Taking a course or courses

Which CSUSM Courses meet the LOTER?
Which CSUSM Course do I enroll in?
How did my high school classes prepare me?
Which Non-CSUSM Courses meet the LOTER?
What do I need to do to get my documents processed?

1. Which CSUSM courses meet the LOTER?

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2. Which CSUSM course do I enroll in? How did my high school classes prepare me?

(Note: If you are taking classes not at CSUSM, see your specific college for course numbers. The same sequence of three semesters will apply.)

  • See grid below.
  • IMPORTANT NOTE: If it has been more than 2 years since you took a language, you will be required to start at the beginning (101).  For example: If you took Spanish 1 and 2 during Freshman and Sophomore years of high school, you would have to take Spanish 201 during your college Freshman fall, spring or summer. If you did not do this, you will need to take 101.
  • RELATED NOTE: If you have taken a language course at CSUSM already and earned a C or higher, then you waited 2 years to take the next level, you will STILL have to start over.  However, you will not be able to enroll in the course again because you earned a passing grade.  An option would be to audit the course instead.
  • No high school class meets LOTER, but they DO meet the prerequisites to take classes that do meet the LOTER or to sit for the Proficiency Exam.
  • Meet with your academic advisor before registering for classes.
  • College courses taken in high school can meet the LOTER ONLY if you did not use course for high-school units and/or diploma. If you did use it for high school, then we suggest taking the Proficiency Exam.
  • A general guide is that 1 year in high school equals a semester in college.
  • For all classes but 101, bring an unofficial transcript or test score on the first day of class, unless you took the prerequisistes at CSUSM.
  • If you think you should place higher than suggested below, speak to the Modern Language Studies Department (2nd Floor of Markstein).
  • Guidlines on how to pick your course:
If you... Enroll in...
took Spanish for at least 1 year in high school or 1 semester in college AND it has been over 2 years since you took Spanish AND and you are not an incoming Freshman Free Summer 2014 "Spanish Review to place into 102 or 201".  Enroll now! 
speak Spanish at home and would like to learn written grammar SPAN 250 “Spanish for Native Speakers”

have no previous language study, or
it's been over 2 years since you took high school language

101 OR
Sit for the Proficiency Exam (only if you were a strong language student AND only if it has been 3-4 years since you took at least 3 years in high school)

took 1 year in high school or 1 semester in college, less than 2 years ago  102 (new material, if got C or higher in last class) OR
101 (review, if got a C- or lower in last class) OR
took 2 years in high school or 2 semesters in college, less than 2 years ago 201 (new material, if got a C or higher in last class; meets LOTER) OR
102 (review, if you got C- or lower in last class)
took 3 years in high school or 3 semesters in college, less than 2 years ago

202 (new material, if got C or higher in last class; meets LOTER) OR
201 (review, if got C- or lower in last class; meets LOTER) OR
Sit for the Proficiency Exam.                                     

took 4 years in high school or 4 semesters in college 300-level classes (new material, if got C or higher in last class; meets LOTER; starts major/minor) OR 
202 (review, if got C- or lower in last class; meets LOTER) OR
Sit for the Proficiency Exam.
took the Spanish Language AP and got a 3

202 (new material; meets LOTER) OR
201 (review; meets LOTER) OR
Do nothing! Your score meets LOTER, gives 6 units & meets lower-division elective.

took the Spanish Language AP and got a 4 or 5

301 (new material; meets LOTER; starts major/minor) OR
202 (review; meets LOTER) OR
Do nothing! Your score meets LOTER, gives 6 units & meets lower-division elective.

took the Spanish Literature AP and got a 3, 4 or 5

316 or higher (new material; meets LOTER; starts major/minor) OR
315 (for review; meets LOTER; starts major/minor) OR
Do nothing! Your score meets LOTER, gives 6 units & meets lower-division elective.

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3. Which NON-CSUSM meet the LOTER?

  • List of courses that meet the LOTER (at nearby schools)
  • Almost any language – including American Sign Language 
  • At least 3rd semester, intermediate course equal to or above CSUSM 201. (Note: Luiseno or Cupeno at Palomar must be 4th semester courses.)
  • Grade of “C”, “Credit”, or “Pass” (You can take the class for credit or pass, if you don't need it for ANYTHING else.)
  • Courses do NOT meet it, if the name includes "conversation" or "listening" or "writing" or "reading"; if an ASL course name includes "fingerspelling" or "deaf culture"; or if it is less than 3 units; a language without written grammar rules (such as a a patois or computer).
  • From any regionally-accredited college or university – including study-abroad or online!
  • Study Abroad! Contact Office of Global Education. (Note: Study-abroad programs must be no shorter than 4 weeks and meet at least 4 hours/day, for a total of 20 hours/week and 80 hours total. Programs not already approved by Global Education are considered, but will need special approval.)
  • Spanish in Spain with CSUSM in Summer is equal to 101 & 102 combined OR 201. 
  • As of Fall 2010, online courses meet the LOTER.(Prior to Fall 2010, only accepted online class was Spanish 201 at CSUSM Extended Learning.)
  • There are many good online classes. Online courses can be at any regionally-accredited community college or university. One local choice is Spanish 201 as part of the Accelerated Spanish path offered at CSUSM's Extended Learning. National University and University of Phoenix are also accepted, as are schools such as Mira Costa, Palomar, etc. 
  • One particular online option that students have said positive things about is Rio Salado Community College, which offers MANY languages - including ASL - for roughly $200/unit and has either an 8-week or 14-week option. No courses with title "Elementary" - unless it is in the list of approved courses or has been approved by the LOTER Advisor.
  • College courses taken in high school can meet the LOTER ONLY if you did not use course for high-school units and/or diploma. If you did use it for high school, then we suggest taking the Proficiency Exam.
  • Courses that earn credit through an exam process.  Normally in these cases the transcript will list the actual course with units and grade and then have the notation that it was earned through "Credit by exam".
  • SOME language insitutes MAY meet the requirement. Contact the LOTER Advisor for more information.

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4. What do I need to do to get documents processed?

  • If you took the course at CSUSM, nothing!
  • If your non-CSUSM transcript was part of your admissions packet to CSUSM (via an official score sent by the school directly), then Admissions checked the LOTER as MET.
  • If your non-CSUSM transcript was NOT part of your admissions packet, then have the university send an official transcript *and official translation, if needed*, directly to:
    Office of Admissions and Recruitment
    California State University San Marcos
    333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Rd.
    San Marcos, California 92096
  • If your non-CSUSM transcript has been sent and the LOTER is not yet checked as MET, please contact your primary academic advisor.
  • If you want to go or have gone to a 'language institute', speak to the LOTER Advisor.

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