menu
William and Mary
search

Placement

Please consult the W&M Undergraduate Course Catalog for detailed information about the College's foreign language proficiency requirements, placement, and AP equivalency credits.

Guidelines for Placement for W&M Credit in Spanish-language courses. 

Incoming students should fulfill their Foreign Language Proficiency requirement in their first or second year at the College. Students who have never had formal training in Spanish language, or who have not had sufficient training to fulfill the foreign language proficiency requirement, are advised as follows.

I. If you never studied Spanish, and are not a heritage speaker, you should enroll in 101. 

II. Placement By Years of High School Study

  • If you have completed Level I of Spanish, you should enroll in 101 or 102. If you are a solid, highly motivated language learner, and want to complete 101 and 102 in an intensive, single-semester course, you may decide to enroll in HISP 103.
  • If you have completed Level II of Spanish, you should enroll in 102 or 201 (no credit given for HISP 101).
  • If you have completed Level III of Spanish, you should enroll in either 201 or 202 (no credit given for HISP 101-102). If you are a solid, highly motivated language learner, and want to complete 201 and 202 in an intensive, single-semester course, you may decide to enroll in HISP 203.
  • If you have completed Level IV, and would like to continue studying Spanish at W&M, you should enroll in HISP 206 or 207 (no credit given for 101-203).
  • If you have completed Level V, you should enroll in courses above 203 (no credit given for 101-203), such as HISP 206, 207 or 208. Freshman Seminar HISP 151 also is perfect for students who have completed Spanish V or AP Spanish.

 Frequently Asked Questions About Placement in Spanish Language Courses at W&M

Q: I completed Spanish IV in high school. What's the right class for me to continue in Spanish language courses in the Hispanic Studies program at W&M? I feel like I've forgotten quite a bit of grammar and vocabulary, and am nervous about my placement in a college course.

A: Having completed Spanish IV, you have fulfilled the College's foreign language proficiency requirement. If you wish to continue taking courses taught in Spanish, you have several options for enrollment. You may not take Hispanic Studies 101, 102, 103, 201, 202 or 203 for academic credit. The perfect follow-up to Level IV high school Spanish is Hispanic Studies 206. There is opportunity to review grammar while honing your communication skills, and the course is designed for students like you who may be feeling rusty about linguistic skills learned even a couple of years ago in high school.

Q: I completed level V of high school Spanish. What's the right level of coursework for me?

A: You have fulfilled the College's foreign language proficiency requirement based on your high school study. The best courses for entering freshmen with your Spanish language background are either: HISP 151 Freshman Seminar (a Topics course taught in Spanish; counts for the Hispanic Studies major or minor); HISP 207 Cross-Cultural Perspectives (fulfills GER4C); HISP 208 (Fundamentals of Literary Criticism; fulfills GER 5, counts for HISP major/minor); or maybe HISP 305 (Advanced Composition; counts for Hispanic Studies minor and major). You will not receive academic credit for courses numbered 101-203. HISP 281 is not recommended for 1st Semester Freshmen.

Q: I completed Spanish II in high school but feel like I forgot a lot. What's the right course for me?

A: You may not enroll in HISP 101 for academic credit, but may enroll in HISP 102 (not offered in Fall semester, rather Spring and Summer). Students who completed Spanish II in high school are in fact prepared to enroll in HISP 201 (offered every fall and summer), a grammar course in which students review the verb tenses, vocabulary, and grammatical structures introduced in Spanish I and Spanish II in high school.

Q: I completed Spanish III in high school but feel like I forgot a lot. I am very nervous about college-level Spanish. What's the right course for me?

A: You may not enroll in HISP 101,102, or 103 for academic credit. You should enroll in HISP 201 (taught every fall and Session I of summer school). It is a review course designed for college students who completed Spanish 3 in high school.

Q: I'm a transfer student and have already completed 1-2 college courses past the Spanish IV (HISP 202) level. What should I take as I continue to study in courses taught in Spanish at W&M?

A:  HISP 281 (Introduction to Hispanic Studies) is recommended for you. It is offered every semester, and is required for the major; it counts for the minor. If you haven’t taken the equivalency of HISP 208 (Fundamentals of Literary Criticism), that is also a good option, as is HISP 305, both of which count for the major and minor.

Q:  Can you refresh my memory about college credit I have already earned through AP Exams? (AP students should consider taking a Freshman Seminar in Spanish)

For AP Spanish Language or Literature Exams, a score of 3 earns 3 credits of HISP 202.

For AP Spanish Language Exams, a score of 4 earns 3 credits of HISP 206.

For AP Spanish Language Exams, a score of 5 earns 6 credits of HISP 206 & 207.

For AP Spanish Literature Exams, a score of 4 earns 3 credits of HISP 208.

For AP Spanish Literature Exams, a score of 5 earns 6 credits of HISP 207 & 208.

If you have already received AP credits by exam for these courses, you may not receive additional credit for these same courses once you are at the College, unless you decline the AP credit.