Placement

If you are beginning your language study at Penn at the Spanish 110—140 level (elementary and intermediate language) you will only receive credit for the course you have been placed into or the level above (please see below regarding the Department's policy on moving up one level); either through the SAT II exam; the Transfer Credit Exam (for transfer students only); or the written departmental exam (a paper-and-pencil multiple-choice exam taken at Penn).

  • Students in the College have the option of moving up one level from their online placement score. Permission is not needed.
  • Wharton, Nursing, Engineering, and LPS students who are interested in moving up one level from their online placement score, must receive permission from the Spanish course coordinator and take the course for a letter grade. (For example, if you are placed into Spanish 130, but are considering Spanish 140, please speak with the Spanish 140 coordinator.)

If you have already completed the language requirement in another language and you wish to learn another language in the Department of Romance Languages, you qualify to take an accelerated elementary course (Spanish 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 Under the Following Circumstances

  • You have never studied the language.
  • 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 are a Wharton student entering in 2017 or later. Please see here for more information. 
  • Your SAT II score is 650 or above. You are then exempt from the language requirement and may enroll in 202.
    For more information: Placement via the SAT II.
  • 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.
    For more information: Placement via the AP or IB examination.

You Must Take the Online Language Placement Exam Under the Following Circumstances

  • You must take the online placement exam if you are continuing a language begun elsewhere, in a middle school or high school located in the United States. Students who have taken the SAT II, AP, or IB examination(s) should see our policy for proper placement.
  • If you are a transfer student who has taken Spanish at another college or university, please see our transfer credit process and do NOT take the online exam.
  • Without a proper placement score you will not be allowed to remain in a course for credit.
Online Placement Exam

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.

What if I feel as though my placement score does not reflect my level?

  • Please attend the course level for a few days. At the beginning of the semester, instructors will conduct a diagnostic test to ascertain the level of his/her students.
  • College students: You may take a course one level higher from your placement score without seeing an advisor or coordinator for approval. You may not, however, move higher than the 140/145-level in any language.
  • Wharton, Nursing, Engineering, and LPS students who are interested in moving up one level from their online placement score, must receive permission from the Spanish course coordinator and take the course for a letter grade. (For example, if you are placed into Spanish 130, but are considering Spanish 140, please speak with the Spanish 140 coordinator.)
  • 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.