Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I declare a major or minor? 

Declarations in RL are now handled by the Global Connections team of Tykeson.  Please click on this RL Academic Advising link with RL advising info and the Tykeson button that will get you in touch with the right people at Tykeson:  either Courtney Garcia or Kenlei Cowell.

When should I declare a major?  

You can declare a major or minor at any point in your undergraduate career. All declared majors/minors are eligible to apply for departmental scholarships. Note that declared Spanish Language & Society majors receive priority for registering for certain upper-division classes. To qualify for priority registration for the following Spanish courses: SPAN 322 and 324, students must have declared the Spanish Language & Society major by week 5 of the term prior. 

How do I change a minor to a major? 

The Global Connections team of Tykeson can change minors to majors and vice versa.  Please click on this RL Academic Advising link with RL advising info and the Tykeson button that will get you in touch with the right people at Tykeson:  either Courtney Garcia or Kenlei Cowell.  You may also email

How do I drop a major/minor? 

Please email if you wish to drop an RL major minor.  Be sure to include the following: 

  • Your full name & student ID# 
  • Specific request to drop major/minor, the language and concentration (if ITAL or SPAN major). 
  • The name of your assigned advisor in RL. 

When does a French, Spanish, Italian, or Romance Languages course not count for the major or minor? 

  • When it is taken P/N. 
  • When the final grade is below C-. 
  • When it is conducted in English* 
  • When it is a 100- or 200-level course. 

*Certain courses (ex: RL 407) offer the opportunity to complete the coursework in the target language. Discuss this possibility with your faculty advisor and the course instructor. 

Who can answer general questions about study abroad programs? 

GEO (Global Education Oregon) in 333 Oregon Hall. Telephone: 541-346-3207 

Who can help me determine how overseas credits fit into my major or minor? 

Your assigned major/minor advisor. Your advisor’s name is listed in Navigate and on the top of your Degree Guide in Duckweb. 

I’ve heard that there are language-related internships abroad. Whom do I talk to about these? 

IE3 internship coordinator - 


Globalworks - 

I’ve heard that there are language-related internships in Lane County. Whom do I talk to about these? 

  • These RL Participatory Learning Experiences (PLE) in French and Spanish are temporarily unavailable due to covid-19 until further notice. 
  • The Experiential Learning Requirement for Spanish majors has been WAIVED for AY 22-23 following the pandemic and as it is being re-imagined within the new GSL. (The linked doc above is for past reference purposes only.)  PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT ANY SUPERVISOR ABOUT THESE UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. Updated 9.23.2022.  

How can I get credit for independent study while overseas? 

As with any independent study, you need to establish a specific agreement with an individual faculty member. This must be done before you leave Eugene. A formal, signed agreement is necessary. Please note that independent study credits do not count for the major or minor. 

How do I get credit for classes taken in a NON-UO study abroad program? 
Students who do study abroad NOT through UO need to work directly with the Office of the Registrar to make sure they can transfer the credit from their study abroad program to UO. Almost all study abroad programs are accredited through universities in the US, so if, for example, the student went on a program in Spain accredited through the University of Texas, then s/he would request that an official transcript from the University of Texas be sent to UO once the study abroad program was complete and grades had been submitted. The student does this on her/his own. The only role advisors and faculty in RL have in this situation is that if the credit is erroneously transferred–if 300 level credit shows up on the UO transcript as 100 level, for example–then we have the student bring us the syllabi/coursework to be reviewed. The student should work with her/his assigned advisor to do this kind of change. 

Who is my advisor?  

If you have declared a major, your advisor is usually listed on your Degree Guide in DuckWeb, as well as in Navigate. If you have declared a minor, or cannot find your advisor on DuckWeb or Navigate, please email

What information should I have when I talk with my advisor? 

You will want to be familiar with the major/minor requirements (available on the RL Academic Advising page) and the courses you have taken. You and your advisor can access your most recent transcripts and Degree Guide (degree audit) through Duckweb.

What if my advisor is on leave? 

Please contact

I am a Spanish Heritage Language (SHL) speaker.  Where can I go figure out which class would be right for me?

SHL students can take a free Placement Survey here:

Where can I take a placement test? How do I figure out my level? 

Testing office: 238 Student Health Center 

If you have any doubts about your test result, one of the language supervisors can help you identify your skill level. Visit the Language Placement page to view information for the RL language supervisors

FR 101-102-103, 111-112 

Prof. Connie Dickey 

FR 201-202-203 

Prof. Robert Davis 

ITAL 101-102-103 

Prof. Lauretta DeRenzo 

ITAL 201-202-203 

Prof. Claudia Ventura 

PORT 100-300 

Prof. Bené Santos 

SPAN 101-102-103, 111-112 

Prof. Paula Ellister 

SPAN 201-202-203

Prof. Paulo Henríquez


What is “mandatory attendance?” 

Mandatory attendance is a University of Oregon policy that covers all courses offered through the Department of Romance Languages (denoted by the letter “A” in the notes section of the Class Schedule). 

The Office of the Registrar defines mandatory attendance as follows: 
“Academic departments may require students to attend the first and/or second meetings of designated classes. These classes are identified in the Class Schedule. Students who do not attend the first two sessions of these classes may be directed by the academic department to drop the course so that the seat may be given to another student. Students are responsible for dropping the class; there is no automatic drop. The university refund schedule applies.” 

  • In the Department of Romance Languages, if you do not attend the first day of class, it is assumed that you will not be taking the course and will drop the class unless you have been in contact with the professor and he/she approves a well-founded reason for your absence (e.g., illness). 
  • Additionally, your seat will be given to another student. If you fail to drop the class, and you remain on the roster, you will be assigned the grade of F at the end of the term. 
  • Again, you are responsible for dropping your own classes; your instructor will not drop you. 

As all classes offered through the Department are tagged for mandatory attendance in the class schedule, a Romance Languages instructor can choose to invoke this policy if a student does not attend the first day of class. If the instructor chooses to invoke this policy, the department will enforce this policy rigidly. 

• Verify your schedule before the term begins. Did you register for the appropriate classes? 

• Go to class the first day. You want to know as soon as possible if this is the course you need, if the course is the appropriate level for you, etc. If you know ahead of time that you will not be able to attend the first class, contact the instructor immediately. 

• Do not plan trips that prevent you from attending the first meeting of a class. The Department of Romance Languages has a mandatory attendance policy, because in order to learn and become proficient in a language, you must be in class to practice. Furthermore, most classes have a significant discussion and participation requirement. You are expected to attend all classes. Your professor will make his or her expectations known in the course syllabus. A common attendance requirement is that your grade will be lowered after one or more absences. 

The classes I need are full. What do I do? 

Before the term begins and through the first week of classes (until Friday at noon), keep checking Duckweb to register if a spot becomes available in the class or on the waitlist. The Department of Romance Languages uses the computer generated waitlist feature for registration developed by the UO Registrar. Most of our classes at the 100-, 200-, and 300-level have computer generated waitlists. 

How do I learn more about waitlists?

Please visit the Registrar’s website feature on waitlisting. There is a short video tutorial which shows how waitlisting works for students. PLEASE DIRECT ANY QUESTIONS ON THE FUNCTIONS OF WAITLISTS TO THE REGISTRAR’S OFFICE. 

Which Romance Languages courses have a waitlist?

Most 100-, 200-, 300-level FR, SPAN, ITAL classes will have waitlists. 400-level courses may or may not have waitlists (see Duckweb). 

How long is the waitlist active?

The waitlist will remain in place until 9am on Wednesday of the first week of classes, at which point the waitlist will disappear. 

Does the course instructor have any control over the enrollments while the waitlist is active?

NO. With the waitlist, students do not need instructor permission to register for the course while the waitlist is in effect. Please DO NOT CONTACT INSTUCTORS to ask them to open up a spot in their class as they will be unable to do so until the waitlist is lifted. Check the Register website and/or UO academic calendar for the exact date and time the waitlist will be removed each term. 

What should I do if the class and the waitlist are both full?

100, 200, & 300-level language and culture courses have multiple sections. Be sure to check any section that would work with your schedule. Until the waitlist is removed, keep checking the course in Duckweb to see if a seat in the course or on the waitlist becomes available. You may contact the instructor beginning Monday of the first week of classes to find out if the instructor prefers that you attend their class while you are waiting for a spot to become available.** After the waitlist is lifted, if space is available, the instructor may choose to add you to their class by authorizing you for the class. 

Please note: If you have not been attending class during week 1, the instructor may choose to not allow you to add the class. 

The class I am hoping to take is full, and there is no waitlist. What should I do?

Between now and the start of classes, keep checking Duckweb in the event that a spot becomes available. If you meet all the course requirements, please contact the professor of the course directly to inquire about a wait list. Explain why you would like to take their course, and include your name, student ID#, and CRN for the course in the message. You should also include whether you are a declared major or minor in the Dept of RL (instructors will give priority to senior majors, junior majors, etc. in descending order on a wait list). If you don’t receive a response from the professor, consider going to the first class and speaking with the professor in person. Although this process can be stressful, there is often movement in class enrollments throughout the first full week of classes. 

After trying the above, if you are still not able to take a class because it is full, consider taking summer classes on the UO campus or through an overseas study program. 

Do French or Spanish for Reading Knowledge classes (FR/SPAN 405) fulfill major or minor requirements? 

No. French or Spanish for Reading Knowledge classes are designed primarily for graduate students in other departments needing to fulfill a language requirement or develop a basic reading knowledge of the language for research purposes. It is not an in-depth “reading skills” course, and it does not count toward either the major or the minor in Spanish or French. 

Why do we require majors to take two 407+ in-residence classes in literature, linguistics, film or translation in the target language? 

With this requirement, we ensure that a degree from the Department of Romance Languages at the University of Oregon includes advanced content taught by our RL professors. 

How do I get certified to serve as a tutor (for the Teaching & Learning Center or the Athletic Department)? 

If you have taken language classes at the UO, speak to your most recent instructor. Otherwise, make an appointment with the head undergraduate advisor:  Andrew Rothgery:

I need a director for an Honors College thesis. Who can I talk to? 

Start with professors with whom you’ve taken courses related to your thesis topic. 

What if my Degree Audit Report (DARS) says I lack a requirement I think I already completed? 

The Degree Audit Report is an advising tool only, and sometimes it misplaces requirements. Your departmental advisor can overrule DARS on issues relating to the major and minor. If you have questions about your major or minor requirements please contact your assigned advisor. 

What can I do with a language major? 

The possibilities are endless! Vistawide has a great website for careers in foreign languages. Also, you can visit the UO Career Center to explore career options and get useful tips on how to search for jobs. 

View bios of our awesome RL majors and minors on the CAS Languages and Careers page and on the RL websites: