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 on Banner. Please consult it well.

In addition, to get a complete listing of classes being taught this semester please consult the courses section of our website.

For information on the placement exam scores and Spanish course allocation please click here.


Please be sure to read the following information carefully.

  • No previous experience with Spanish: sign up for HISP100
  • 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: This is 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.
Brown Placement Test 

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.


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 fourth 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.


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.