FAQ

spanish_faq1

Spanish

Questions about Language Classes
Questions about the Spanish Major
Questions about International Study
Questions about Graduate Study

Questions about Language Classes

 

The Undergraduate Bulletin says something about a placement exam. What’s that?

The placement exam is primarily intended for students who have studied Spanish in high school but did not take the AP or SAT II. The online placement exam may be taken at any time but we strongly recommend students take the exam no later than two weeks before the first day of registration. You may only take the exam once. Under no circumstance may students place themselves.

When I tried to register for a Spanish class everything I wanted was full. What can I do?

There are a number of reasons class sizes are limited, but the most important of them is to ensure that every student has the best learning experience possible. If there are compelling extenuating circumstances that you believe should be taken into account, you may present your case to the Assistant Chair of the Department to find out what alternatives you may have for language courses.

I'm a senior and need to complete my language requirement. Is Spanish an option for me?

Seniors are welcome to enroll in intermediate or advanced language classes, but unfortunately enrollment in beginning Spanish is restricted in order to accommodate incoming students. If you are interested in this option you will need to wait until after the first week of classes (typically the first Monday classes are in session) to determine whether seats are still available. If there are compelling extenuating circumstances that you believe should be taken into account, you may present your case to the Assistant Chair of the Department to find out what alternatives you may have for language courses.

Should I contact the instructor directly for permission?

No, since most instructors are unable to access up-to-date enrollment figures, your first stop should always be the Assistant Chair. Please be aware that if there are other sections still open for the course you want it is unlikely you will be able to get an exemption.

I heard that the Department keeps a waiting list for students should slots open up in courses that are full. How do I get on that list?

The Department does not generally keep a waiting list for classes until all sections of a given course and/or level are filled. In the event you have been unable to enroll in any section of a given course you may go to the Department office to discuss your situation with the Assistant Chair. You may also want to check Inside.nd the first week of classes since sometimes slots open at the last minute.

How do I get an override for a prerequisite for a course?

If you do not have the prerequisites as recognized by the automated system to enroll in a course, an exemption form signed by the Assistant Chair must be obtained. If you know you will need this form, please do not wait until the last minute to pick it up. You should take care of this no later than one week before the first day of registration.

Where can I get advice about language courses?

For questions about first year language courses, you may contact the 10000-level coordinator; for questions about second-year language courses you should talk to your current instructor. If you have not taken a class at Notre Dame or if you need immediate assistance, you may call or come to the Department office.

I grew up in a Spanish-speaking household in the United States but English is really my first language. Do you have any courses for me?

The Department offers ROSP 20211 "Intermediate Spanish for Heritage Speakers". This course is an accelerated language program most useful for students whose parents (or in some cases grandparents) speak Spanish but whose preferred language is English. It is not appropriate for international students for whom Spanish is their primary language.

I’m applying for a grant and need to get a language evaluation. Who should I contact?

If you have done coursework at Notre Dame, you should contact your most recent instructor. If you have had no university coursework in Spanish, you may contact the Director of the Spanish Language Program.

top

Andrew Lawton Students

Questions about First and Supplementary Majors

 

I’m interested in pursuing a major in Spanish. What are the requirements?

The first major in Spanish includes ten courses at the 20202 (Intermediate II) level or above. The supplementary major in Spanish has eight courses. For specific requirements click on the Spanish worksheet. You may also pick up a worksheet in the Department office in 343 O’Shaughnessy Hall.

Is there a minor available in Spanish?

No, there is no minor available at this time. Depending on your interests, you might consider a concentration in Latin American Studies through the Kellogg Institute, in Latino Studies through the Institute for Latino Studies, or in European Studies through the Nanovic Institute.

I’m ready to declare. What should I do?

You will need to have an eform approved by the Assistant Chair of the Department, who will also help you fill out a grid that explains the major. At that time you will be assigned a faculty advisor, with whom you should meet during the week prior to registration. Please note that applications to declare will not be accepted during registration and one week prior. It is usually a good idea to double check to make sure your eform has fully processed about one week after it is initiated.

How often do I have to meet with my faculty advisor?

First majors must meet with their faculty advisor the week before registration each semester. Supplementary majors are also strongly encouraged to meet with their faculty advisor as soon as they declare the major and no later than the second semester of their junior year.

How many 20000-level courses may I count toward the major?

You may count only two of your 20000-level courses toward the major but additional 20000 levels may count toward your general University credits required for graduation.

I need some help with my grammar skills. Are there any review courses that majors can take?

Yes, we have two courses that focus on refining grammar and writing. Intermediate Grammar and Writing Review (ROSP 20220) is appropriate for first year students and sophomores. Advanced Grammar and Writing Review (ROSP 30320) is open to students at any level, but is especially appropriate for juniors and seniors who have already taken 300-level courses and/or returned from abroad. To see how 30320 can be accommodated into your major program, you should speak to your Faculty Advisor or the Undergraduate Coordinator. Presently ROSP 30320 requires departmental permission. Your current instructor or faculty advisor can contact the Assistant Chair on your behalf if you are interested. Please make sure to let them know at least a day or two before you plan to register.

Can I use ROSP 30320 in place of a survey?

Not exactly. There are four area requirements that first and supplementary majors must cover and taking ROSP 30320 will not exempt you from any course. However, you may be able to fit ROSP 30320 in if you use a senior-level course to cover one or more of these distribution requirements.

What's the point then?

ROSP 30320 is designed for students who have a genuine need to improve their grammar and writing skills. It does not alter the major requirements and is not a way to bypass area requirements. Of course you may also take 30320 as an elective.

I have AP credit hours. Do these count toward my major?

No. You may only count credits in university-level courses.

But I heard this from a friend of mine who is a Spanish major...

Sorry, this information is incorrect. When in doubt, you should always speak to your faculty advisor to get the correct information on major requirements. If your advisor is on leave or otherwise unavailable you may contact the Undergraduate Coordinator.

How was I supposed to know these were the requirements?

These requirements are available in the Undergraduate Bulletin, in the Department office, and on the Romance Languages and Literatures website, and it is each major’s responsibility to see his or her faculty advisor on a regular basis.

What do you mean when you say 50% of courses must be taken “in residence” at Notre Dame?

This means that you must take at least half of your major courses here on the Notre Dame campus: four courses minimum for supplementary majors and five minimum for first majors. The other half may be taken abroad (in one of Notre Dame’s international programs) or at another accredited university, with approval.

Tosario Argentina

I've heard about a "core sequence". What's that?

For both the first and supplementary majors in Spanish, there is a required core sequence of Introduction to Hispanic Literatures and Cultures (formerly Textual Analysis) plus three out of four area requirements: Early Spanish Peninsular, Modern Spanish Peninsular, Early Spanish American and Modern Spanish American. You may satisfy the area requirements with courses at either the 30000 or 40000 level. Please note: seniors are strongly encouraged to take 40000 level courses, as these are most appropriate for their level.

The Department makes every attempt to offer at least one and usually two courses for each area requirement every semester. If you are not sure which senior-level course counts toward the area requirement you need, you may first want to consult the course descriptions page since this information is usually included, or you may ask your current instructor.

I am going to be a senior and can't get into the survey class... what's up with that?

Seniors are encouraged to take level-appropriate courses during their fourth year of study as the 30000 level courses are primarily designed for sophomores and juniors. Departmental policy since Fall 2003 has dictated that when 40000-level courses in the same field are available, enrollment may be restricted in the 30000 level courses. This does not impede the completion of the major.

What about introduction to Hispanic Literature and Cultures- previously titled "Textual Analysis", that's required, right?

Introduction to Hispanic Literature and Cultures - previously titled “Textual Analysis” must be taken before the end of the student's junior year and should be taken prior or concurrently with the first 30000 level literature or culture class. Occasionally, students may have missed this course and advance directly to the 40000-level, making the bridge course superfluous. Such students should discuss this further with their faculty advisor or the Undergraduate Coordinator. Textual Analysis must be taken before the end of the student's junior year and should be taken prior or concurrently with the first survey class. Occasionally, students may have missed this course and advance directly to the 400-level, making the bridge course superfluous. Such students should discuss this further with their faculty advisor or the Undergraduate Coordinator.

I’m still confused. Who can I talk to?

Once you declare your major, you will have two faculty resources: the Undergraduate Coordinator and your faculty advisor. Either should be able to help you with your program. In the unlikely event that neither your faculty advisor nor the Undergraduate Coordinator is available, you may contact the Assistant Chair.

How do I find out who my faculty advisor is?

If you have declared your major and do not know who your faculty advisor is you may contact the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at 1.574.631.6886..

When I tried to register for a Spanish class everything I wanted was full. What can I do?

There are a number of reasons class sizes are limited, but the most important of them is to ensure that every student has the best learning experience possible. Please note that, due to large class sizes, majors and supplementary majors may be given priority for upper-division classes. If there are still spaces available in a given course by the end of registration, you may talk to the Undergraduate Coordinator or Assistant Chair, but no decisions can be made before that time.

If there are compelling extenuating circumstances that should be taken into account (if you are a graduating senior, for example), Spanish majors may present their case to their faculty advisor or the Undergraduate Coordinator to discuss possible alternatives.

Should I contact the instructor directly for permission?

No, since most instructors are unable to access up-to-date enrollment figures, your first stop should always be the Assistant Chair. Note that the Department is unlikely to place you in a section of a given course when other alternatives remain open.

What’s the difference between the “honors track” and the “honors society?”

The honors track is an opportunity for motivated first majors. The honors track major consists of 33 credits or 11 courses. To qualify for the honors track, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.7 in the major, and should have completed at least seven courses toward the major by the end of their junior year. In addition to the general requirements for the major, honors track students must complete an eleventh course at the graduate-level with a grade of A- or higher, in which they will write a substantive research paper which constitutes the honor's thesis. Highly motivated students may consider the option of taking a year-long Directed Reading Tutorial as the eleventh course, completing an honors thesis under faculty direction. Interested students should contact the Coordinator of Undergraduate Studies for more details or click here for more details.

The Sigma Delta Pi Spanish honors society is a national organization that is administered through the Department. To qualify for induction into the Honors Society students must have a minimum GPA of 3.8 in the Spanish first or supplementary major and a cumulative GPA of 3.6 or above. In the Fall semester of their junior or senior year, students are invited by the Department to participate. Students who miss the induction date may not be inducted retroactively. In order to be a member, students must pay a nominal one-time national fee and attend the induction ceremony. Fees cannot be returned if students miss the ceremony.

The current faculty advisor for Sigma Delta Pi is Professor Juan Vitulli.

top

Cuetzalan

Questions about International Study

 

Who can help me plan my schedule of courses to take while abroad?

For Notre Dame sponsored programs, you may contact Professor Shauna Williams for academic questions and course approval for students accepted to the programs in Spain, Chile and Mexico. For general questions you should contact the Office of International Studies directly.

Important note: Approval forms for applications are handled by the Assistant Chair. Since the deadline typically coincides with registration for Spring, please do not wait until the last minute to do this.

If you are enrolling through a non-Notre Dame program your first stop should be the Undergraduate Dean¹s office in your College. They will check to see if the program is accredited and then refer you back to the Department for specific advice on courses. Once you have determined the courses available that will fulfill major requirements, the Assistant Chair or Undergraduate Coordinator will sign the Transfer Credit Pre-Approval form.

Which courses from study abroad may I count towards my major in Iberian and Latin American Studies?

Generally speaking, any upper-division literature or linguistics course taken abroad will count towards the major. If a course is equivalent to a specific distribution requirement, such as ROSP 30720 or ROSP 30710, students can expect to fulfill the requirement. For instance, a course entitled 20th Century Spanish American Poetry would fulfill the Spanish American II requirement; Spanish Golden Age Theatre could be applied to Peninsular I. For courses that do not fulfill specific requirements but are still listed as ROSP equivalents (Hispanic Film or Literary Theory, for example), you may request Spanish elective credit. As above, for Notre Dame sponsored programs, you may contact Professor Tom Anderson for academic questions and course approval for students accepted to the programs in Spain, Professor Shauna Williams for the programs in Chile and Mexico. For general questions you should contact the Office of International Studies directly. In case of doubt, you should consult with your major advisor or the program contact above via email before registering if possible. Students enrolling in non-Notre Dame courses should contact Shauna Williams.

Most importantly, remember that the fact that a course is taught in Spanish does not necessarily mean it will count for the Spanish major. Courses in other disciplines such as history or politics that do not appear on the list of ROSP-approved courses will not be counted toward the major, even as an elective. In any event it is usually good practice to keep your course materials from abroad, including syllabi, papers, exams, and other work you may have done for the course for future reference.

My major advisor says I can't fit international study into my program. What should I do?

Contact the International Studies Programs office. All Notre Dame programs in Spanish-speaking countries offer courses that may be applied to your general University requirements and some have special opportunities in science, business, and engineering.

Seriously, there’s no way I can fit a semester abroad in. Does Notre Dame have any programs during the summer?

There are a few specialized summer programs in Mexico and Spain available through the Office of International Studies. You may also want to consider one of the international service opportunities offered through the Center for Social Concerns; Undergraduate Summer Internships are also available on a competitive basis through the Nanovic and Kellogg Institutes. During the school year, there are also numerous opportunities available to work with the Spanish-speaking community in South Bend through the Community Alliance to Serve Hispanics (C.A.S.H.).

top

Questions about Graduate Study

 

I heard you can get a Master's degree in just five years; is that true?

The BA/MA program offers exceptionally motivated students the opportunity to complete their BA and MA degrees in five years. Students will normally take two graduate seminars and two 400-level undergraduate courses in their senior year and an oral qualifying exam the Spring semester of their Senior year. Admission to this program is subject to departmental approval, but students may nominate themselves. Interested students should contact the Graduate Coordinator for more details or click here for more information.

How is this different from a regular M.A. program?

The main difference is that this accelerated program may be completed in five years rather than six, because candidates will take two graduate seminars during the senior year and two senior-level courses that double-count toward the BA and the MA.

The level of academic excellence is equivalent to that of any Master's program. Students will need to apply to the Graduate School and take the GRE during the Fall semester of their Senior year and will compete with other MA applicants for fellowships and tuition waivers.

How can I find out if I’m eligible for the B.A. / M.A. program?

Although each case will be given full consideration by the Department, students interested in this possibility should have a strong academic record with a recommended minimum GPA in the major of 3.79 and substantial progress toward their BA degree completed before their senior year. It is imperative that you contact the Graduate Coordinator no later than the Spring semester of your junior year.

Can Notre Dame undergraduates apply to the regular MA program?

Absolutely! If for whatever reason you are unable to make the commitment to the five-year BA/MA program, you may apply to the regular two-year MA program and will receive full consideration. Since there is no need to double-count requirements, both first and supplementary majors in Spanish are welcome to apply.

I graduated two years ago. Would I still be eligible?

Yes, you may apply for the two-year MA program at any time as long as you get your materials in by the required deadline.

Is there a Ph.D. in Spanish available at Notre Dame?

Yes, there is PhD program in Spanish.  Click here for more information.

top