Spanish Major

Program Requirements

  • Total units required: 30

The Spanish major requires a minimum of 30 units at the 300 level or above, 24 units of which must be taken in residence. Courses within Washington University's own study abroad programs in Spain or Chile are considered "in residence."

Required Courses

The following courses must be included in the 30 units:

Cultures and Communications in the Spanish-Speaking World

  • Span 302 Cultures and Communication in the Spanish-Speaking World (Heritage speakers of Spanish must be certified by the director of undergraduate studies and must enroll in Span 3021 Language and Culture for Heritage Speakers of Spanish.)
  • Span 303 Cultures and Communication in the Spanish-Speaking World II

Span 303 is a prerequisite or corequisite for any other 300-level literature course in Spanish.

Two "Debating Cultures" Courses (6 units)

  • Courses designated as Spanish 32xx
  • Study abroad options:*
Span 3341Literatura Espanola3
Span 322Advanced Conversation in Spain3
Span 3361Spanish-American Literature II in Chile/Spain3
Span 350Topics in Spanish Literature3
Span 354A View from the Southern Cone: Perspectives on Art, Literature and Culture3

One literature course taken in the Chile or Spain semester abroad program offered by Romance Languages and Literatures, designated as an acceptable substitute, may be used as one of the 32xx-level courses.

Two "Researching Cultures" Courses (6 units)

  • Courses designated as Spanish 36xx
  • Study abroad options:* 
Span 311Hispanic Culture and Civilization I3
Span 313Chilean Contemporary Culture3
Span 3181Spanish Culture and Civilization3

32xx and 36xx designations indicate sequential levels. Once a student takes a course at one level, they may not take a course at the previous level. 

Two 400-Level Seminars (6 units)

Span 405WMajor Seminar3
Span 410Major Seminar3
  • Other 400-level courses taught in Spanish, including the following linguistics courses:
Span 411Spanish Grammar and Syntax3
Span 417Spanish Phonetics, Phonology, and Dialectology3
  • The prerequisite for 400-level courses is the completion of at least one "Researching Cultures" course. 
  • Study abroad:
    • One 400-level seminar taken on campus
    • An approved 400-level course from the Madrid or Chile program (refer to the study abroad guidelines on the Romance Languages and Literatures website)

Elective Courses

Students must select two elective courses (6 units) from the following list:

Span 202Intermediate Spanish II3
Span 353Medical Spanish3
Span 355Spanish for the Social Sciences3
Any other advanced 300- or 400-level Spanish (L38) class taught by a Romance Languages and Literatures faculty member
  • Only one elective course taught in English may be taken, when available, for the major.
  • Study abroad:
    • Span 322 Advanced Conversation in Spain
    • Elective credit from semester programs in Santiago or Madrid
    • Elective credit from Petitioned, Organization for Tropical Studies, School for International Training, or Comparative Literature programs (refer to the study abroad guidelines on the Romance Languages and Literatures website)
    • Spanish courses completed (and approved) as part of study abroad programs other than those offered by Washington University may be used for Spanish elective credit only.
    • All study abroad credit requires authorization from the director of undergraduate studies.

Other Requirements

To declare the Spanish major, a student must first file an "Intent to Major" form on WebSTAC. The student must then request an appointment with the director of undergraduate studies in Spanish for review and approval of their major program.

  • Major requirements have been revised as of 2021. 
  • Under the new requirements, to major in Spanish, students must take a minimum of 30 units, starting with Span 202; 24 of these units must be taken in residence at Washington University, with Washington University’s study abroad programs in Spain or Chile being considered “in residence.”
  • Students must complete all courses with grades of B- or above and maintain a B average or better overall in Spanish. Courses taken Pass/Fail do not count toward the Spanish major.
  • Transfer students with an advanced level of Spanish and native/heritage speakers need to be certified by the director of undergraduate studies prior to declaring the major.

Recommended for prospective teachers:

  1. A second language
  2. Span 466, Span 467, Span 469, Span 413, Span 417 and Span 411
  3. A semester or year in Spain or Chile

Recommended for prospective graduate students:

  1. A second language related to the student's area of interest
  2. Advanced work in other literatures, literary criticism and theory, and related course work in other literature or film programs
  3. A year in Spain or Chile
  4. Senior honors by thesis or course work (refer to the honors requirements on the Romance Languages and Literatures website): Students who have maintained a minimum cumulative grade point average of at least of 3.65 through the end of the junior year are encouraged to work toward Latin honors (i.e., cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude).

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