Selecting Courses

Spanish Courses

The department offers courses at elementary, intermediate, and advanced levels; most are conducted in Spanish. Elementary and Intermediate courses in Spanish up to 201 focus on understanding, speaking, reading, and writing Spanish, while introducing students to Spanish and Hispanophone literatures and cultures. Advanced courses above 209 continue the development of the Spanish proficiency through the study of aspects or elements of Spanish, Latino/a and Latin American history, literature, arts, and social and political issues.

All students who have taken Spanish and/or have experience interacting in Spanish (with family, and/or friends, members of their community, through study abroad, etc.) must take the Placement Exam. Students who have never studied Spanish before are still required to take the placement exam, and will likely be enrolled in 101. Besides taking the Spanish placement exam, all students must also complete a language questionnaire before registering for classes. Students who have taken one or more AP Spanish courses must register for Spanish 209 or Spanish 212.

The department also offers introductory courses in Latina/o and Latin American literature, history, and culture, in English. If you are interested in pursuing your studies in Latina/o and Latin American Studies, go to the programs page for Latin American Studies major and minor requirements.

Intermediate and advanced courses are offered on topics relating to the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, Brazil, the Andean area, the Southern cone (southern Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile), and Hispanic/Caribbean peoples abroad.

First-Year Students

  • Fill out the Spanish Proficiency Questionnaire
  • Take a Placement Exam
  • If you have taken AP Spanish courses and/or have taken the Spanish AP exam, please register for Spanish 209 or Spanish 212 even if you have not received your score yet. You will need to contact the course instructor to receive permission to register.

Please read the Spanish department course information carefully. You may contact Esther Castro Cuenca if you have any questions.

The results of your test will be sent automatically to the Spanish department and will be made available to you immediately to your @mtholyoke.edu email. Your score will guide you in pre-selecting the appropriate course in which to enroll. The Spanish department, upon reviewing both placement test results and the language questionnaire, may require a level change.

The placement test must be taken at least two months before registration.

Students are strongly encouraged to take their language courses in close succession, without lapses between one level and the next.

First-Year students may consider enrolling in:

  • SPAN-101f - Elementary Spanish
  • SPAN-199f - Preparation for Intermediate Spanish
  • SPAN-201f - Intermediate Spanish
  • SPAN-209fs - Composition and Culture
  • SPAN-212fs - Preparation for Advanced Studies

Note: Only students that have taken an equivalent to SPAN- 212 at another institution may enroll in advanced courses above 212. You may contact the Department Chair, Nieves Romero-Díaz, if you have any questions.