Language Learning

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. 


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.

Students who want to receive credit for a Spanish language course taken outside of Princeton University, or have questions concerning placement, should contact Catalina Méndez Vallejo, associate director of the Spanish Language Program.

Please contact Catalina Méndez Vallejo for the following:
  • Spanish language placement test
  • 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 Departmental Representative, Germán Labrador Méndez
  • High school students for Teacher Prep Program


The normal sequence for beginners seeking a basic mastery of Portuguese is POR 101, 102, 107, which satisfies the University's language requirement. Beginning with the Fall 2019 semester, POR 107 (a new course offering) will replace POR 109 in this sequence. 

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. POR 110 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 Nicola Cooney.


Director of Spanish Language Program:
Alberto Bruzos

Associate Directors of Spanish Lang. Program:
Sylvia Zetterstrand
Catalina Méndez Vallejo

Director of Portuguese Language Program:
Nicola Cooney