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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures


Spanish Major

The Spanish Major

The Spanish major is designed to provide students with a working proficiency in practical communicative skills in Spanish and familiarity with the cultures in which it is spoken. Spanish has become the second language of the United States. According to US census, the Hispanic population of the United States as of July 2014 is of 55 million, making people of  Hispanic origin the nation’s largest ethnic or racial minority.  Hispanics constitute 17 percent of the nation’s total population (data from Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15, 2015). Spanish is spoken in the United States and also in twenty-one countries of Latin America, Spain, and some parts of Africa.

The Spanish major progresses from courses in basic language skills through intermediate and advanced courses in conversation, grammar, composition and linguistics to the study of the masterpieces of Spanish and Spanish American literature, representative Hispanic films and the historical and contemporary civilizations of Spain and Latin America. Applied Spanish courses in business Spanish and specialized Spanish vocabulary for various professions are also offered.

Approximately one-third of the Spanish faculty are native speakers from Spain and several Latin American countries, while the remaining faculty all have spent extensive periods of time in study, teaching or research in various Spanish-speaking countries. Their varied backgrounds include specializations in periods and genres of Latin American or peninsular (Spain) Spanish literature, Spanish for the professions, linguistics and foreign language pedagogy.

Career Opportunities

A major in Spanish helps students prepare for a wide variety of careers in education, politics, foreign service, the helping professions, travel and tourism, and communication.

South Carolina Honors College

Students who qualify for participation in the South Carolina Honors College program may choose to pursue a major in Spanish. Our curriculum allows students to take full advantage of academic opportunities in both the Honors College and the College of l Arts and Sciences. Some departmental faculty regularly teach honors courses.

The Curriculum

During the first two years, Spanish majors typically concentrate on taking general education courses and beginning and/or intermediate Spanish courses. Only courses numbered 300 and above count toward the major, and it is normally in the junior and senior years that students take advanced 300-400-500 courses that lead to the major. 500 level courses should be taken only by strong students who have completed several 400 level courses.

Spanish Major Core (18 hours)

Prerequisites for the following courses are listed in the Undergraduate Academic Bulletin

SPAN 302 Advanced Spanish Grammar I

SPAN 303 Advanced Spanish Composition

SPAN 312 Introduction to Spanish and Spanish American Literature*

SPAN 400 or 500 Peninsular Culture courses

SPAN 401 or 501 Spanish American Culture courses

SPAN 404 or 405 or other literature course

Typically 401 and 405 are offered fall semester, 400 and 404 in the spring.

*During SPAN 312, Spanish majors are required to take the STAMP language proficiency assessment.

Spanish Major Electives (9 hours)

Applicable electives treat topics such as language, conversation, literature, linguistics, culture, business, medical, film, and approved special topics courses. All electives should be taught at the Advanced level. The preferred language of instruction is Spanish. A maximum of course that meets content requirements may be taught in English. 

SPAN 300 Cultural Readings for Conversation

SPAN 304 Cultural Readings and Advanced Conversation

SPAN 305 Working with Hispanic Clients

SPAN 307 Advanced Oral Practice (1 credit)

SPAN 316 Business Spanish

SPAN 317 Phonetics and Pronunciation

SPAN 350 Spanish Language Study Abroad [Credit issued through USC Global Classroom Summer Study Abroad with the Spanish Program]

SPAN 375 Topics in Hispanic Culture and Literatures

SPAN 380 Hispanic Film and Culture

SPAN 398 Selected Topics (Taught in English)

SPAN 409 Introduction to Stylistics in Spanish

SPAN 417 Adv. Spanish for Business and the Professions

SPAN 499 Senior Seminar

PORT 299