We offer courses from introductory to advanced levels that incorporate reading, writing, listening and speaking with exposure to diverse cultures. Courses are designed to enable students to acquire a functional competence of French, Italian, Latin and Spanish. Since the acquisition of a foreign language is closely linked with the culture of a given country, the instructors offer opportunities for students to appreciate, experience and learn to respect cultural differences through classroom discussions and/or presentation of a variety of materials.

"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language that goes to his heart." - Nelson Mandela

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Your Curriculum

Requirements: Students are required to complete 6 credits, in sequence, in any one foreign language offered in the Alvernia curriculum. Placement of the student in the appropriate course level is determined by testing and/or the decision of the foreign language department staff.

Placement Guidelines for Spanish Courses

Students should complete the following course sequence based on their prior years of foreign language study in high school:

Years of instruction:                                             Course Sequence:

0-2 years of high school Spanish               →      Spanish 101 & Spanish 102

3-4 years of high school Spanish               →      Spanish 102 & Spanish 201

Note: Students will not receive credit for any course taken below their placement level. Exceptions to these guidelines must be approved by a foreign language faculty member

Placement guidelines do not apply for Spanish courses related to a profession.

Spanish for Native or Heritage Speakers

Students who are native or heritage speakers of Spanish will be placed in a Heritage speaker course or another course above the SPA 101 level as approved by a language faculty member.

  • A Heritage speaker is defined as someone who has been exposed to a language other than English at home.  Heritage speakers may not be bilingual, but they may have some proficiency and/or a cultural connection to the language spoken at home. 
  • A Native speaker is someone who was raised in an environment using a language other than English both in and outside of the home.

For more information regarding the Spanish for Heritage/Native Speaker courses, please contact Dr. Angelica Montoya (angelica.montoya@alvernia.edu).

Spanish Minor

  • The Spanish minor consists of 6 courses (18 credits) from the following:
  • SPA 102 or SPA 108 or SPA 190 (Spanish for Beginners II / Spanish for Health Professions II/ Spanish for Native/Heritage Speakers II)
  • SPA 201 (Intermediate Spanish I)
  • SPA 202 (Intermediate Spanish II)
  • SPA 203 (Spanish Conversation and Composition I)
  • SPA 204 (Spanish Conversation and Composition II)
  • SPA 311 (Cultural Perspectives of Spain)
  • SPA 312 (Cultural Perspectives of Latin America)

Course Descriptions


Transfer Credits/Credits by examination

  • Students may transfer approved course credits from other colleges and universities. Refer to the following link for information on Transferring credits: https://www.alvernia.edu/current-students/registrar/registrar-transfer-credit
  • Language testing for credits: Students may earn credits by completing and passing a CLEP (College Level Equivalency Program) examination in a foreign language. The CLEP exam is available for French, Spanish and German. Information regarding the CLEP examinations is available through the Registrar’s office and at https://clep.collegeboard.org/.
  • Students who have previous study or knowledge of a foreign language other than French, Spanish or German may complete ACTFL (American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Language) exams through Language Testing International for credit.  Please contact Antonella Merolla (antonella.merolla@alvernia.edu) for more information regarding these exams.

Study Abroad

Living and studying outside of the United States can change you in ways you can’t begin to envision. Students who study abroad typically gain immeasurable confidence and experiences they could not have imagined.  Alvernia’s Study Abroad Office works closely with students who want to spend one or more semesters in a different country. Opportunities to study abroad exist in Italy, Spain, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, England, Germany, Greece, Belgium, Austria, Morocco and Palestine.

Your college years are the perfect time to broaden your horizons and participate in experiences that will change your life. You pay the regular Alvernia tuition while studying abroad, and continue to receive financial aid, if applicable. Credits earned count toward your Alvernia undergraduate degree.

If you’re interested in studying in another country you should start planning early, as you’ll need to start the application process about a year in advance.

You can get more information about these programs from the Study Abroad Office by contacting studyabroad@alvernia.edu.

Contact Information

Antonella Merolla

Language Coordinator

Francis Hall 228



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