Spanish Major

Learning Goals and Objectives

Goal 1: Effective communication in the target language (TL)

Outcome 1.1: Students will narrate and describe in the TL in spoken form in all major time frames using connected discourse of paragraph length with general clarity of lexicon and a moderate level of detail.

Outcome 1.2: Students will compose written texts in the TL that summarize, evaluate or describe concrete or abstract items, notions, events or persons, in major time frames in paragraph length discourse, with a lexicon relevant to the topic.

Goal 2: Critical and interpretive thinking in the target language (TL)

Outcome 2.1: Students will interpret and analyze the main ideas, relevant facts and details about works of literary, cinematic and/or artistic expression in the target language (TL).

Outcome 2.2: Students will be able to pursue research, gather data, do analysis and report results by using TL as a tool of investigation and as a means of communication.

Goal 3: Knowledge of the target language (TL) culture(s)

Outcome 3.1: Students will be able to describe accurately in the TL with moderate detail some aspect of the TL cultures (perspectives, products, and/or practices)

Outcome 3.2: Students will compare and contrast in the target language similarities and differences between the students’ own cultures and those of the target language (TL).

Goal 4: Inclusion and diversity

Outcome 4.1: Students will articulate and defend multiple perspectives on diverse human beliefs, abilities, experiences, identities, or cultures in a global context.

The Spanish major emphasizes the learning of both spoken and written Spanish, a sound understanding of the linguistic structures of modern Spanish, an appreciation for cultures of the Spanish-speaking world, and the ability to analyze literary texts from a variety of periods. Students may choose from a variety of offerings in Latin American or Peninsular literature, film, culture, language, and Spanish linguistics. All courses are offered in Spanish. See individual faculty members for more information.

The traditional undergraduate programs include 40 courses distributed across three components: A General Education component divided into Signature Courses, Variable Courses, and an Integrative Learning requirement; a Major and Divisional component; and Free Electives. In addition to course requirements as specified in each area, students must complete one certified course in each of the following overlay areas:

  1. Diversity, Globalization or Non-western Area Studies,
  2. Ethics Intensive, and
  3. Writing Intensive. Overlay requirements are part of the forty-course requirement.

General Education Signature Courses

See this page about Signature courses. Six courses

General Education Variable Courses

See this page about Variable courses. Six to Nine courses

General Education Overlays

See this page about Overlays.

General Education Integrative Learning Component

See this page about Integrative Learning Component. Three courses

LIN 200Introduction to Linguistics3
Select two of the following:6
English Grammar
Lang. Acquisition & Learning
Teaching Lang at Home/Abroad
Communication in Soc Contexts
Bilingualism & Lang Diversity
Topics in Linguistics
TESOL Internship
Any approved Latin American Studies course outside of Modern and Classical Languages

Other courses that specifically focus on some aspect of the Spanish-speaking world may be approved as an IL course if deemed appropriate by the Spanish major advisor. Beginning with the class of 2016, Spanish majors will be required to complete an ACTFL certified proficiency test. A fee (to be paid directly to the testing service) will be required. For more information, refer to : and follow the links to Tests>Speaking>OPI. See Dr. Heather Hennes or Dr. Carmen Faccini for more information about the major.

GEP Electives

A varying number of courses, typically nine to twelve.

Major Concentration

Requires 10 SPA courses (30 credits) including:

SPA 202Intermediate Spanish II (depending on placement)3
SPA 301Spanish Conversation (depending on placement)3
or SPA 303 Spa Conv for Heritage Speakers
SPA 302Spanish Composition 13
SPA 310Intro to Lit of Sp-Spkng Wrld3
or SPA 311 Introduc to Spanish Literature
SPA 380Intro to Spanish Linguistics3
Select one of the following:
Intro to Latin Amer Cultures
Introd to Spanish Cultures 2
Río de la Plata:Study Tour
Spain:Study Tour 2
The remaining SPA credits must include at least 2 4xx level SPA courses

Study Abroad

Spanish majors and minors are strongly encouraged to study abroad in a Spanish-speaking country of their choice. The Center for International Programs ( provides information on SJU-approved programs in Argentina, Chile, Central America, and Spain, as well as programs in other Latin American countries, for which students may petition credit. Modern and Classical Languages faculty also offer Study Tour Courses to Argentina/Uruguay and Spain. Study Tours offered by other departments have included destinations such Bolivia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. Study Tours offered by other departments do not count toward the Spanish major or minor, (except as Integrative Learning courses for the major) but they do complement students’ interests in Spanish. Students who are interested in studying abroad should meet with Dr. Elaine Shenk, the Spanish Program Coordinator for Study Abroad.

Spanish Honor Society

The department has an active chapter, Omicron Phi, of the National Spanish Honorary Society Sigma Delta Pi. A yearly initiation ceremony is held in the spring semester. Qualified students are encouraged to apply; please contact the Spanish faculty for more information.