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Placement in Spanish

Placement in Spanish

Please note: Per university policy, "The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at"

World Language Requirement and Placement Guidelines

It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with College of Arts & Sciences Degree Requirements, the World Language Requirement, and Departmental policies on placement and enrollment in language courses.

In keeping with the College of Arts & Sciences Area Requirements, courses taken to fulfill the World Language Requirement:

  • Must be taken for credit and a letter grade.

  • Must be fulfilled only at UVA or at a UVA-approved study abroad program. (The College will NOT allow courses to transfer from other U.S. colleges/universities to fulfill the World Language Requirement.)

Spanish Course Sequence

  • Two courses, SPAN 1010 and 1020, are reserved exclusively for students who have never studied Spanish in high school or another college/university.

  • Students who have studied Spanish in high school or another college, who wish to continue in Spanish, will be placed according to the score obtained on the SAT II Exam, the AP Exam, the IB (High Level) Exam, the UVA Spanish Placement Diagnostic (prior to May 1, 2022), or the PLACE Placement Diagnostic (May 2022 and after).

  • The sequence of courses, depending on the level at which the student begins, is as follows: SPAN 1010-1020-2010-2020; or SPAN 1060-2010-2020; or SPAN 2010-2020; or SPAN 2020. All courses in the sequence must be completed to fulfill the World Language Requirement. No course can be skipped once the student has begun the sequence of courses. Courses must be taken one after the other, not at the same time. Students cannot take the placement diagnostic to fulfill the World Language Requirement once they have begun the sequence of courses.

Course Offerings

  • Please note that SPAN 1010 and SPAN 1020 are offered during Summer Session only.

  • SPAN 1060, SPAN 2010, and SPAN 2020 are offered in Fall, Spring, and Summer Session.

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Spanish Placement Diagnostic

Beginning May 1, 2022: New language placement diagnostic (PLACE)

UVA has adopted a new PLACE language placement diagnostic for students seeking to determine their course placement in French, Italian, German, or Spanish. The new PLACE diagnostic will be used for all placement purposes for these languages beginning May 1, 2022.

The PLACE diagnostic assesses writing, reading, speaking, and contextualized grammar knowledge and skills, and takes about 30-60 minutes to complete. PLACE should be completed at least 10 days in advance of course enrollment. Your score will appear in SIS under Academics > Test Scores when it is available. 

Students who have completed an earlier placement exam at UVA should review these instructions.


Part 1: Taking the PLACE Placement Diagnostic

Who should take the PLACE placement diagnostic?

Students who studied Spanish prior to entering UVA will need to have a placement score to enroll in a Spanish course. Students who did not study Spanish in high school or another college/university do not need to take the PLACE placement diagnostic or any other placement diagnostic but can start Spanish in SPAN 1010.

When should I take the PLACE placement diagnostic?

All Students: Take the diagnostic at least 10 days before registration to ensure receipt of your score in time to enroll.  Delays in taking this diagnostic may result in delayed registration for your language course.

New Students: The PLACE placement diagnostic should be completed before the date sent to new students in the May welcome letter.

Why do I need to take the placement diagnostic in advance?

The PLACE placement diagnostic includes writing and speaking questions that are reviewed by trained raters. This process can take several days. Take the diagnostic at least 10 days before registration to ensure receipt of your score in time to enroll.  

How do I take the PLACE placement diagnostic?

You will need (please read CAREFULLY, as you can only take this test ONCE):

  • At least one hour of focused time in a distraction-free enviornment
  • Your UVA computing ID (for ex., mst3k)
  • A computer with microphone (your built-in microphone is usually sufficient)
  • A strong internet connection and Chrome, Safari, or Microsoft Edge (view a list of supported browsers and devices and and try a sample of PLACE in Spanish before you begin before you begin)
  1. Take the diagnostic with your official email address only. Accessing the exam from another email address is an Honor violation.
  2. Please note: Diagnostics will only be scored if they include
    • your UVA computing ID (for example: mst3k) in the fields marked Login Name and Test Taker ID
    • your UVA email address
    • Scores will only be available via UVA SIS
  3. Using outside resources of any kind is not permitted and will constitute an Honor violation.
  4. The diagnostic may be taken only once in any language.
  5. Begin the PLACE placement diagnostic at using the test code and password below (case sensitive).
    • Test code: 25071-pl-sp-1
    • Password: 1961
    • Please use your UVA Computing ID (example: mst3k) as the TEST TAKER ID and LOGIN ID. Use only your UVA email address in taking this diagnostic.
  6. Technical difficulties: if you experience technical difficulties, your diagnostic will not be lost. Use the Avant Assessment Technology Guide to assess the problem and resume the diagnostic where you left off by re-logging on with the same identifying information you provided previously. You must contact the Placement Coordinator if you would like to request a retake of the diagnostic. 

What is the diagnostic like? Can I try a sample test? 

You will be asked questions that evaluate your abilities in reading, writing, and speaking, as well as your knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. All questions are completed online, asynchronously, and individually. You will not interact with a person while taking the diagnostic. On average, this diagnostic takes up to 60 minutes to complete. No time limit is in place, and you may take as much time as you need.

You can explore a sample of the pre-diagnostic survey and diagnostic questions in Spanish before you begin. 

Can I use a dictionary or other resources?

Using outside resources of any kind is not permitted and will constitute an Honor violation. Submission of the diagnostic in your name means that the score honestly reflects your current language abilities without assistance from other people or any materials.

Part 2: PLACE Scores and Placement FAQ

How do I get my PLACE placement diagnostic score?

Your diagnostic is sent for evaluation by a trained test rater. This is why you need to take this diagnostic at least 10 days before you register for classes. When it becomes available, your score will be transferred to SIS, where you can access it at any time under Academics > Test Scores.

What does my score mean?

Access the Spanish Placement Chart to see full placement levels.

Who else sees my score?

The placement coordinator and program director will be able to access your score and additional details of your performance on the diagnostic.

How do I enroll in a language course once I have my score?

  1. Access your placement score in SIS (it will be available within a max of 10 days). Please plan accordingly by taking the diagnostic 10 days before registration.
  2. Use the Spanish Placement Chart to identify your appropriate course. Note: if you have other test scores (AP, etc.) for this language, use the HIGHER of your scores to determine your placement.
  3. Taking the placement diagnostic does not guarantee you a spot in a language course. Space is limited. If you are unable to secure a space, you can join the waitlist for course(s) for which you are eligible.

You must enroll in the course in which you have placed according to your diagnostic score. Enrolling in a course level other than that indicated by your placement score will result in a grade of F or no credit.

Are there other ways to determine my language placement?

Yes, AP, SAT II, and IB (High Level) scores may be used to determine your placement and/or to satisfy the World Language Requirement. Refer to the Spanish Placement Chart for further information or access the A&S World Language Placement FAQ page.

What if I have a score from the UVA Placement Diagnostic and a score from the AP Exam, IB Exam, or another placement test?

UVA uses the highest placement indicated by your scores. If your UVA placement diagnostic score placed you into the 2010 level and your AP or IB exam score placed you into the 2020 level, you must enroll in the higher level – in this case, the 2020 level.

Do I need to bring printed evidence of my score to class?

Students can take a screenshot of their score in SIS under Academics > Test Scores and upload it to Collab Filedrop, or print and bring it to class.

What if I ‘place out’ of the required 4-semester course sequence?

A score beyond the level of the required course sequence will be reported to the A&S Registrar by the end of the semester. No action is needed on the part of the student.

Can I retake the placement diagnostic?

No. Taking the diagnostic more than once is an Honor violation. If you feel that your circumstances warrant a re-take, you will need permission from the Language Program Director.

I took the diagnostic before May 2022. Do I need to take it again?

If you completed the UVA world language diagnostic in French, German, Italian, or Spanish prior to May 2022, you do not need to retake the diagnostic. Log in to the previous diagnostic portal (Emmersion) to access and screenshot or print your score. You will be able to reset your password if you have forgotten it. Determine your placement by consulting the Spanish Placement Chart

The College of Arts & Sciences World Language Requirement can be satisfied in any of the following ways:

  • Completion of SPAN 2020
  • A score of 5.25 or higher on the PLACE Placement Diagnostic
  • A score of 4 or higher on the AP Exam
  • A score of 536 or higher on the UVA Spanish placement diagnostic (Emmersion/WebCAPE) in use prior to 5/1/22
  • A score of 641 or higher on the SAT II Exam
  • IB (High Level) scores, as follows: Score of 5 or higher on Spanish A1 or A2; Score of 7 on Spanish B.
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Placement FAQ

Which Spanish course have I placed into?

Please see the Spanish Placement Chart or the World Language Requirement FAQ.

I accidently dropped myself from the course roster. Can I be added back in? 

No, there is nothing the instructor can do to add you into a course. You will have to put your name on the wait list for several sections to see if a space becomes available.

I took the IB Exam in Spanish. Where does that place me and do I receive credit at UVA? 

For more information on the policies of the College of Arts & Sciences, please visit

I took the A-Level Exam in Spanish. Where do I place? 

Please contact the Director of the Spanish Language Program to discuss placement and credit. Bring a copy of your A-Level exam score. For additional information about international college-level exam credit, please visit

I took dual enrollment courses in Spanish. Do I receive credit?

You may NOT use dual enrollment credit to satisfy the World Language Requirement, though such dual enrollment courses will count as elective credits toward your degree.  Such credits will appear as 1000T or 2000T on your record.

If you have World Language dual enrollment credit, you must take the PLACE placement diagnostic before June 1


How do I present proof of placement?

If you have taken another Spanish course at UVA, you must print out a copy of your unofficial transcript and highlight the grade of your most recent Spanish class. The grade must be visible in order for your instructor to know that you passed the class, however you may black out all other grades if you so choose.

If this is your first Spanish course at UVA, print out or take a screenshot of your score on the PLACE Diagnostic, UVA Spanish placement diagnostic, AP Exam, SAT II Exam, or IB (HL) Exam to show your instructor.

If you never studied Spanish in high school or at another college/university, you do not need to present a placement score to your instructor. You should begin Spanish in SPAN 1010 (offered in Summer Session only).

I am a transfer student and I need to present proof of placement and I took Spanish courses at my previous college/university.  What do I do? Do I need to take the UVA Placement Diagnostic? 

If you are a transfer student, you can show your instructor your SIS Transfer Credit report or unofficial transcript listing those Spanish courses that transferred over to UVA. You are not required to take the UVA Placement Diagnostic; you can just continue on with the next level. If you did take the UVA Placement Diagnostic, and you placed into the level that you just completed at your prior institution, you can take that level at UVA, but you will forfeit the transfer credits. In other words, you cannot receive credit twice for the same course.

If I took the Placement Diagnostic a long time ago, can I retake it or take a lower level class? 

No. Even if you took the Placement Diagnostic a long time ago, you must still take the course into which you have placed. If you feel, after 4-5 days of attending the class, that the level is too difficult for you, then you may meet with the Director of the Spanish Language Program to discuss your situation.

Can I audit a Spanish course? 

If you are taking the course to fulfill the World Language Requirement, you must take it for a letter grade. Otherwise, students can audit a class ONLY IF the class is under-enrolled (if there are fewer than 18 students enrolled). If the class is fully enrolled, no one can audit the class.

Can I skip a course in the language sequence? 

No, all courses in the sequence must be completed to fulfill the language requirement. [See the Undergraduate Record]

Can I take a course toward the World Language Requirement at another institution? 

No, The College will NOT allow courses to transfer from other U.S. colleges/universities to fulfill the world language requirement. In other words, the World Language Requirement must be fulfilled only at UVA or at a UVA-approved study abroad program. Students can take SPAN 1010-2020 in study abroad programs approved by our department. UVA offers direct-credit programs in Valencia, Spain, and in Costa Rica. For all other study abroad programs, students must consult the Director of the Spanish Language Program for approval prior to going.

I am currently a high school student (or Community Scholar) and wish to enroll in a world language course. May I get permission? 

You can enroll in the course if it is under-enrolled (if there are fewer than 18 students enrolled). Our department cannot add students beyond the class limit. If the course is fully enrolled right now, you are welcome to wait and see what happens by the Drop Deadline to see if a space becomes available.

I am applying to the McIntire School of Commerce (Comm School) and I need to get into this class to fill my World Language requirement before they will accept me. 

You will need to wait on the wait list to see if a spot becomes available. We cannot add you into this course. Please keep in mind the following:

All prerequisites, including the world language prerequisite, must be completed by the time a student enters the School, not by the time the student applies. It is very common for students to be taking prerequisites during the spring of the second year when they apply. McIntire also allows students to complete the prerequisites over the summer before enrolling and once admitted to McIntire you can complete the requirements (including World Language) at another school and transfer the credit back to UVA. As long as you indicate on your application that you plan to complete the language requirement and show that you are progressing towards completion, it will in no way have a negative impact on your McIntire admission decision.

If you have additional questions, please contact the Commerce School.

I have placed somewhere into the upper level (3000 level) Spanish courses. Which class should I take? 

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Additional Resources and Documents

Placement Charts in Spanish

Credit Transfer Policies for International Baccalaureate (IB) and Advanced Placement (AP) (College of Arts & Sciences)

Undergraduate Degree Requirements (College of Arts & Sciences)

Undergraduate Record (University Registrar)

Honor Committee (University)