Spanish Major FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Students who have no previous exposure to the language or who have not taken a Spanish class in the last five years should enroll in SPAN 104. Students who have taken a Spanish course in the last five years should take the Spanish placement exam to determine what class to take. The Spanish placement exam can be taken online. After taking the exam, you will receive an exam report with your score and course placement: below 320 (SPAN 111), 320-419 (SPAN 212), 420-500 (SPAN 216, comprehensive culture, speaking & writing OR SPAN 322, comprehensive grammar review for SPAN 324/328), above 500 (SPAN 324 and SPAN 328, taken concurrently). 

Please enroll in to the course designated by your placement exam score. In order to enroll in SPAN 212, SPAN 216, SPAN 322, or SPAN 324/328, you will need a permission code. To obtain a permission code, e-mail Spanish & Portuguese ( after your enrollment window is opened. If you have any questions or concerns about your placement score or have trouble enrolling, make an appointment with the Spanish & Portuguese Undergraduate Advising Specialist by calling 785-864-3500.

Yes, you can combine a Spanish major with another major in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, such as Latin American and Caribbean Studies, History, Philosophy, pre-med, Communications, and so on. If you are in another school, you can also major in Spanish; indeed, many of our majors are in Journalism, Business, or Education. Remember that when you declare a major in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, you need to fulfill all the principal course requirements in the College as well as the requirements for the major. You can also complement your major with a related minor, for example, Brazilian Studies or Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

Students wishing to major in Spanish must first meet with the Undergraduate Advising Specialist. You can make an appointment with the Spanish advisor by calling 785-864-3500. Your advisor will go over information about the Spanish major and will help you complete the paperwork for declaring a major. After you have filled out the required forms, the Department will assign you a faculty advisor. Once you have declared a major, we recommend that you see your advisor at least once a semester during pre-enrollment. Your advisor can help you map out your schedule and figure out the order in which you should take your classes. You are also strongly advised to speak with your advisor when planning to study abroad in order to stay on track for graduation. Finally, make sure to visit your advisor early in your last semester in order to complete graduation paperwork properly. If you are unsure whether you have officially declared a major or who your faculty advisor is, please ask us in the main office of the department.

The following information is helpful for Spanish majors or students studying Spanish to a certain level. Before you consult with your advisor, considering the following: 

You need a total of 32 credits above the general prerequisites in Spanish to graduate (please note that SPAN 324 and 328 are prerequisites). For students who entered before Fall 2011, the required number of credits above the prerequisites is 29. After completing the basic language series (Spanish 216), you should enroll in: 

  • SPAN 322 Spanish Grammar: Form and Meaning in Context (3cr) (Recommended for students who may need an extra focus on grammar); 
  • SPAN 324 Grammar and Composition (3cr) and SPAN 328 Intermediate Spanish Conversation I (2cr). 

These classes are designed to improve your writing and speaking skills (Recommended for students who earned a grade of C+ or higher in SPAN 216 or SPAN 322). 

After completing SPAN 324, you are eligible to continue on to SPAN 340 Textual Analysis (3cr). This class is an introduction to literary genres and styles and critical analysis. It is a prerequisite for all of the upper-division literature classes. You are also eligible to take SPAN 346 Transatlantic Hispanic Cultures (3cr). It is a course that is also required for the major. 

We advise students not to take more than 9 credits of Spanish in a semester in order to follow the planned sequence of classes. After completing SPAN 340, you have more choices. Please note that the prerequisite for SPAN 540, SPAN 550, and SPAN 560 is two 400-level literature courses so you must plan ahead in order to complete these classes before you register for 540, 550, or 560. SPAN 540, 550, and 560 are intensive, capstone courses designed to be taken at the end of the Spanish major. The Department seldom grants transfer credit from Study Abroad for this 500-level. 

For questions and accurate information, students should consult with our Undergraduate Advising Specialist.

Yes, the department offers a minor. To declare a minor in Spanish, make an appointment with our Undergraduate Advising Specialist, by calling (785) 864-3500. She will review the requirements with you and assist with the paperwork for declaring a minor.
A list of requirements can be found at the KU catalog.

If you wish to apply for departmental honors, you should meet with your advisor during the spring semester of your junior year to find out what graduate courses will be offered the following year. Working with your advisor, you will also need to identify the two faculty members with whom you might wish to work on your honors project. You are responsible for approaching these professors and asking them to serve as Honors Project directors. You will also need to submit a Departmental Honors Intent Form (.pdf) to your advisor.

    Students may use PORT 212 or higher (with the exception of PORT 300 and PORT 611) to satisfy the requirements for a 500-level language class and for two 400-level electives (for a maximum of nine credits). For example, a student who has taken PORT 212 and 216, Intermediate Brazilian Portuguese I and II, could use those courses to fulfill the requirement for 6 hours of 400-level electives. You might also consider a minor in Brazilian Studies.

    Students with no prior college or university Spanish course credit are eligible for retroactive credit according to this formula:

    • 3 hours of retroactive credit are awarded to a student who enrolls initially at KU in a third-level Spanish course (SPAN 212) and receives a grade of C or higher.
    • 6 hours of retroactive credit are awarded to a student who enrolls initially at KU in a fourth-level Spanish course (SPAN 216) and receives a grade of C or higher.
    • 9 hours of retroactive credit are awarded to a student who enrolls initially at KU in a 3-credit-hour Spanish course (SPAN 322, 323 or 324) with a fourth-level course as a prerequisite and receives a grade of C or higher.

    Students interested in retroactive credit should contact the main office of the department before enrolling. To apply for retroactive credit, bring a complete application to the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. A complete application for retroactive credit includes:

    • Copy of your Degree Progress Report from the myKU portal.
    • Note from you stating that you wish to apply for retroactive credit.

    Regardless of the number of credits, you will be charged $50.00 by the Bursar’s office after the credits have been applied to your transcript.

    If you have recently taken CEEB Advanced Placement (AP) courses through high school programs, you may be eligible for advanced placement and/or credit. If you have any questions on your AP credits, please consult with your undergraduate academic advisor.
    Also, for more information about Advanced Placement, consult with the KU Admissions website.