How To Get Started

Language Requirement, Placement Test, and Proficiency Evaluations

An Advanced Placement Examination in Spanish (Language and/or Literature) with a score of 5 or SAT Subject Test score of at least 760 is required to satisfy the A.B. foreign language requirement at entrance, or for admission to a 200-level course. A score of 7 on the higher-level IB test or a grade of A on the British A-level exam also fulfills the requirement.  

Students who wish to continue a language begun in secondary school must have their proficiency measured either by a College Board score for admission or by the Department's placement test administered online during the summer before course registration. 

Important note for the Class of 2026: A 5 on the AP Spanish Language Test (and commensurate scores on the IB, A-level, or SAT II as described in the AP table), regardless of the year you took the test, satisfies the language requirement and places you into 200-level SPA courses. You do NOT need to take the Spanish placement test, but you do need to have your official score report sent to Princeton. If you have a 5 on the AP Spanish Language Test and took the placement test due to conflicting guidance on Canvas test site, we will honor your AP score of 5 (which fulfills the language requirement).


View how to get started taking Spanish at Princeton.

The normal program for beginners seeking a basic mastery of Spanish is the sequence: SPA 101, 102, 107, which satisfies the university language requirement.

Students with a satisfactory score on the Department's Spanish language placement test will be placed in either 103 or 105, and will proceed respectively to 107 or 108 to satisfy the University language requirement. They may also be placed directly into 108. Students who have successfully completed 107 may not take 108. Students cannot place into SPA 102 or SPA 107 through the department's placement test.

Course credit in SPA 101-102, 103, 107 or 108 is also available through approved courses outside of Princeton University pending our department's placement test results. Students who take 100-level Spanish courses outside of Princeton University must take the departmental placement test after the completion of their courses to demonstrate that they have reached the necessary proficiency level.

Contact Catalina Méndez Vallejo for questions regarding the placement test. 

Students who want to receive credit for a Spanish language-level course taken outside of Princeton University should contact Mariana Bono.

Please contact Mariana Bono for the following:
  • Language assessment and proficiency evaluations (undergraduate and graduate students)
  • Pre-approval for 100- and 200-level Spanish language courses taken abroad. For upper-level Spanish literature and culture courses, please contact Director of Undergraduate Studies, Natalia Castro Picón

Contact Mariana Bono for questions regarding the Teacher Prep Program


View how to get started taking Portuguese at Princeton.

The normal sequence for beginners seeking a basic mastery of Portuguese is POR 101, 102, 107, which satisfies the University's language requirement.

The sequence for students who have a previous knowledge of a Romance language is 106, 109, which also satisfies the University's language requirement. POR 106 is designed for, but not limited to, students who have already fulfilled the language requirement in Spanish, French, or Italian. Students are encouraged to contact an instructor of Portuguese to find out whether they qualify to take 106. POR 199 is an intensive one-semester course and may not be used to fulfill the language requirement. Placement is handled on a case by case basis. All questions related to 100- and 200-level Portuguese courses can be addressed to the Director of the Portuguese Language Program, Nicola Cooney.

The Portuguese faculty and instructors have created Lingua Viva- an online learning platform tailored to Princeton students- to support Portuguese courses. This website includes videos, music, news, literary works and more to maximize language acquisition and promotes the diverse cultures of the Portuguese-speaking world. You are required to log into your Princeton University account in order to access the resources on the website.


Director of Spanish Language Program:
Alberto Bruzos Moro

Director of Portuguese Language Program:
Nicola Cooney