Cartagena, Colombia by Ricardo Gomez Angel

First-Year SPANLANG courses

equip students with the capability to function appropriately in the language in a variety of social and cultural contexts

Guanajuato, México

Guanajuato, México by Jorge Gardner

Second-Year SPANLANG courses

prepare students for study abroad alongside native speakers of Spanish

Need a Spanish Placement Test?

All Stanford students with previous exposure to the language must take the placement test - online written followed by the oral component - before taking Spanish classes.

Oral Communication Courses

maintain your Spanish for the duration of the quarter until you have an opportunity to take advantage of a more rigorous language course designed to rapidly advance your linguistic progress

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Spanish Language Program

Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru by Ana Frantz

Spanish Language Program

prepares students to live, work, study and research in a Spanish-speaking country. Courses are offered for first to third years, home-background speakers and those seeking speaking practice.

Cueva Ventana, Puerto Rico

Cueva Ventana, Puerto Rico by Wei Zeng

First-Year Spanish

by Daniel Lloyd Blunk Fernandez

Second-Year Spanish

Aconcagua Park, Chile

Aconcagua Park, Chile by Nicolas Perez

Third-Year Spanish

Xochimilco, CDMX, Mexico by Robero Carlos Roman Don

Home-Background Speakers

Antigua, Guatemala by Rodrigo Escalante

Oral Communication Courses

First Step: Take the Placement Test

If you've studied Spanish previously, or if you grew up with Spanish in your home or community, you are required to take the Spanish placement exam before enrolling in any course.

FAQs for Stanford students:

Q: Do I need to take a Spanish placement test?

A: If you've studied Spanish previously, or if you grew up using Spanish in your home or community, you are required to take the Spanish placement exam before enrolling in a Spanish course.

Q: I'm concerned about my placement. Do I have to take the precise course in which I was placed?

A: The short answer is, "Yes, you must take the course in which you've been placed." That's because students taking a course that is too easy for them are likely to intimidate their peers and suffer from boredom, while those with insufficient proficiency for a course are likely to slow down the class while failing to fully engage and progress. 

However, if you're concerned about your placement or feel there may have been an error, please contact the %20alimiano [at] (Program Coordinator) and request that your placement exam and oral interview be reviewed. Please note: students who place into Spanlang 2 cannot take Spanlang 2A, which requires a higher level of proficiency than that required for Spanlang 2.

Q: I'm a graduate student and can't take a Spanish course for full credit?

A: Graduate students who need to take a course for reduced units should get in touch with the %20alimiano [at] (Program Coordinator).

Q: May I audit a Stanford Spanish course?

A: No, the University strictly prohibits the auditing of "performance courses," such as language courses.

If you don't see your question answered here, please reach out to the %20alimiano [at] (Program Coordinator).

FAQs for non-Stanford Students

Q: I want to take a Spanish class at Stanford. How do I go about that?

A: During the 2020-2021 school year,  the Stanford Continuing Studies Program will only offer Beginning Spanish I and only in the Autumn Quarter. The course will be taught online due to the pandemic. Sign up at

Other entities that offer Spanish classes are the Palo Alto Adult School and UC Berkeley Extension, as well as your local community college. You may want to contact them if the Continuing Studies offerings do not meet your needs.

If you wish to attend a Stanford course as a non-matriculating student at full price, the cost is prohibitive, but contact Stanford Admissions at for further information.

Q: I want to hire a private tutor. How do I go about that?

A: Click the "Contact person by email" link at left and provide the preferred days/times/frequency you'd like to have tutoring and the amount you'd be willing to pay, along with any pertinent information about the needs of the tutee. (Currently, advanced undergraduates may charge ~$35-50/hour, graduate students ~$60-75/hour, and PhDs in the range of $80-125/hour, depending on travel requirements.) The information you provide will be forwarded to current teaching staff and/or advanced students per your request.

About the Spanish Language Program

The Spanish Language Program at Stanford is one of the most ambitious language programs in the country. It is based not only on current research in second language acquisition, but also on an understanding of the extraordinary talents and abilities that Stanford students bring to the study of language.

The principal goal of the entire program is to help students develop their proficiency so that at the end of the second year of study, they can effectively participate alongside native Spanish speakers at universities throughout the Spanish-speaking world.

As a proficiency-based program guided by the Stanford Language Center, our program emphasizes what students can do with language rather than simply what they know about it. It is likewise standards-based—meaning that its Curricular Objectives for learner proficiency are based on the World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages.

Honor Society.  We house a chapter of Sigma Delta Pi, the Spanish language honor society. Beyond completing second year and having an excellent GPA, you will need to complete at least one literature course taught in Spanish to be nominated. Contact the %20languagecenter [at] (Language Center) for more information.

Fellowship Opportunities. We want you to study abroad during and after your Stanford experience. An important way to prepare yourself for these great opportunities is to keep in touch with Bechtel International Center for updated information regarding prestigious international fellowships and scholarships. Check out the Overseas Scholarship page for information.