Study Quechua at Penn

Study Quechua at Penn
Why Quechua?
Student Testimonials
Opportunities beyond the classroom 

Quechua is the most spoken Indigenous language of the Americas, with 7-8 million speakers mostly in Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador, and also some areas of Colombia, Argentina and Chile. The Quechua language program offers classes through the Penn Language Center and is the only Ivy League university to do so in such a capacity. Currently, Quechua is the only Indigenous South American language offered at the University of Pennsylvania.

Important info: Our classes might count towards the major/minor in Latin American and Latino Studies, and the minor in Native American Studies. The course also counts as a ‘related course’ towards the major in Linguistics. 

  • Undergraduate and graduate students from the University of Pennsylvania, Swarthmore, Bryn Mawr and Haverford are welcome to enroll in this class. Penn Graduate students are allowed to enroll after getting their advisor’s permission.

Quechua courses at Penn not only work on developing language skills, but also cultural awareness on Indigenous Peoples. Class dynamics encourage the discussion of different social and cultural issues.



Quechua is offered on this cycle:

Fall 2022

  • QUEC-0100 Elementary Quechua and Andean Culture I
    Tuesdays & Thursdays: 5:15pm – 7:00pm ET
    Course summary

    Quechua, the language of the Inca Empire and still spoken by approximately 8 million people throughout the Andes, is the most spoken indigenous language in the Americas. The program focuses on the development of written and oral communicative abilities in Quechua through an interactive activity-based approach. Course includes an introduction to Quechua and Andean culture. Students will participate in pair, small-group and whole-class activities. Assessment is based on both students’ ability to use the language in written and oral tasks and understanding the language and culture. This beginning level Quechua course is designed for students who have little or no previous knowledge of the language. Lectures will be delivered in English and Quechua.
    Download Previous Course Syllabus


  • QUEC-120 Elementary Quechua and Andean Culture II


How to enroll in the class: 

In case you might additional assistance or questions, please contact Lada Vassilieva (, Administrative Director of the Penn Language Center.




3 comments on “Study Quechua at PennAdd yours →

  1. Jallaya!!

    The Quechua cultural and language initiative at the University of Pennsylvania is essential for scholars. My family and I immigrated to this country, and I was not afforded the opportunity to learn about my culture. My country of birth is Bolivia, and my heritage is Peruvian. One day I wish to continue my studies and complete a Ph.D. in Anthropology. Quechua is important for me. It is a way to reconnect with cultural roots, and to communicate more efficiently with the communities in the Andean regions.
    I would like to know if the Quechua Language Center offers online Quechua courses, and is it open to non-matriculated students?
    Congratulations on the Quechua Initiative. It is paramount for immigrants like myself and others.

  2. Hello,

    I randomly found your center using wiphala flag in your Quechua language program pamphlet, which represents either Bolivia (according to its 2009 Constitution) or Aymara culture (a different indigenous South American culture from Quechua). As the program is about Quechua language, I believe it’s better to change to a picture, which represents more the Quechua culture.



    1. Thanks for your message and suggestion. The wiphala is now used across the Andes, and no longer to exclusively represent Aymara Culture. Although we’ve also organized activities that included Aymara-speaking guests. best.

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