Certificate in Language and Intercultural Communication - Spanish

Program Learning Outcomes for the Certificate in Language and Intercultural Communication

Upon completing the certificate in Language and Intercultural Communication, students will be able to:  

  1. Speak in the target language with or to native speakers with enough fluency and minimal obstacles for both the student and the interlocutor, even in spontaneous situations.
  2. Write in the target language in a clear, detailed, relatively complex, and context appropriate manner. 
  3. Understand key socio-cultural differences associated with the target language.

Requirements for the Certificate in Language and Intercultural Communication - Spanish

Students pursuing the Certificate in Language and Intercultural Communication must complete:

  • A minimum of 4 courses (12 credit hours) to satisfy certificate requirements.
  • A maximum of 2 courses (6 credit hours) transfer credit. For additional departmental guidelines regarding transfer credit, see the Policies tab.
  • An Experiential Learning opportunity through an approved program.
  • An Outcomes Assessment to evaluate language proficiency.
  • A minimum overall GPA of 2.00 in required coursework with a minimum grade of C (2.00 grade points) in each course.

This certificate is not a freestanding degree program; in addition to fulfilling the certificate requirements outlined below, candidates will be required to complete successfully the degree program to which they have been admitted in order to receive this certificate. Upon completion, the certificate is awarded at the same time as the conferral of the student’s Rice degree, along with a formal notation on their academic transcript.

The courses listed below satisfy the requirements for this certificate. In certain instances, courses not on this official list may be substituted upon approval of the certificate’s academic advisor, or where applicable, the Program Director. (Course substitutions must be formally applied and entered into Degree Works by the certificate's Official Certifier.) Students and their academic advisors should identify and clearly document the courses to be taken.


Total Credit Hours Required for the Certificate in Language and Intercultural Communication - Spanish12

Certificate Requirements

Required Courses 1
Select 2 courses from Spanish course offerings (SPAN) at the 200-level or above 2, 36
Select 2 courses from Spanish course offerings (SPAN) at the 300-level or above 26
Experiential Learning
Complete an approved program 4
Outcomes Assessment
Complete an oral exam and a 500-word essay written in Spanish 5
Total Credit Hours12

Footnotes and Additional Information 

Policies for the Certificate in Language and Intercultural Communication - Spanish

Language Placement Testing   

Students are required to take a Language Placement Test to ensure that they are placed in the appropriate course in their target language. Placement tests are administered online prior to and during both fall and spring registration.

The Language Placement Test is not required for course offerings from Spanish (SPAN 330 and above), Portuguese (PORT 330 and above), or Latin American and Latinx Studies (LALX).

Program Restrictions and Exclusions

Students pursuing the certificate in Language and Intercultural Communication should be aware of the following program restriction:

  • As noted in Majors, Minors, and Certificates, students may declare their intent to pursue a university certificate only after they have first declared a major.

Transfer Credit 

For Rice University’s policy regarding transfer credit, see Transfer Credit. Some departments and programs have additional restrictions on transfer credit. The Office of Academic Advising maintains the university’s official list of transfer credit advisors on their website: https://oaa.rice.edu. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic program’s transfer credit advisor when considering transfer credit possibilities. 

Program Transfer Credit Guidelines

Students pursuing the certificate in Language and Intercultural Communication should be aware of the following program-specific transfer credit guidelines:

  • No more than 2 courses (6 credit hours) of transfer credit from U.S. or international universities of similar standing as Rice may apply towards the certificate.
  • The Center for Languages and Intercultural Communication (CLIC) will determine equivalency for foreign language classes taken at other colleges or universities and approve them for transfer credit. 
  • Students wanting Rice equivalent credit should obtain approval in writing from CLIC before taking language courses outside of Rice.
  • Students who study abroad should have their transfer credits pre-approved by CLIC before they commit to a study-abroad program.
  • Requests for transfer credit will be considered by the program director (and/or the program's official transfer credit advisor) on an individual case-by-case basis.
  • When requesting Rice equivalent credit for foreign language acquisition courses, students should submit no less than the following to CLIC for approval:
    • the appropriate transfer credit request form from the Office of the Registrar.
    • a program description for courses taken abroad or catalog description for courses taken in the United States.
    • a course syllabus for the course they wish to take or have taken, or a web address of the program if one is available.
  • Students should be aware that the approval process takes about one week and should plan accordingly.

Distribution Credit Information

The determination of distribution credit eligibility is done initially as part of the new course creation process. Additionally, as part of an annual roll call coordinated each Spring by the Office of the Registrar, course distribution credit eligibility is routinely reviewed and reaffirmed by the Dean’s Offices of each of the academic schools.  

Faculty and leadership in the academic schools are responsible for ensuring that the courses identified as distribution-credit-eligible meet the criteria as set in the General Announcements. Students are responsible for ensuring that they meet graduation requirements by completing coursework designated as distribution-credit-eligible at the time of course registration. 

Distribution courses from the Center for Languages and Intercultural Communication (CLIC) are broad in theme and scope. Students in these courses will develop increased intercultural and interactional competence, which includes a critical understanding of the sociolinguistic and sociocultural aspects shared by the community of users of the target language. These courses encourage students to probe the modes of knowledge and inquiry characteristic of the humanities. A central component of these courses is the development of students' critical thinking and analytical abilities. This is accomplished through the analysis of spoken and written interactions which allows students to understand linguistic forms, uses of vocabulary, varieties of intonation, social situations and their effects on language use, and language behavior in different situations. The ultimate goals are to question students' own sociolinguistic and sociocultural norms and give them the tools to appropriately engage with the target language communities. These courses will also provide students with the essential knowledge and tools for thinking critically about history and culture, and for understanding the centrality of such capacity to informed participation in social, political, and professional life since it is precisely through understanding the language of history and culture that students can understand these.

Additional Information

For additional information, please see the Center for Languages and Intercultural Communication website: https://clic.rice.edu/.

Opportunities for the Certificate in Language and Intercultural Communication - Spanish

Academic Honors

The university recognizes academic excellence achieved over an undergraduate’s academic history at Rice. For information on university honors, please see Latin Honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude) and Distinction in Research and Creative Work. Some departments have department-specific Honors awards or designations.


The Center for Languages and Intercultural Communication invests in students participating in experiential learning programs by occasionally offering scholarships to offset the cost. When funding is available, the scholarships are offered in the spring semester for study abroad or experiential learning programs taking place the following summer or academic year.

Additional Information

For additional information, please see the Center for Languages and Intercultural Communication website: https://clic.rice.edu/

See https://humanities.rice.edu/student-life for tables of fellowships, prizes, and internships/practica that may be relevant to this program.