Undergraduate FAQ

Instructor / Course Information

How do I contact a professor or TA?
Instructor emails and office hours are posted outside the Department office, Phelps 4206.
Have a look at the CONTACT section of the web site for email addresses for Staff, Faculty and Graduate TAs

How do I get into a class that’s full or “Closed by department”?
Get an add code from the instructor, NOT THE DEPARTMENT. All lower-division classes are closed by the department the first day of classes, and require an add code. After Week 1, students need an add code to enroll in any course.

What if I want to switch to a different section or different level Spanish class?
Week 1 attendance figures for all classes are posted outside the Department office. Find a class that has space available and contact the instructor. Lower-division courses have a maximum enrollment of 30.

Which courses are prerequisites?
Span 16A or 16B or 25 is a prerequisite for all upper-division Spanish courses taught in Spanish, including 100 and 102L (may be taken concurrently); take it first after completing or passing out of Span 6. Span 102L is a prerequisite for all literature courses; make it one of your first upper-division Spanish classes. Span 100 is a prerequisite for all linguistics courses, so take it sooner rather than later.

How can I find out what classes will be offered in future quarters?
Pick up a tentative list of course offerings in front of the department office, or view it online.

How do I know what the course is about?
Read the General Catalog, either online or in print.

Spanish Placement Exam

When can I take it? How do I sign up? What does my score mean?

Visit this link for an exhaustive discussion of the ins, outs and what-have-yous of the Spanish Placement Exam.

When can I take the placement exam?
Current Exam Dates

What if I took the AP test or Spanish at another college?
Visit this link

Declaring the Major/Minor

When should I declare a major/minor?
Whenever you want, sometime before your final quarter. We send relevant emails about all sorts of things to majors and minors, so if you want to receive these, go ahead and declare.

How do I declare a major/minor?
Come to the Department office, Phelps 4206, and fill out either a yellow “Petition to Change Major” or a gold “Petition to Declare the Minor.” The “catalog year” is the academic year you’re declaring the major, like 2006-07. If you’re a minor and your expected quarter of graduation changes or you decide to drop the minor please, let us know in the main office.

How long does it take for my major/minor to appear on GOLD?
Majors usually take two or three weeks. Minors do not show up on GOLD.

Major/Minor Requirements

What are the lower-division requirements?
Span 1-6 or an equivalent AP or Placement Exam score or similar advanced intermediate language course at another college, AND Span 16A or 16B or 25.

What are the upper-division requirements?
Minor: 100, 102L, one 110ABCD, one 111ABC, two electives.
Major: 100, 102L, three 110ABCD, two 111ABC, four electives.

What should I take first?
After you’ve done Span 16A/16B/25, take upper-division courses. 102L is a good one to do first, as it is a prerequisite for all literature courses, which are the bulk of the major/minor requirements. 100 is a good one to do sooner rather than later, because it’s a prerequisite for all linguistics courses and if you leave it until your last quarter and find you really like it, it’ll be too late to take any linguistics electives. Other than that, order matters not.

What classes count as electives?
Any upper-division Spanish class taught in Spanish can count as an elective.
Pre-approved substitutions for the 110ABCD and 111ABC requirements.

Can I take classes taught in English?
If you want major credit for a class taught in English, you must do all readings and all assignments in Spanish and petition this fact. Exceptions are 135, 139, 153, 157 and 179, of which Spanish majors can take one (1) for major credit, FOC (Free of Charge). Minors can take one course taught in English, FOC. Minors who think they might, some day, want to be majors should avoid taking classes in English.

Can I take Portuguese classes?
Sure. Majors can take up to eight units of Portuguese literature courses and petition them to count for the major. Readings and assignments should be completed in Portuguese or Spanish.


You mean like to save the whales?
No, a petition is a form you fill out when you want to do something unusual, like have something count for the major that otherwise wouldn’t. You can get them in any department or college office. When you turn one in, attach a self-addressed stamped envelope.

What classes require a petition?
Do a “Petition for Degree Requirements” for any classes taught in English but in which all readings and assignments were done in Spanish. Have the instructor sign saying you did all work in Spanish before you turn it in to the Department.

Petition any class that you want to count for the Spanish major that is not a UCSB Spanish class, for example, UCSB Portuguese classes or classes taken at another college or non-UC EAP study abroad program.

EAP courses go on a “Petition for Graduation Matters EAP,” a different but also readily available form.