables (click links for tables)

1. Spanish—non-native/non-heritage students

Exam ScoreAppropriate Language Course


SPN 151, Elementary Spanish I


SPN 152, Elementary Spanish II


SPN 153, Elementary Spanish III

351 or above

SPN 251, Intermediate Spanish
SPN 252, Intermediate Spanish Reading
SPN 253, Intermediate Spanish Conversation

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2. Spanish—native/heritage students

Exam ScoreAppropriate Language Course

300 or below

use non-native scores, above


SPN 154, Spanish for Spanish Speakers I

441 or above

SPN 250, Spanish for Spanish Speakers II

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3. French

Exam ScoreAppropriate Language Course


FL 101, Elementary French I


FL 102, Elementary French II


FL 103, Elementary French III

361 or above

see advisor

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4. German

Exam ScoreAppropriate Language Course


FL 111, Elementary German I


FL 112, Elementary German II


FL 113, Elementary German III

361 or above

see advisor

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