Spanish Undergraduate

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"

From building core competencies in the language to developing original research projects and engaging with communities, the undergraduate program in Spanish offers a rich array of learning opportunities.

Please find information about university requirements (1010-2020), as well as information for majors and minors, below.

SPAN 1010-2020

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 2020 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.

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.
  • SPAN 2010 is frequently offered during J-Term.

For more information on placement in Spanish, please visit:

For questions about SPAN 1010-2020 courses, please contact Kate Neff.

Course Descriptions

Students considering courses in Spanish, should consult the departmental Course Descriptions. In addition to the information provided by the department, students are encouraged to consult the Student Information System (SIS) and the Undergraduate Record.

Course Enrollment

Please note: Course enrollment in SPAN 1010-2020 closes earlier than the College of Arts & Sciences ADD Deadline

ADD Deadline for SPAN 1010, 1060, 2010 and 2020 Classes: Wednesday, August 30, 2023


The Department of Spanish, Italian & Portuguese does not accept course action forms. All course enrollment is handled through the Student Information System (SIS).

Course Permissions & Waitlist

The Department of Spanish, Italian & Portuguese uses wait lists and permission lists, through the Student Information System (SIS), for course enrollment. The department does not accept course action forms. For guidance with getting on a wait list or permission list, please visit the SIS Help Center.

If a course is full, please use the wait list or permission list through SIS. Please do no contact the professor.

Course Policies (3010-3020)


  • Students must provide written proof of placement no later than the second class meeting in all SPAN 3010/3020 sections. Failure to do so will result in a final grade of F for the course.
  • For more information on placement in Spanish, please visit:


Students enrolled in SPAN 3010 or SPAN 3020 who fail to attend the first day of classes will be dropped from the course.

  • In SPAN 3010/3020, attendance is mandatory.
    • For M,W,F sections, students who have more than three (3) unexcused absences will receive a final course grade of F.
    • For T,R and M,W sections, students who have more than two (2) unexcused absences will receive a final course grade of F.
  • Tardiness, defined as being 10 minutes—or beyond—late for class, counts as half an absence.


  • The work submitted by students must be of personal authorship. Ideas that are not the student's own must be properly cited. Plagiarism will result in a final grade of F for the course and possilbe refferal to U.Va.'s Honor Council.
  • Students are allowed to translate isolated words using paper or online dictionaries. However, translating whole sentences, paragraphs, or essays (from whatever language to Spanish) using online dictionaries or online translators will be considered a serious Honor Code violation. This other type of plagiarism will result in a final grade of F for the course and possible referral to UVA’s Honor Council.
  • Students cannot write papers using the help of native Spanish speakers.
  • Unless otherwise indicated by the Instructor (i.e., for essays’ 2nd version peer-reviews), students must write papers on an individual basis (i.e., without the help of a classmate).
  • Turning in the same paper multiple times either in the same or in different courses is considered a serious Honor Code violation.

For questions about SPAN 3000 courses, please contact Alicia López Operé.

Majoring in Spanish

There are currently 120 students majoring in Spanish. Many Spanish majors go on to graduate or professional school to become lawyers, doctors and educators. Others go directly into the working world, finding their Spanish major useful for careers in business, the government, and international agencies.

Spanish majors have access to a nationally-ranked group of faculty members whose expertise ranges across a wide range of areas: Peninsular literature from the medieval to the modern periods; Latin American literature from colonial times to the present; Portuguese and Brazilian literature; Spanish and Latin American cinema; Spanish, Latin American and US Latina women’s writing; Spanish and Latin American culture; and Spanish linguistics.

In addition to these specialists, the department regularly invites visiting scholars and Hispanic authors for a semester.  Past authors have included Isabel Allende, Pía Barros, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Antonio  Cisneros, Diamela Eltit, Laura Freixas, Mempo Giardinelli, Liliana Heker, Carmen Martín Gaite, Rosa Montero, Antonio Muñoz Molina, Antonio Skármeta and Ana Maria Shua.

As part of the 10-course, 30-credit sequence of the B.A. in Spanish, students will build competencies in the Spanish language, and better understand the literatures, histories, and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. For more information about the undergraduate major and the three concentrations offered for the B.A. -- General, Literature, and Linguistics -- please visit the page for Spanish majors.

Minoring in Spanish

There are currently about 90 students minoring in Spanish. A minor in Spanish consists of 21 credits (3 prerequisite and 18 required) of Spanish study at the 3000 level or above. The department offers two minors: a general minor in Spanish, and, as part of the UVa Valencia program, a minor in business Spanish. Please click here for more information about the minor.

Summer Language Institute

The Summer Language Institute (SLI) at the University of Virginia offers a unique intensive program in which students can complete beginning and intermediate levels of Spanish in nine weeks, earn 12 credits, and fulfill the College of Arts and Sciences foreign language requirement.

Student Spotlights

For more information on our students and their work, please visit our student spotlights page.


For a list of all of the forms housed on this site, please visit the forms page.