Advising & FAQ

If you are a major or minor currently enrolled at the University of Arizona, you will find valuable information here on how to file for your senior degree check, check your transfer of coursework from other Arizona universities and community colleges, investigate study abroad options, plan for your post-graduation careers as well as engage in cultural activities that complement the study of Spanish of Portuguese while attending UA. If you are a prospective major, check out all that our department has to offer!

Main Campus Advisors

Vanessa Valenzuela

Spanish and Portuguese (Main Campus)

Major Advisor
Modern Languages 545
(520) 626-3120

Rae LaBar Palmer

Spanish and Portuguese (Main Campus)

Minor Advisor
Modern Languages 545
(520) 621-1044

Arizona Online Advisors

Devyn Royal

Spanish and Portuguese (Arizona Online Campus)



Transfer credit inquiries

Vanessa Valenzuela
(520) 626-3120
Modern Languages 545

Major / Minor Advising



9:00AM- 4:00PM

  • Vanessa Valenzuela at BASC for Spanish Major and/or Portuguese minor appointments.

Bartlett Academic Success Center 
Book an Appointment

Heritage Language Program Advising

Drop-In Advising 

  • Monday - Friday | 11:00 am - 2:00 pm

Via Zoom

Lillian Gorman, SHL Program Director (
Xochilt Montaño, Program Assistant (

More information

You may also contact the College of Humanities Advising Center by emailing


The Spanish Language Proficiency Exam takes place every other Friday. Students can sign up for the next available exam here: The test takes about 15-20 minutes to complete and the first attempt is free if you completed the Language Placement Exam through NextSteps.  Otherwise the College of Humanities will charge $40.00 to your Bursar's Account after the completion of each additional attempt.  This is a proctored proficiency exam which will allow you to fulfill graduation requirements for courses you place past and unlock the course you place into for registration.  No course credits can be obtained from this exam.

Students who have university or transfer units in the Spanish language should not take this exam.

Yes. A maximum of 10 units may be used to fulfill both General Education and major/minor requirements. However, you must have a minimum of 124 total units (42 of which must be upper division) in order to graduate.

Yes. All students in the College of Humanities must declare and complete a minor in order to graduate. We recommend Portuguese, Latin American Studies or Mexican American Studies.

Not necessarily. The answer to this question depends upon the student's situation. The following is a brief guideline:

Students that major in Spanish in the Language and Linguistics track must take SPAN 340/343 (as well as SPAN 452).
Students in the College of Education with a teaching major in Spanish must take SPAN 340/343.
Students that minor in Spanish do NOT have to take SPAN 340/343, as long as they have a minimum of nine upper division units in Spanish. However, those students that complete this requirement entirely at the 300-level will do so by completing 325/323, 330/333 and EITHER 340/343 or 350.

By choosing a major in the Language/Linguistics track, students will study the structure of the Spanish language in depth. Coursework typically entails the study and analysis of different aspects of language structure (e.g. pronunciation, grammar, and syntax), as well as other aspects of language learning and use (e.g. issues of language teaching, sociolinguistics, dialects of Spanish, Spanish in the Southwest, etc.)


YES!!! Exceptions will be made only in the following circumstances:

  • If you are an international student who was raised and attended school in the Hispanic world.
  • If you placed into the particular level by taking the computer placement exam in Modern Languages 512 and have PROOF (via a form with the appropriate signature).
  • If you are a return missionary or student who has studied in the Hispanic world at least 1 year (in this event you would still need permission via a written document provided by Professor Berigan).
  • If you took the Advanced Placement exams in Spanish language and/or literature (and have this recorded on your UA transcript) and received a high enough score.
  • A score of 5 in the AP language OR literature exam would give you credit for 201, 202, 251/253, and 325/323 (14 units). You would need to register for 330/333.
  • A score of 4 on the AP language OR literature exam would give you credit for 201, 202 and 251 (11 units). You would register for SPAN 325 (or 323 for Heritage speakers).
  • A score of 3 on the AP language OR literature exam would give you credit for 201 and 202 (8 units). You would need to register for SPAN 251 (or 253 for Heritage speakers)
  • If you took BOTH the language and the literature exams and received a 5 on each one, you will get 20 units, credit for 201, 202, 251, 325, 350, and 3 additional units of upper division credit. You should register for SPAN 330 (or 333 for Heritage speakers) or 340 (343 for Heritage speakers) before going on to the 400 level courses.
  • If you took BOTH the language and literature AP exams and received a combination of 4 and 5, you will receive 17 units (201, 202, 251, 325, 350). You should register for SPAN 330 (or 333 for Heritage speakers) or 340 (343 for Heritage speakers) before going on to the 400 level courses.
  • If you took BOTH the language and literature AP exams and received a 4 in each, you will receive 14 units and credit for 201, 202, 251 and 325. You would need to register for 330 (or 333 for Heritage speakers) or 340 (343 for Heritage speakers) before going on to the 400 level courses.
  • If you took BOTH the language and literature AP exams and received a 3 in each or a combination of 3 and 4, you will receive 11 units and credit for 201, 202, 251/253. You would need to register for 325 (or 323 for Heritage speakers), 330 (or 333 for Heritage speakers) or 340 (343 for Heritage speakers).
  • If you took the CLEP exam (offered in OLD Main, Room 223, phone: 621-7589) and received a 47, you would receive credit for 101 and 102 (8 units) and you should register for SPAN 201.
  • If you took the CLEP exam and received a 54, you would receive credit for 101, 102, 201 and 202 (16 units). You should register for SPAN 251 (or 253 for Heritage speakers)

Remember if taking the CLEP exam that credit WILL NOT be given for courses equivalent to or at a lower level than formal coursework already completed and that exams must be taken prior to the completion of 55 units of college.  Contact the UA Testing Office by phone at (520) 621-7589 or by email at

Make an appointment to speak with the Minor Advisor by calling 621-5555, or Professor Berigan, by calling 520-626-3517. You may also check the Major and Minor Advising availability and schedule an appointment by going to the advising page.

Check out the Study Abroad website! You can also reach out to Professor Yadira Berigan.  Our department programs are offered in Costa Rica, Brazil, Spain, and Chile. You may find out about other programs by going to the Center for International Student Programs at 915 N. Tyndall Ave. Phone 621-4627.

Yes. We have another option for Spanish majors: the Translation and Interpretation track, which is one of the few programs of its kind offered in the United States. A minor in this track is not currently offered through our department. You may find more information on a minor in Translation and Interpretation by going to the Mexican American Studies Department.

In addition, each summer The University of Arizona hosts the Agnese Haury Institute for Court Interpretation in Modern Languages 445. Call 621-3615 for more information.

Not at present, but we are considering it for the future.

LOTS! Liberal Arts majors have been demonstrated to advance more quickly than their more specialized degree recipient peers in large corporations due to many skills acquired during college such as critical thinking and problem-solving skills as well as the capacity to be flexible and deal with different populations. They are also shown to be very strong in research and presentational skills.

In the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, we will be offering a meeting each spring for our majors to discuss all of the career options available. Students hear of job possibilities in government, tourism, business and education and receive a packet that includes information on how to market oneself as a language major and tips for job interviews. This packet is available from Professor Berigan by request during the rest of the year.

Students are also encouraged to use the UA Career Services Center in the Student Union Memorial Center Suite 411 (phone 621-2588).

That is a great idea! You will need to see an advisor in the College of Education and tell them you are interested in a Post-Bac for teaching certification. The program will probably take one to one and one-half years to complete.

Appointments with advisors in the College of Education may be made by calling 621-1462. Also look at their website.

If you attended an Arizona institution check out exactly how the credits in Spanish transfer by going to the online CEG (Course Equivalency Guide). If you attended an institution outside of the state, you must either email or bring all course descriptions to the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. For questions about how lower division transfer credits will transfer, contact Vanessa Valenzuela at For all other courses, contact either the Major or Minor Advisor.

No! Credits will only transfer through study abroad programs offered by the Department of Spanish & Portuguese.

  1. If you are a Spanish major, you must first see the Graduation Advisor Rachel Hamm (621-3292, Her office is EDU 235 and her office hours are M/W/TH 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m., and T 11:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
  2. If you must, have your minor signed off by an Advisor in that field (in some cases this isn't necessary; find out for sure from Ms. Hamm).
  3. If you have studied in a program that is NOT run by the Spanish Department, AND you filed a Transfer Preapproval sheet before studying abroad, will need to FIRST have Renee Griggs in the Office of Study Abroad and Student Exchange verify the classes ( or 626-7280). If you did not receive pre-approval for your study abroad program before leaving, you will not receive credit for the Spanish or Portuguese classes you took. Then see your major or minor advisor in the Spanish Department. Check the advising page for walk-in times or to schedule an appointment.
  4. Finally, you will need to make an appointment with the General Education Advisors for the College of Humanities in Modern Languages 345. To do so, you must go to their advising appointment website or call them at 621-1048.

You will need to contact Lillian Gorman, Ph.D., Director of the Heritage Language Program at (520) 621-3689 about taking the placement exam for heritage speakers of Spanish. Depending on the results, you may be placed in one of our Heritage speaker courses (203, 253, 323, 333, or 343). These are the heritage speaker equivalents of our non-native speaker sequence (202, 251, 325, 330, 340).

Director of the Heritage Language Program
Lillian Gorman Ph.D.
Office: Modern Languages 529
(520) 621-3689

You will need to contact Dr. Ana Carvalho at (520) 621-3639 about taking the placement exam for Portuguese speakers. Depending on the results, you may be placed in one of our Portuguese speaker courses (101 or 102).

Ana Carvalho Ph.D.
Office: Modern Languages 544
(520) 621-3639

Please visit for directions on how to unsubscribe yourself. Please ONLY unsubscribe if you are no longer a Spanish or Portuguese major or minor, as information you are responsible for knowing and that can affect your degree is sent to the listserv.