Language Requirement


Class of 2020 and beyond, and transfer students entering in Fall 2016 and thereafter

Beginning with students in the class of 2020 and transfer students entering in Fall 2016 and thereafter, the Barnard language requirement is two courses at any level, without exemption. Students cannot place out of the language requirement but must either take two additional courses in a language other than English in which they already have elementary, intermediate or higher proficiency, or begin a new (third) language. The Spanish Language Program at Barnard requires all students to take the placement exam before registering for a Spanish course, regardless of previous level of instruction. They may take this exam online at myBarnard anytime.

Students  (including transfers) entering in Fall 2016 and thereafter with AP, SAT, IB (Higher Level only) or DELE credentials must also take the placement exam and register in a course accordingly. In addition to regular credit for the course they placed in and complete at elementary, intermediate or bridge level, students with AP (5) or IB (Higher Level 6 or 7) scores will receive extra college credit points upon completion of SPAN UN3300: Advanced Spanish through Content, or other bridge/upper-level course (with Language Program Director approval) with a B+ or higher (in addition to credit for that course). Please, see Frequently Asked Questions for further information.

If study abroad is in your plans, please keep in mind that although Barnard College no longer requires intermediate proficiency to satisfy the language requirement, almost all study abroad programs conducting instruction in Spanish require at least four semesters of study for admission. Most Barnard-approved programs—academically pre-vetted for smooth credit transfer—require at least a fifth-semester level of Spanish. For a list of Spanish study abroad programs approved by Barnard, click here.   For a list of number of semesters required for each approved program, click here.

Class of 2019

For students in the Class of 2019, the Barnard language requirement is the completion of  UN2102 (Intermediate Spanish II) or UN2108 (Spanish for Heritage Speakers) at Barnard's Department of Spanish and Latin American Cultures or Columbia's Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures.

Additionally, for Class of 2019, the requirement may be satisfied in one of the following ways:

  • By presenting a score of 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement Spanish Language or Spanish Literature Exams. If you received a score of 5 in either exam you will be awarded three advanced placement credits upon successful completion of a 3300-level (or above) course in Spanish with a grade of B+ or higher. There is no advanced placement credit granted for a score of 4.
  • By presenting a score of 781 or above on the SAT Subject Test.
  • By presenting a score of a 7, 6, or 5 on the International Baccalaureate Higher Level Exam in Spanish.
  • By presenting the certification of the D.E.L.E Examination (Diploma de Español como Lengua Extranjera) for either the Intermedio or the Superior levels.

By obtaining a score of 625 or higher in the department's online Placement Examination at myBarnard.  If your score in the online test qualifies you for exemption from the language requirement at Barnard, you will be required to take another version of this test that will be offered every year on the Thursday, August 30th frfomj 10:00 am to 1:00 pm in 222 Milbank Hall.  If you cannot take it on this date, you may do it on Wednesday, August 29th from 3:00 to 6:00 pm in the Drop-In Language Labe at Columbia's Languare Resource Center, International Affairs Building. If you need to take the exam on Wednesday, August 29th, please register at this link.

Please remember to bring proper photo ID.


The same textbook and its corollary materials are used throughout the four semesters. Students need not take the full four-semester sequence at Barnard, as it is possible to place into the second, third, or fourth semesters.