Introductory Language Programs

Spanish books.

The Introductory Language Programs offer a suite of courses in French, Italian and Spanish, ranging from classes which require no previous instruction in the language and moving up through intermediate levels to prepare students for upper-level coursework and/or study abroad opportunities. 

Note that all language courses at all levels are taught in the target language.

Placement Guidelines

Students interested in studying French, Italian and/or Spanish:

If you have never studied FR, ITA or SPA, please register for the corresponding 111 introductory course.

Proceed to take the Avant PLACE exam if:

  • you studied French, Italian or Spanish in a classroom, or other formal setting, for more than a year
  • you used French, Italian or Spanish at home
  • if you lived in a place where French, Italian or Spanish was spoken

In general:

  • FR 111ITA 111 and/or SPA 111: This is the introductory course for true beginners only. Students with no prior instruction in the language will take the 111-112, 1-year (2 semesters) 6-credit sequence.
  • FR 102, ITA 102 or SPA 102 is usually the starting elementary course for most students who completed two years of high school language and/or passed a Regents examination.
  • FR 151ITA 151, or SPA 151 is usually the starting course for most students who took three or more years of the language in high school. Students will then continue with 152, the second semester course in the sequence.

Language Studies

  • AP, CLEP, DANTES, IB: Students who took any of these examinations should visit the Transfer and Articulation Services site to check articulation of scores for French, Italian and Spanish courses before registering for courses.  

Transfer Students

  • Students who have completed coursework in French, Italian or Spanish, either at UB or another college, should not register in a proficiency level lower than that already completed. If the transferred courses are not articulated in the Transfer and Articulation Site (TAURUS), students must provide a copy of the full course(s) syllabus to the respective language coordinator. Syllabi can be sent via email or be dropped off in 910 Clemens Hall for evaluation by the coordinators.
  • Current UB students planning on taking a language course during winter or summer sessions at another college, should check the Transfer and Articulation Site (TAURUS) for articulated courses. If the courses are not articulated, the same process outlined above for transfer students applies.
  • Please note that the language programs at UB do not accept transferred foreign language courses as equivalent to UB’s language courses if they are offered fully online with no significant aural/oral practice or interaction among students as well as with the instructor.

Repeating a Course

  • Students repeating a course in which a failing or D grade was received must do so prior to registering in a higher-proficiency level course.

Improper Placement

  • If a student feels they been placed in a course that is too low or high for their previous level of knowledge, they should see the course director during drop/add. Before taking this step, the department advises the student takes a few days to grow accustomed to hearing the foreign language spoken again after some time away from it.
  • Please be aware that if a student misrepresents their previous knowledge of the language, they will be administratively deregistered from the course as this is a violation of the Academic Honesty policy.  Neither the department nor its representatives are responsible for any financial penalties or academic difficulties incurred due to misrepresentation of knowledge on the student’s part.

For any further information on placement, please see the placement information form