Frequently Asked Questions for Language Placement and Alternate Credit Policies

Please read the following questions and responses. If you still have any doubts or require further details please contact the Director of Placement, Dr. Rubio-Fernaz by (

  • I've already taken a language class at my previous university. Which course should I take at USD?
  • I had the language requirement waived at my previous university because I had two years of high school Spanish. Can I waive the language requirement at USD?
  • I've never studied a language before. Do I have to take the Placement Exam?
  • My parents speak Spanish and our primary language at home is Spanish. Nonetheless, I do not read and write much in that language. How can I fulfill the language requirement?
  • I was born and raised in another country. My first language is not English. Do I still have to study another language at USD?
  • Is there a study guide for the Placement Exam?
  • Can I keep taking the Placement Exam until I get placed into the level I want?
  • I took the Placement Exam last year some time, but I didn't enroll in a language class after receiving the results. Are the results still valid? I'm not sure when I actually took the exam. Should I take the Placement Exam again?
  • I took the Placement Exam and placed into 202 or Upper Division. However, I only need to take 201. May I drop down a level and enroll in 201?
  • What happens if I fail the Competency Exam?
  • Why does the Department of Languages and Literatures not allow a student to take a course lower than the level indicated on his or her placement results?
  • I haven't studied the language for a long time, but I was placed into 201. I'm nervous about starting at this level. What should I do?