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Spanish Language, Literatures, and Culture Major

As the world gets “smaller,” the need for people with language skills and cultural competency grows. 

Spanish is one of the world’s great languages of commerce and diplomacy, and has rich literary and cultural traditions.

Graduates who receive a B.A. in Spanish have a diverse array of opportunities in many different fields, especially those with an international focus, including further specialized studies in literature, language and culture, or careers in other fields such as education, public service, business, law, environmental policies, social services, medicine or the arts. The undergraduate major in Spanish consists of 36 credits of coursework beyond the prerequisite courses, with an additional 9 credits in a supporting area. Students can choose from 3 major tracks, including: 1) Spanish and Latin American Literature, Culture, and Media; 2) Spanish Linguistics, Culture, and Education; and 3) Spanish Language, Culture, and Professional Contexts. To declare a major in Spanish, students should meet with the undergraduate advisor to begin the process. After this advising session, prospective majors will also need advising from the College of Arts And Humanities in 1120 Francis Scott Key.

Track 1: Spanish and Latin American Literature, Culture, and Media

About

image of students in a museum

With courses covering art, literature, film, performance and cultural studies, this track prepares students to connect with their local and global communities. Focusing on cultural competence, students are given opportunities to read, listen to, watch, and discuss the best works the Spanish-speaking world has to offer.

Prerequisites

SPAN103, 203, 204 or equivalent AP/IB credit, transfer credit or FLPA score.

 

 

 

Course Requirements

Required core courses (12 credits - 4 courses)

  • SPAN207 Reading and Writing in Spanish; or SPAN206 Spanish for Heritage Speakers
  • SPAN301 Advanced Grammar and Composition I; or SPAN306 Spanish for Heritage Speakers II
  • SPAN303 Approaches to Cultural Materials in the Hispanic World
  • SPAN311 Advanced Communication I or 316 Spanish Translation I; or SPAN307 Oral Communication Skills for Heritage Speakers

Choose one sequence of 3 courses (9 credits)

Spanish Culture, Civilization, and Literature

  • SPAN331 Medieval Times
  • SPAN332 Renaissance and Baroque 
  • SPAN333 Modern Times

OR

Latin American Literatures and Cultures

  • SPAN361 From Pre-Columbian to Colonial Times
  • SPAN362 From Independence to Nation Formation
  • SPAN363 From Modernism to Neo-Liberalism

Choose four courses (12 credits)

SPAN400 courses in Spanish or Latin American Literature, Culture, and Media.

Please check the schedule of classes to see what courses are offered during any given semester.

Notes

  • It is not permitted to take SPAN 301 and SPAN 303 simultaneously; this is possible only by permission of the undergraduate advisor.
  • Span 311 or 316 can be substituted for another class by permission of the Spanish Undergraduate Advisor.
  • Span 311 can be substituted for Span 307 for heritage learners.
  • Native speakers and all others with the ability to begin coursework at a higher level should speak with the Spanish Undergraduate Advisor for course substitutions.
  • Students who undertake an honors thesis will take two semesters of Span 479 (6 credits). See Departmental Honors requirements at SPAP website.
  • All Spanish students are required to take the Foreign Language Placement Assessment (FLPA) to ensure that they are placed into the best course for them.  Information about the FLPA
  • For questions about the Spanish Major or course placements contact: spap-advise@umd.edu.  

Track 2: Spanish Linguistics, Culture, and Education

About

A group of students standing outside of the library

For students excited about careers in education or with special interests in going beyond the basics of Spanish conversation to understand how a language works! This track offers students the opportunity to gain an understanding of today’s interrelated world through actively studying language use in unique, authentic, and real-life contexts. 

Prerequisites

SPAN103, 203, 204 or equivalent AP/IB credit, transfer credit or FLPA score.

Course Requirements

Required core courses (12 credits – 4 courses)

  • SPAN207 Reading and Writing in Spanish; or SPAN206 Spanish for Heritage Speakers
  • SPAN301 Advanced Grammar and Composition I; or SPAN306 Spanish for Heritage Speakers II
  • SPAN303 Approaches to Cultural Materials in the Hispanic World
  • SPAN311 Advanced Communication I; or 316 Spanish Translation I; or SPAN307 Oral Communication Skills for Heritage Speakers
  • (Info under Spanish and Latin American Literature, Culture, and Media courses tab) 

Choose one sequence of 3 courses (9 credits)

Spanish Culture, Civilization, and Literature

  • SPAN331 Medieval Times
  • SPAN332 Renaissance and Baroque 
  • SPAN333 Modern Times

OR

Latin American Literatures and Cultures

  • SPAN361 From Pre-Columbian to Colonial Times
  • SPAN362 From Independence to Nation Formation
  • SPAN363 From Modernism to Neo-Liberalism


Choose two courses (6 credits)

  • SPAN400 courses in Spanish or Latin American Literature, Culture, and Media. 

Please check the schedule of classes to see what courses are offered during any given semester. 
 
Core courses (9 credits) 

  • SPAN325 Hispanic Linguistics I: Phonetics and Phonology
  • SPAN425 Hispanic Linguistics II: Structures of Spanish    
  • SPAN426 Hispanic Linguistics III: Language in Use
     

Notes

  • It is not permitted to take SPAN 301 and SPAN 303 simultaneously; this is possible only by permission of the undergraduate advisor.
  • Span 311 or 316 can be substituted for another class by permission of the Spanish Undergraduate Advisor.
  • Span 311 can be substituted for Span 307 for heritage learners.
  • Native speakers and all others with the ability to begin coursework at a higher level should speak with the Spanish Undergraduate Advisor for course substitutions.
  • Students who undertake an honors thesis will take two semesters of Span 479 (6 credits). See Departmental Honors requirements at SPAP website.
  • All Spanish students are required to take the Foreign Language Placement Assessment (FLPA) to ensure that they are placed into the best course for them.  Information about the FLPA
  • For questions about the Spanish Major or course placements contact: spap-advise@umd.edu.  

Track 3: Spanish Language, Culture, and Professional Contexts

About

female student standing in front of a poster presentation

This track is designed for students who are planning to engage with Spanish speaking communities in practical contexts and daily tasks in their occupations. Ideal for students with clear career interests that are looking for the specialized language practice for their chosen field.

Prerequisites

 SPAN103, 203, 204 or equivalent AP/IB credit, transfer credit or FLPA score.

Course Requirements

Required core courses (12 credits – 4 courses)

  • SPAN207 Reading and Writing in Spanish; or SPAN206 Spanish for Heritage Speakers
  • SPAN301 Advanced Grammar and Composition I; or SPAN306 Spanish for Heritage Speakers II
  • SPAN303 Approaches to Cultural Materials in the Hispanic World
  • SPAN311 Advanced Communication I; or 316 Spanish Translation I; or SPAN307 Oral Communication Skills for Heritage Speakers

Spanish Culture, Civilization, and Literature

Choose one sequence of 3 courses (9 credits)

  • SPAN331 Medieval Times
  • SPAN332 Renaissance and Baroque 
  • SPAN333 Modern Times

OR

Latin American Literatures and Cultures

  • SPAN361 From Pre-Columbian to Colonial Times
  • SPAN362 From Independence to Nation Formation
  • SPAN363 From Modernism to Neo-Liberalism

Choose two courses (6 credits)

  • SPAN400 courses in Spanish or Latin American Literature, Culture, and Media. 
  • Please check the schedule of classes to see what courses are offered during any given semester. 

Choose two courses (6 credits) 

  • SPAN318 Translation of Technical Texts
  • SPAN370 Spanish for Business I    
  • SPAN371 Spanish for the Health Professions
  • SPAN372 Spanish and the Law    
  • SPAN373 Spanish in the Media    
  • SPAN374 Spanish in the Community    
  • SPAN375 Spanish in the Life Sciences    
  • SPAN470 Spanish for Business II    

Choose one course (3 credits)

  • SPAN422 Intercultural Communication and Negotiation
  • SPAN470 Spanish for Business II    

Notes

  • It is not permitted to take SPAN 301 and SPAN 303 simultaneously; this is possible only by permission of the undergraduate advisor.
  • Span 311 or 316 can be substituted for another class by permission of the Spanish Undergraduate Advisor.
  • Span 311 can be substituted for Span 307 for heritage learners.
  • Native speakers and all others with the ability to begin coursework at a higher level should speak with the Spanish Undergraduate Advisor for course substitutions.
  • Students who undertake an honors thesis will take two semesters of Span 479 (6 credits). See Departmental Honors requirements at SPAP website.
  • All Spanish students are required to take the Foreign Language Placement Assessment (FLPA) to ensure that they are placed into the best course for them.  Information about the FLPA
  • For questions about the Spanish Major or course placements contact: spap-advise@umd.edu.  

Courses for Heritage Speakers

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese offers several courses specifically designed for Spanish heritage learners.
 
Spanish heritage learners are students who have a linguistic and cultural connection with the Spanish language. This may be because they come from homes where Spanish is spoken, their heritage is linked to a country or area where Spanish is spoken, or they live or have lived in a community that speaks Spanish.
 
The courses we offer recognize the diverse cultural and linguistic profiles of our students. Our classes can accommodate students who are exposed to Spanish-speaking environments in a variety of social and/or professional environments but understand or speak little Spanish. We can also help Spanish heritage learners who seek to strengthen their skills in professional or academic registers of Spanish. In general, our goal is to help students develop their Spanish skills so they feel more confident when using Spanish in different contexts.
 
Our courses for Spanish heritage learners focus on strengthening and expanding students’ communicative competence in a variety of contexts and texts and fostering an appreciation for and understanding of the cultural and linguistic diversity of the Spanish-speaking world, including the United States.

Study Abroad

All students majoring in Spanish are encouraged to study abroad in a Spanish-speaking environment. The Department of Spanish and Portuguese offers exciting opportunities for Spanish majors and minors to fulfill requirements abroad. See Education Abroad for more information.

Double Major/Double Degree

Many successful students choose to double major in Spanish and another chosen field. If the two majors do not belong to the same college, the requirements of both colleges must be met. The courses for the other major will fulfill the Spanish Supporting Courses requirement. A double major may be earned with completion of all requirements and a total of 120 credits. A double degree may be awarded with completion of all requirements and a total of 150 credits. The student must decide on a primary and a secondary major. Academic decisions for each student are made by the primary college.

Combination of the Spanish Major and Teacher’s Certification

Students may combine the Spanish linguistics option with a second major in foreign language education to earn teacher certification. Students must take the California Achievement Test to become eligible for admission to the College of Education. Information and Declaration of Major Forms can be found in room 1210 of the Benjamin Building. A graduate program in education for teacher certification is available to students who receive a B.A. in Spanish from our department.

Spanish Undergraduate Advisor

M. Christopher Lewis

Lecturer, School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
Lecturer, Spanish and Portuguese

(301) 405-6556

Heritage Students Advisor

Evelyn Canabal-Torres

Principal Lecturer, School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
Principal Lecturer, Spanish and Portuguese