All entering students who have previously studied Spanish will receive a letter from the Spanish Department informing them of their placement. Only the students with  an AP Spanish language or literature score of 4 or 5 or with no clear placement based on high school transcript will have to take the Placement Test during New Student Orientation (it is not administered at any other time). The department uses the results of the Placement Test to recommend the appropriate starting point for each student.  All students invited to take the placement exam are strongly encouraged to do so, even though they are not planning on taking Spanish courses at Grinnell. Several academic programs have a language requirement; therefore, students will have to know their Spanish placement when planning their academic plan if they are pursuing a program with a language requirement.

Basic Language Sequence (2 semesters): The first two semesters of Spanish stress grammar with attention to conversation, writings and reading. They do not count towards the major.

The third-semester Spanish (SPN 217) offers a quick review of grammar points and introduces students to longer readings and discussions. Prerequisite: 106 or placement by department. It counts towards the major.

The fourth-semester (SPN 285) continues to emphasize language skills while at the same time introducing students to basic literary analysis of readings, films and visual art from Latin America and Spain. Prerequisite: 217 or placement by department. It counts towards the major.

There is no typical four-year plan for a Spanish major. The following is a possible four-year plan to complete a major in Spanish. We have provided two common scenarios: a) students starting in 105, and b) students starting in 217:

FIRST YEAR FALL   FIRST YEAR SPRING
SPN 105 or 217   SPN 106 or 285
SECOND YEAR FALL   SECOND YEAR SPRING
SPN 217 or 312 or 314 or 317or 320 or 343   SPN 285 or 311 or 315 or 320 or 343
THIRD YEAR FALL   THIRD YEAR SPRING
SPN 312 or 314 or 317 or 320 or 343 or 377 or 383 or 395   SPN 311 or 315 or 320 or 343 or 385 or 379 or 384 or 386 or 395
Or OCS (can transfer up to 12 credits for the major)   Or OCS (can transfer up to 12 credits for the major)
FOURTH YEAR FALL   FOURTH YEAR SPRING
SPN 343 or 377 or 383 or 395   SPN 379 or 384 or 385 or 386 or 395