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Jill Robbins, Chair 150 W 21st Street, Stop B3700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4936

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  Do absences count?

A:  Except for religious holidays, all absences count.

Q: I missed a class because I was ill and I have a letter from my doctor. Will I be counted absent for that day?

A: You will be counted absent; however, because you have a letter from the doctor saying you were ill and could not attend class, you can make-up any work you missed that day.

Q: How many excused absences can I have?

A: There are no excused absences in the Language Program. Students are allowed a specific number of absences in each level without penalization (Check you course syllabus.). Absences for any reason are counted as such. However, if you are absent owing to a university-sponsored event, a religious holiday, or hospitalization, you can make-up the work you missed.

Q: What does “University-sponsored activity” mean?

A: A SPONSORED EVENT or activity is one that the University endorses by supporting it financially, or by sending students to participate in it as official representatives of the University. An ORGANIZED EVENT is one that is initiated, planned, and arranged by a member of the University's faculty or staff, or by the members of a sponsored student organization, and is approved by an appropriate administrator. An APPROPRIATE ADMINISTRATOR is a dean, department chair, or director of an administrative unit, or their delegate. The types of activities and events covered by this policy include course-related field trips, Recreational Sports club trips, the activities of sponsored student organizations, and meetings of academic organizations where a student is officially representing the University. The policy does not apply to absences due to attending such events as a non-University representative, or to engaging in student teaching, internships, practicums, observations, or research, unless the research is organized by a member of the faculty. Source: Appendix K of the University's 2006-2007 catalog (Student Travel Policy for University-Organized or Sponsored Events).

Q: What course should I take if I already speak (some) Portuguese?

A: You need to take a placement test.

Q: What do I do if I need to take a placement test for Portuguese?

A: First go to the Instructional Assessment and Evaluation, former Measure and Evaluation Center ( and get a form (it costs about $50).  Please fill in the form and collect ALL signatures on it (including your dean's and the chair of the Spanish and Portuguese Department). Once you have everything ready, e-mail Vivian Flanzer, the Supervisor of the Portuguese Language Program, at to schedule the test.  Please note that the test can only be taken during the class period in the Fall and Spring semesters, during Flanzer’s office hours. You will receive a grade of Credit or No-Credit; letter grades are not given.

Q: What's the difference between POR 406 and POR 508?

A: POR 406 is a beginners’ course designed for non-Spanish speakers and POR 508 is a beginners’ course designed for Spanish speakers. POR 508 is an accelerated course, and corresponds to POR 406 + POR 407.

Q: Is POR 508 taught in Spanish?

A: No, it is taught in Portuguese.

Q: Can I take POR 508 if I had some Spanish in high school?

A: No. Only register for POR 508 if you are fluent in Spanish (i.e., you should be able to read, write and speak fluently in Spanish). Your Spanish will not be tested.

Q: What is the difference between POR 312K and POR 516?

A: POR 312K is an intermediate course designed for non-Spanish speakers and POR 516 is an intermediate/advanced course designed for Spanish speakers. POR 516 is an accelerated course, and corresponds to POR 312K + POR 312L.

Q: Which Portuguese is taught at UT Austin?

A: Brazilian Portuguese.

Q: What do I need to major or minor in Portuguese?

A: Please contact the department Undergraduate Advisors.

Q: What are the pre-requisites for Portuguese language courses?

A: Owing to the fact the pre-requisites may change from year to year, it is best to consult the latest course catalog or speak to one of the department’s Undergraduate Advisors.

Q: Does the department offer POR classes in the summer?

A: Generally, POR 604 is taught in the first summer session and POR 612 in the second; however, you need to check the Summer Course Schedule to see if they will be offered.

Q: Can I take a course Pass/Fail?

A: If you take any Portuguese lower-division course as a Pass/Fail or Credit/Non-credit you can not register in the next level course.

Q: Can I audit a Portuguese course?

A: No. The department does not allow auditors in Portuguese language classes. The only exception is made for UT faculty members, who must register as an official auditor. To do so, go to the Registrar’s office in the Main Building and ask for a class auditor’s permit. It costs $20. Fill out the form (you will need to know the course title, unique number and the name of the instructor) and take it to the instructor on the first day of class. 

Q: The syllabus says I have to be here for the final exam and that there is no make-up for the final. Can I take my final early if I have a good reason?

A: Students must take their exams with their class. There is no make-up exam for POR.

Q: I want to study in Brazil. Where can I get information on schools and/or financial aid?

A: Visit the Study Abroad website to get familiar with the opportunities and schedule an appointment as soon as possible with Study Abroad in Brazil Advisors.

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