• All students who intend to take Spanish must take the placement test, unless they have AP/IB or relevant transfer credit.
  • The online placement test carries no academic credit and it does not satisfy any requirements.
  • You may take the test on your own and there is no time limit.


1. Go to the Spanish exam

2. You'll be prompted to create an account on the TrueNorth web site

3. Enter your first and last name, Lawrence email, and ID.

6. Create a password for yourself (do NOT use your Lawrence password)

7. After reviewing and acknowledging the privacy policy, click the Create Account button. (If you have previously created an account and are returning to the site, click the "I already have an account" link at the bottom to log in.)

8. Take the test and save your score and course recommendation

Score -> Course Recommendation
Below 296 -> Spanish 101
296 - 355 -> Spanish 102
356 - 439 -> Spanish 201 or 203
440 - 526 -> Spanish 202 or 204
above 526 -> Spanish 300-level (advanced)

How can I satisfy the language competency requirement in Spanish?

A. Through coursework:

Two types of language learners are differentiated in our program: Learners with Spanish as a second language (also referred to as L2 learners), and Learners of Spanish as a heritage language. Both types of learners can be considered bilingual, but the process of acquisition has happened differently. Also, the language they identify with is key, whether they feel confident speaking it or not. The order and age of language acquisition matters for language classes, as well as the first language that you acquired.

We provide below some of the definitions of language learners that are relevant for our Spanish classes:
A learner with Spanish as a heritage language in the US is defined as a person who...

  • grew up in a household where English and/or Spanish was spoken,
  • may have a personal connection with Spanish,
  • may identify as Latinx/Hispanic,
  • may speak or may not speak Spanish (Valdés, 2000; Leeman, 2015). 

Therefore, heritage learners of Spanish are students who have been exposed to Spanish in their homes or communities from a young age but have not learned the language in the academic setting. They can understand and/or speak the language and have a personal connection to it because of early exposure. They may be more dominant to mainstream American English, they may feel insecure with their Spanish skills and or be a fully confident bilingual speaker in English and Spanish.

A learner with Spanish as a second language is defined as a person who...

  • was born and raised in the US, in a household where English was spoken,
  • was born and raised outside the US, in a country where Spanish was not the mainstream language,
  • was schooled in a language that was not primary Spanish,
  • does not have a personal connection to Spanish and does not identify with the Latinx culture,
  • and has learned Spanish in the academic setting or abroad for a limited period of time (Lightbown and Spada, 2006).

The language classes that are offered in the Spanish Department are tailored to each type of learner. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that all students are placed in the class that corresponds with their learning process. If the description of Spanish as a Heritage Language learners resonates with you, contact to know more about our program.

  • For B.A. and double-degree students: completion of SPAN 201 or 203.
  • For B.Mus. students: completion of SPAN 102 or 203.

Students who never studied Spanish, as well as those who studied Spanish before college, must take the online placement exam and register for the recommended course.

Students who place into SPAN 101 can take the full sequence during the academic year (i.e fall: SPAN 101-> winter: SPAN 102 -> spring: SPAN 201).

Transfer students should email the Chair of Spanish to ask about equivalences. 

B. Through an examination

  1. If you are a native or heritage speaker or an advanced second-language learner of Spanish, and you have not taken an AP, IB, CLEP or SAT II exam in high school, you may take a special exam that evaluates your oral, written and cultural competency in Spanish. Contact the Chair of Spanish if you are interested in this option.
  2. If you have taken an AP, IB (HL), CLEP or SAT II exam, submit to the Registrar:
  • a minimum score of 4 on the AP Spanish Language and Culture exam. Credit equivalent to 6-unit course SPAN 202, which fulfills one course requirement toward the Spanish major or minor.
  • a minimum score of 4 on the AP Spanish Literature exam. Credit equivalent to 6-unit course SPAN 320, which fulfills one requirement toward the Spanish major or minor.
  • a minimum score of 6 on the IB Spanish exam at the Higher Level (HL). Credit equivalent to 6-unit course SPAN 202, which fulfills one course requirement toward the Spanish major or minor.
  • a minimum CLEP score of 63 for B.A. students and 52 for B.Mus. students.
  • a score of 630 or higher on the SAT Subject Spanish or Spanish with Listening exam.

NOTE that only taking SPAN 201/203 or submitting the required score in AP or IB (HL) exams carry academic credit. All other options satisfy the language requirement but do not carry academic credit.  

All students are advised to complete the language competency GER during the first year.