Placement Guidelines


Welcome to the Department of Hispanic Studies. This area of our website provides information to help you determine the best course for you, be it a language or literature/culture course. Since language courses are strictly limited to 18 students to insure quality instruction, and since there is high demand for language instruction, it is particularly important that if you are already at Brown, you pre-enroll for the course best suited to your level and interests.

The following information supplements that which is provided in the Banner Course Catalog and Class Schedule. Please consult them as well.

In addition, to get a complete listing of classes taught during this coming academic year please consult Brown Course Preview Page Directory (select Hispanic Studies under Departments).


Please be sure to read carefully the following information.

  • No previous experience with Spanish: sign up for HISP100 if you have never taken Spanish before.
  • You have had previous exposure to Spanish: If you have taken the SAT II or the Advanced Placement (AP) Exam within the last 18 months before coming to Brown, you can use that score for placement (see below). Otherwise, you need to take the Brown Placement Exam.
  • If you need to take the Brown Placement Exam: Thisis a computer-administered test. Scores are only valid for a maximum of 18 months.
  • For HISP 110 please refer to the course catalog for course description and requirements.

Attention: The Brown Placement test is designed to place new students in our program, not to evaluate progress. Students are not allowed to skip levels. Once they have entered the Spanish Language Program, they must proceed to the next level. For instance, if a student has completed HISP200, she/he must take HISP300 next. She/he cannot take the Brown Placement test and use a high score to place into HISP400.




Spanish Course SAT II Score AP Score Brown Placement Exam Score
HISP 730, 740, 750 750 & above 5 (literature) 651 & above
HISP 600 670-740 5 (language) 571-650
HISP 500 600-660 4 (language or literature) 491-570
HISP 400 520-590   411-490
HISP 300 460-510   341-410
HISP 200 400-450   241-340
HISP 110 Intensive Basic Spanish *     Below 340
HISP 100 300-390   Below 240
    3 or below: take Brown Placement Exam  

*Students familiar with Spanish or other Romance languages and with placement scores in the range of HISP100 and HISP200, that is, below 340 in the Brown Placement Exam or below 450 in the SATII, may be eligible to enroll in this 2 semester in one course. If interested, contact Prof. Nidia Schuhmacher or Ms. Heather Johnson who will refer you to the faculty member in charge.

**Please note: All Spanish Language courses are independent courses and there are no requirements to take subsequent courses in order to receive credit.

Scores are only valid for a maximum of 18 months.


Note: A student who has a 4 or 5 AP score will also receiveone unassigned credit in Spanishin addition to the credit received after successfully completing one of the courses listed.

Regarding registration: There is an enrollment limit of 18 students per section in HISP100-600; 15 spaces will be open at pre-registration, with 3 more spaces available in the fall. When the limit is reached, registration for that section will be blocked. If you try to pre-register in a full section, you will be prompted to request a registration override by the instructor. Note that we will not grant overrides once sections are full. Since many students change their plans during the first few days of class, you should attend the section in which you are interested on the first day of class, when the instructor will explain the steps to follow during the few days until class lists are closed. On the 4th class, instructors will finalize the composition of the language courses and will provide the registration overrides if needed. It is of utmost importance that you attend those classes if you intend to be placed in that section.

IMPORTANT ADVICE: Please be aware that you will not be admitted to any course, nor will you be able to keep your pre-registered or registered status, if you are not correctly placed. Therefore, please follow the instructions outlined above carefully.

Language Program Faculty members are available for any questions on placement and to supplement the foregoing information: