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Undergraduate Studies

Placement & Special Credit

Getting Special Credits for Spanish and Portuguese Language Courses

Special credits in language are credits you can get for IUB courses below your current language level.  Special credits are of two types: credits based on the satisfactory completion of the course you place into; and credits based on high AP exam results.  See below for an explanation of each type of special credit and instructions for how to claim the credit if you qualify for it. Please note that the procedures for claiming special credit are different for Portuguese and Spanish.  Also, native speakers (except residents of Puerto Rico) may not claim special credits in their language (see “Important Notes” below).

1. Special Credits Based on Placement/Course Completion

A. Portuguese Credits

If you have prior experience with Portuguese and feel you should be placed higher than P100 as your first course, you must meet with the Portuguese Director, Professor Darlene Sadlier, to have your correct course placement determined. 

Here is a summary of the special credits you can get for Portuguese courses, based on placement and course completion:

B. Spanish

Special credit can be awarded for up to two semesters of second-year study (the third and fourth semesters). To earn special credit, students must complete a validating course on the IUB campus at the level into which the student placed (or higher) with a grade of C or better, and apply for the special credit to be posted retroactively. If a student earns a grade of C- or below in the validating course, s/he will not receive special credit. The validating course must be the first course in that language taken by the student at IUB and this course may only be completed once. The following is an explanation of how special credit from S200 and above are assigned:

Important notes: Students can not receive special credit for S280 (or S275). Students will not receive IUB special credit if they have transfer credits for a similar beginning Spanish or Portuguese course from another college.  Also, it is the policy of the College that students whose native language is not English may not earn credit for courses at the 200-level in their native language.  In most cases, these students are exempted from the foreign language requirement. However, residents of Puerto Rico are not subject to this policy and are eligible for Spanish language credit at any level. If you are a native speaker of Spanish or Portuguese and are interested in completing a major or minor in either of these languages, you must speak to the Director of Undergraduate Studies or the Director of the Portuguese Program to determine what course you should start with.

If you have already qualified for special Spanish language course credits as outlined above, you can click here to claim your Spanish credit online. After completing the form, click the Submit button. It takes 4-6 weeks for processing and when complete, the earned credit will appear on your Degree Progress Report.

2. Advanced Placement (AP) Exam credits for Spanish

If you have taken the AP Spanish language exam or the AP Spanish literature exam, you may receive credits for Spanish courses at IUB if you scored between 3-5 on either exam.  Click here for a chart showing the current course equivalents granted by the College of Arts and Sciences for given AP scores in Spanish and other disciplines.  If your AP exam scores qualify you for IUB credit, the College Board will send them to the Office of Admissions (that is, if you designated IUB as a recipient on your answer sheet) and the credits will be registered on your Degree Progress Report automatically.