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

FAQs - Spanish

Q:  Do absences count?

A:  Except for religious holidays, all absences count. However, students are allowed to make up work for religious holidays and university-sponsored events.


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, if you have a letter from the doctor saying you were ill and could not attend class owing to the illness, or proof of hospitalization, you can either make up the work you missed or receive "grade averaging," depending on the nature of the assignment.


Q: How many excused absences can I have?

A: There are no excused absences in Lower-Division Spanish. 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, an illness (documented with a doctor’s letter), or hospitalization, you can make-up the work you missed.


Q: The syllabus says I have to be here through finals week because the final doesn’t follow the regular exam schedule. Can I take my final early if I have a good reason?

A: Students must take their exams with their class. A make-up exam is offered but it is only for students whose Spanish final exam time conflicts with another regularly scheduled UT exam.


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 should I do if I think I'm in the wrong level of Spanish?

A: Within the first week of class, you should meet and discuss this issue with the undergraduate advisors.


Q: What classes should students take after SPN 611D if they want to major or minor in Spanish?

A: You would take an upper-division course, preferably 327G, which can be taken concurrently with another course. However, you should speak with the undergraduate advisors in the department. (Insert link to Course Descriptions)


Q: Do I need to take SPN327G before I register for SPN327W?

A: Yes, 327G is a prerequisite for 327W.


Q: Are grades curved?

A: No! The normal distribution curve is based on the random and natural distribution of a vast number of elements. Education, by definition, is a purposeful activity.


Q: Are there placement exams, and if so, whom do I contact to get more information about them?

A: Contact the Division of Instructional Assessment and Evaluation at the following link


Q: I need to take a class, but it shows up as closed (and/or the wait list has no spaces on it). Whom can I speak with to get in?

A: Students enter classes through the waitlist. If for some reason you are unable to register for a lower-division class you need this semester, contact University Extension (471-2900). They offer evening classes that correspond to ours and are often taught by our faculty. Alternatively, consider the option of taking a study abroad course with our Faculty Led Programs, or take a course at a nearby college or university.


Q: Can I audit a course?

A: No. The department does not allow auditors in Spanish language classes. The only exception is made for UT faculty who must register as an official auditor.


Q: Can I take a course Pass/Fail?

A: If you take any Spanish lower-division course on a Pass/Fail or Credit/No-credit basis you can not register in the next level course because in order to satisfy the pre-requisite for a lower-division course, you must have made a grade of C or better. A grade of P/F or C/NC does not guarantee this to be the case.


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

A: The Department offers several summer study abroad opportunities. You can meet with the Department Academic Advisors or visit the Study Abroad website


Q: My instructor told me that the written final exam is only 2 hours long, but the university exam schedule shows 3 hours. How long do I really have?

A: The exam schedules are standardized to reflect 3 hours, which in effect is the amount of time you have for your final; BUT remember that during the last class day you take the listening part of the final, which is one hour long. That is why you have two hours from the scheduled start time for the written part of the final exam.

Q: Can I walk in to take my final any time during the scheduled exam time?

A: Yes, you can. However, you must remember that you have only two hours from the scheduled start time to complete your final. So, if your exam is scheduled from 7-9, and you walk in at 8, you will only have from 8-9 to complete your final exam.

Q: Who can take the make-up final?

A: Only students who have a conflict with a regularly scheduled UT final exam can take the make-up final.

Q: Who will give the make-up final?

A: The course supervisor will proctor the make-up final exam.
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