Starting a major

  • The graduation major consists of a minimum of 8 courses in Spanish above Spanish 232, as follows: Span 250 (all students start the major in this course), Span 275, Span 276, and either Span 313 or Span 314, plus four electives (one at the 3XX level). Courses from our study abroad programs in Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, and Spain, may count for major credit. (Note: courses from abroad transfer as 27x level.)
  • The Spanish section offers courses at each level (250, 270, 300) both fall and spring semesters. During interim, we offer Span 274 (on campus) or Span 270 (in Spain), in alternate years.
  • If interested in majoring in Spanish, students are encouraged to enroll in Span 250 no later than the fall of the sophomore year.

Are there courses students MUST, SHOULD, or CAN take their First Year?

  • First-year students with previous study of Spanish language are required to take the online Spanish placement exam to determine which course (111-250) best suits their abilities and experience with the language. Contact Prof. Gwen Barnes-Karol ( for more information.
  • Span 111-250 are offered both fall and spring semesters and are all open to qualified students; 111, 112, 231, and 232 are offered during interim. If first-year students complete 250 in the fall, they are eligible for on-campus 270-level courses during their first year.
  • Qualified students (those who test into Span 231 or 232) may be eligible to apply for an off-campus interim during their first year: Span 233 (Intermediate Spanish II in Ecuador). Interested students should contact the instructors as soon as possible upon arrival on campus. Prof. Ariel Strichartz ( as soon as possible upon arrival on campus.

Credit for previous coursework

  • General questions about transfer of credit for AP (advanced placement), IB (International Baccalaureate), Cambridge A Levels, PSEO (Postsecondary Education Option) and CIS (College in the Schools) related to the completion of the Foreign Language requirement (FOL) in Spanish should be directed to the St. Olaf College Registrar (
  • AP and IB scores and Spanish placement: Prof. Gwen Barnes-Karol ( will inform students via email of their Spanish Placement after St. Olaf receives your official AP or IB scores.
  • Questions about transfer credit for Spanish from other institutions should be directed to Prof. Gwen Barnes-Karol (


  • The online placement exam in Spanish can be found here:
  • Depending on your placement results, students may be eligible to take the Spanish Proficiency Exam to fulfill the foreign language requirement. Check for information on this exam.
  • In addition to taking the online placement exam, students who have spent a minimum of six months in a Spanish-speaking country on an exchange program must contact Prof. Gwen Barnes-Karol before registering for Spanish courses.

Informational Events

Week One Information Sessions in Spanish are scheduled between 1:30 and 4:00 pm on Monday, September 2, 2019.