Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to Some Questions About Spanish Language Courses

A. How and when can I take the Spanish Placement Exam?

You can take the placement exam online anytime. The exam will give you your placement results immediately. If you have good reason to believe that the results are not a good reflection of your skills and level you may speak with the Language Program Director. You may not choose to place yourself below or above your placement level his permission. 

B. I have studied Spanish in High School or elsewhere. What do I do?

Classes of 2020 and beyond.

The language requirement for students entering in Fall 2016 and thereafter is 2 semesters of a foreign language at appropriate placement level, no exemptions.

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. You may take this exam online at myBarnard anytime. You can only take this exam once. The exam will determine which course you must attend at Barnard, irrespective of courses taken previously.

Students 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).

College credit points upon completion of bridge or upper-level course with a B+ or higher.

AP (5 score): 3 college credit points.
AP (4 score): 0 college credit points.

IB Higher Level (7 score): 6 college credit points.
IB Higher Level (6 score): 3 college credit points.
IB Higher Level (5 score): 0 college credit points.
IB Standard-Subsidiary Level: 0 college credit points.

 For further information, please contact the Language Program Director, Javier Perez-Zapatero at

Class of 2019

If you do not have an SAT score or if you have an AP score below 4, or an International Baccalaureate (IB) Higher Level Exam in Spanish score below 5, take the online Placement exam and the exam will place you in the right level.

If you have an SAT score of 780, an AP of 4 or 5, or an IB of 7, 6 or 5, you are exempt from the language requirement.

C. I have placed out of Spanish but want to go on. What course should I take?

You may choose one of the many sections offered at Barnard or Columbia of Spanish UN3300: (Advanced Language through Content). This course is a prerequisite for Spanish UN3349 (Hispanic Cultures I), UN3350 (Hispanic Cultures II), and all upper-level courses taught in Spanish. This is also the first course that counts toward a major or minor in Hispanic Studies.

D. In which course should I register if I'm a native or heritage speaker of Spanish who did not place out of the language requirement (for Class of 2019)?

You should register in Spanish for Heritage Speaker (UN2108), a course specially designed to provide heritage students with the necessary tools to reinforce and consolidate their knowledge of the language in an academic environment. The completion of this course leads to the fulfillment of the language requirement for Class of 2019. Enrollment must be approved by the Spanish Language Program Director.