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Languages and Literatures

Spanish Program

The program engages students in the study of the Spanish language, the development of their communicative proficiency, and the analysis of a wide range of literary and cultural production throughout the Spanish-speaking world, from Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States, to the Iberian Peninsula. Students develop their proficiency in order to be able to communicate and exchange points of view with Spanish speakers. They also gain a broad understanding of the diversity of Hispanic cultures through a study of these societies’ literary and cultural contributions, traditions, perspectives, and histories. Finally, students learn to analyze, critically engage, and interpret the texts (written works, cultural products, artifacts, etc.), and the language that constitute this dynamic, intercultural space.

Study Abroad and Community Engagement
Students are encouraged to participate in study-abroad, particularly those led by faculty of our Department, which are offered during both intersession and summer. We also particularly recommend a semester-long experience in our Madrid program. Students should consult with their academic advisor and the director of the Spanish Program in order to determine when to study abroad and what courses to take. Visit the International Center website for a list of pre-approved study abroad programs.

Given our geographical location and the subject matter of our classes, students are actively encouraged to participate in community engagement through classes that incorporate this important component into the curricula. Visit the website of the Center for Community Service-Learning for further details.

The Major
The 28 units of upper-division work, which are selected from Spanish courses numbered 300 or above, must include:

  1. SPAN 301W or 311W
  2. SPAN 302
  3. SPAN 303
  4. SPAN 304
  5. One 400-level course in Spanish Peninsular Literature (422, 423, 424, 426, 427, and 494 (depending on topic)
  6. One 400-level course in Latin American Literature (410D, 434, 448, 449, 453, 458, and 494 (depending on topic)
  7. One 400-level course elective course
  8. Two upper-division elective courses (300- or 400-level)
  9. Senior Capstone Project* (1 unit)

A minimum of 15 upper-division units must be taken on the USD campus.

*The capstone project is carried out in the student's last year in the program, and should be linked thematically to one of the last two upper-division courses taken for the major. The student must consult with the program director to determine the nature of the project and enroll in SPAN 495.

Recommended Program of Study for the Spanish Major:

This program of study is designed for incoming freshmen with little or no previous knowledge of the Spanish language. Students begin the program at the level corresponding to their placement as determined through the Department’s Placement Policy, and, therefore, with sufficient prior language preparation, they may initiate upper-division course work as early as their freshman year. While students having successfully completed SPAN 202 may enroll in many 300-level courses (300-307), it is highly recommended that the sequence outlined above be followed.

Freshmen Year

Sophomore Year

Junior Year

Senior Year

Semester 1

Semester 1

Semester 1

Semester 1

SPAN 101

SPAN 201

SPAN 301 or 311 + 303

One 300- or 400-level course +

One 400-level course

Semester 2

Semester 2

Semester 2

Semester 2

SPAN 102

SPAN 202 or 212

SPAN 302 + 304 +

One 300-level course

Two 400-level courses +

495 Senior Capstone Project (linked to a 400-level course)

The Minor
Two options are available:

  1. 18 units: At least nine of the 18 units must be in upper-division courses (numbered 300 and above).
  2. 12 units of upper-division courses (numbered 300 and above). Prerequisites: Fourth-semester competency in Spanish and approval of the department chair.

A minimum of 6 upper-division units must be taken on the USD campus for the minor.

Both SPAN 301W (or 311W) and 303 are prerequisites for Spanish courses numbered 320 and higher. In addition, either SPAN 302 or 304 is a prerequisite for each 400-level course. (See individual course descriptions.)