Spanish (SPAN)

Faculty: Deyanira Ariza-Velasco, Alan Davison

Program Goals

  • To achieve proficiency in the “5 C’s” of language learning: communication, culture, connections, comparisons, and communities.
  • 1st Year: Students will master the basic structures of grammar in the target language, demonstrate a “survival” level of written and oral proficiency, and gain a foundation in cultural traditions.
  • 2nd Year: Students will achieve standard proficiency in conversation, composition, and the reading of short fiction. They will continue to deepen their knowledge of Spanish culture and history.
  • 3rd Year: Students will understand and be understood by native speakers and be knowledgeable about the major aspects of Hispanic literature and cultural history.


The Spanish Program offers a minor (academic or teaching) in Spanish and an interdisciplinary academic major in Spanish-Latin American Studies. Our courses cultivate and deepen a student’s understanding of the communication potential of a foreign language and its cultural value.

Program Requirements

A maximum of 12 external hours (transfer, CLEP, Prior Learning. Challenge Exam, or other approved  external language exams) may be applied toward the minor (see below under “Additional Requirements and Procedures”). Students are advised that, due to the size and staffing of the Language Department, some Spanish courses have only one section in a given semester. For further information and advising please schedule an appointment with any member of the Spanish faculty.

The faculty can advise entering students with prior foreign language study on proper course placement. Student Placement at a 2nd or 3rd year level does not reduce the total number of hours  required for a Spanish major or minor.Generally, but subject to advisor and/or instructor recommendation, students who have studied one or two years of secondary level Spanish are excluded from registering for the first semester Spanish 110 course (Spanish I).

Students must meet the college-wide graduation requirements in addition to the Spanish major:

  • 124 total hours
  • 30 upper division hours
  • Liberal education distribution

Academic Major in Spanish-Latin American Studies

  Credit Hours Prerequisites
Liberal Education Courses
One of the following courses, which fulfill LE requirements, is required for the Spanish major.
HIST 112–113 Western Civilization, LE (3)—offered fall and spring
HIST 212 World History to 1500, LE (4)
HIST 220 United States History, LE (3)—offered fall and spring
Requirement Description
Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. Lower Division Courses 7–8
SPAN 221 Spanish IV (4) SPAN 220 or consent of instructor
One of the following courses:
HIST 112 Western Civilization: Ancient World through the Renaissance (3)—offered fall and spring
HIST 113 Western Civilization: Reformation to the Cold War (3)—offered fall and spring
HIST 212 World History to 1500 (4)
HIST 220 United States History (3)—offered fall and spring
II. Upper Division Required Courses 30
SPAN 301 The Spanish Speaking World (4)
SPAN 300 Special Topics in Spanish (1–4)
SPAN 300SA Semester Study Abroad (12)
SPAN*440 Internship (8)
SPAN 320 Survey of Peninsular Spanish Culture & Literature (4)
SPAN 321 Spanish Literature and Cultural Studies (4)
SPAN 330 Survey of Latin American Culture & Literature (4)
SPAN 331 Latin American Literature and Cultural Studies (4) SPAN 221 or consent of instructor
SPAN 470 Senior Thesis (2) consent of instructor, see course description
*Study Abroad: courses beyond the 12 hours may be eligible for elective credit below
III. Anthropology/History/Social Science/Religion 6–8
ANTH 252 Cultural Anthropology, LE (4)
HIST 300 Special Topics in History (when relevant, subject to approval) (3–4)
HIST 340 Latin American Hist: Discovery of the Americas (3)—offered alternate years HIST 112 (LE), 113 (LE), 212 (LE), or 220 (LE)
HIST 341 Latin American Hist: Revolution in the Americas (3)—offered alternate years HIST 112 (LE), 113 (LE), 212 (LE), or 220 (LE)
HIST 343 History of Mexico: The Quest for Stability (3)—offered alternate years HIST 112 (LE), 113 (LE), 212 (LE), or 220 (LE)
REL 312 The Bible: Jewish & Christian Scriptural Traditions (4)
SOC 372 Race, Ethnicity, and Class (4)
IV. Other Elective Courses 4
ART 311 Art History: Renaissance to Modern Art (4) ART 110 (LE); ENGL 110 (LE)
(when relevant, subject to approval)
ART 312 History of Contemporary Art (4) ART 110 (LE); ENGL 110 (LE)
(when relevant, subject to approval)
ENGL 356A Studies in American Lit: U.S. Minority Lit (1–4) ENGL 269
ENGL 361F World Lit in Translation: Magical Realism (1–4) ENGL 220 (LE)
ECON 319 International Economics (4)—offered spring ECON 253 (LE), 263; MATH 141 (LE)
FINC 435 International Finance (4)—offered fall and spring FINC 300
JUST 300 Special Topics (1–4) JUST 101 (LE) or consent of instructor
(when relevant, subject to approval)
MGMT 490 International Management (4)—offered fall ACCT 213, ECON 253, 263, MGMT 305, MKTG 300
MKTG 340 International Marketing (4)—offered fall and spring MKTG 300
PLSC 300 Special Topics (1–4) will vary with course content
(when relevant, subject to approval)
PLSC 306 Comparative Political Systems (4)
PLSC 367 Contemporary Political Philosophy (4)
PLSC 315 Global Politics (4)
PLSC 415 Global Politics II (4)

Recommended Plan of Study for Spanish-Latin American Studies

Fall Semester Spring Semester
Freshman Year SPAN 110
ENGL 110

SPAN 111
HIST 112, 113, 212 or 220

Sophomore Year SPAN 220 or SPAN 221

SPAN 221 or 301*

Junior Year SPAN 320
HIST 340 or other elective
SPAN*300S A Semester Abroad
or SPAN 440 Internship

SPAN 330
SPAN 321
HIST 341 or other elective
SPAN*300S A Semester Abroad
or SPAN 440 Internship

Senior Year SPAN 300S A Semester Abroad
or SPAN 440 Internship
SPAN 470
SPAN 321 or SPAN 331
ENGL 356 or other elective

*Two May Term (SPAN 300) classes worth a total of 4 hours may substitute for Spanish 301.

Academic Minor

To fulfill the requirements for an academic minor in Spanish, students must complete a minimum of 20 credit hours in Spanish coursework. (SPAN 110 is not counted toward the minor.)

Requirement Description
Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. Required Courses 12
SPAN 111 Spanish II (4)
SPAN 220 Spanish III (4) SPAN 111 or consent of instructor
SPAN 221 Spanish IV (4) SPAN 220 or consent of instructor
II. Electives 8
Any 300- or 400-level SPAN courses

Study Abroad/Internship Abroad/Domestic Internship

Spanish/Latin American Studies majors must complete one semester of study abroad (12 credits) or an internship abroad (8 credits) or a domestic internship (8 credits) during the Fall, Spring, or Summer semester of their junior year or the Fall semester of their senior year. Study or internship abroad should be completed at a foreign university or organization (internship) and should be decided upon in consultation between the student and major advisor. A domestic internship should take place in any Hispanic/Latino community throughout the United States.

When a student does not take a study abroad course, an internship abroad, or a domestic internship—usually natives from Spanish-speaking countries and, in some cases, non-natives who have spent a significant amount of time in a Spanish-speaking country (for example, those who have completed one to two years of Spanish-speaking volunteer work abroad)—the student must satisfy the 12 credits by completing upper division Spanish courses on campus, and should consult the program chair or advisor for further clarification.

Additional Academic Requirements and Procedures for the Spanish Programs

Students with prior study or knowledge of Spanish should take a Spanish placement exam such as the CLEP, or consult with program faculty, before registering for a Spanish class. This will help determine whether the student should register for Spanish 110, 111, 220, or higher.

Only students who have never studied Spanish before may register for Spanish 110. This class does not count toward a Spanish major or minor, but it does count toward graduation hours or the foreign language requirement of other majors.

Native Fluency—Students demonstrating native fluency in a language other than English may request and receive, upon interview and documentation, a waiver for the foreign language requirement in their major (see individual major advisor for verification and procedure). No transcript credit is awarded for this major waiver. Also, the total number of required hours for Westminster graduation must be fulfilled.

Transfer Credit—A maximum of 12 credit hours of transfer credit or credit by examination may be applied toward a Spanish major or minor. Transfer hours exceeding this limit may be applied toward total hours for graduation, if needed (consult your major audit form for verification). For Spanish majors, the 12 hour maximum does not affect or overlap with their Semester Study Abroad requirement (12 hours).


Credit by exam is not counted as in-residence credit.

CLEP Exam—the CLEP exam is a national standardized test of listening/reading comprehension in
Spanish. (See START Center for details.) Westminster students successfully passing this exam receive up
to a maximum of 12 semester credit hours equivalent to SPAN 110, 111, and 220.

Note: Only partial CLEP credit may be applied toward a language major or minor if the student is applying transfer or other credit toward the same major or minor.

External Foreign Language Exam—up to 12 credit hours may be obtained by successfully passing an accredited foreign language exam administered by another institution, (e.g., University of Utah, Brigham Young University; contact the individual institution directly for foreign language exam information).
It is the student’s responsibility to pre-approve transfer credit with the Registrar’s Office. External tests
generally cover the equivalent of the first year and one-half of the second year of a language.

Challenge Examination—students who have an advanced academic ability in a subject matter may “
challenge” a course for credit. (See Catalog listing and/or Language faculty for details.

Advanced Placement (AP)—Students who received a score of 3 or higher on the Spanish AP exam earn 8 credit hours, distributed as 4 credit hours for SPAN 110 (applicable to foreign language requirements of the student’s major but not to a Spanish major or minor), and 4 hours of 100T credit (applicable to the total hours needed to graduate but not to a Spanish major or minor).

Students with AP credit are encouraged to continue their Spanish studies at Westminster and should
register for Spanish 111 or higher. Please direct placement questions to the START Center or Spanish
faculty member.

Further questions regarding Spanish exams and placement should be directed to START Center or Spanish faculty member.

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