Certificate in Spanish Language

For general questions, contact Spanish Advising.

For questions related to assessment, contact the Language Testing Program.

The Certificate of Advanced-Level Proficiency in Spanish is a new option for undergraduate degree seeking students who are interested in achieving advanced-level proficiency in Spanish, and having their skills formally recognized. It is open to Spanish majors and minors, as well as University of Minnesota undergraduate students from any college studying any discipline.

To learn more about this exciting opportunity watch our video presentation.

Benefits of the Certificate​

This certificate helps you move from intermediate-level proficiency to advanced-level, and provides you with an internationally-recognized marker of your advanced proficiency. This certificate also encourages the integration of language and culture learning across your academic and professional life while empowering you to be responsible for your own second language learning. 

How to Get Started

If you are interested in pursuing the certificate, please fill out this short form to receive notice of registration deadlines and other important information. You do not need to submit a formal declaration form, but you should inform your adviser that you are pursuing this certificate.

Required Steps for Completion of the Certificate

  1. Pass Spanish Language Proficiency Exam (LPE)
  2. Pass two upper-level courses taught in Spanish. There are two options for completing this requirement:
    • Option 1: Spanish 3015; Spanish Composition and Communication and one pre-approved content-based course
    • Option 2: Two pre-approved content-based courses.
  3. An intensive Spanish-language immersion experience. There are two options for completing this requirement:
    • Option 1: An academic study abroad experience of at least six weeks that includes at least one course taught in Spanish.
    • Option 2: Completion of a pre-approved immersion experience. Non-study abroad immersion options include: SPAN 3401 Latino Immigration and Community Service; SPAN 3404 Medical Spanish and Community Health Service; CHIC 3275 Service Learning in the Chicano/Latino Community—with an approved contract to do the coursework in Spanish; and the Community Engagement Scholars Program, with a focus on opportunities to engage with native Spanish speakers (requires 400 service hours).
  4. Take the self-assessment and use this information to gauge your own proficiency level.
  5. Pass the critical reflection essay: Submit a short essay (450–600 words) written in English that is both a self-assessment of your Spanish-language skills and also explains how you have used your language and cultural understanding skills at the university and beyond.
  6. Pass the ACTFL advanced-level exam in Spanish by achieving a rating of advanced-low or higher in all four sections. It is strongly recommended that you do not attempt the ACTFL exam until the self-assessment results indicate that you may have achieved advanced-level proficiency.

Additional Experiences to Increase Your Spanish Proficiency

We also recommend studying abroad in a Spanish-speaking country for at least a semester, service learning in a Spanish-speaking community, volunteer or work experience in a Spanish-speaking community, participation in the Community Engagement Scholars Program, TandemPlus participation, participation in a language or culture-based Living and Learning Community, and actively using your Spanish for an average of 15-20 hours per week outside of class.

Cost to Complete Certificate

$200 for four sections of the ACTFL Proficiency Exam. For additional information on the exam please check our ACTFL Exam Information page.

Important Certificate Completion Dates Fall 2016

  • September 6-30: Eligible students may submit a Critical Reflection Essay (CRE) and self-assessment. Students who have passed the CRE in a previous semester may retake their self-assessment and pre-register for the ACTFL tests.

  • October 28 - November 6: All students eligible to take or retake ACTFL tests may register for test times.

  • November 14 - December 14: ACTFL testing period
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