Are you looking for the best bachelor’s degree in Spanish? Earning a Bachelor of Spanish degree can boost your résumé with a popular second language. The Encyclopedia Britannica states that Spanish is the official tongue of 20 countries from Guatemala to Equatorial Guinea and used by over 360 million native speakers.
Mastering the linguistic rules of Spanish can sprout careers like trade consultant, flight attendant, translator, diplomatic liaison, journalist, event planner, and nonprofit director. After all, Instituto Cervantes predicts that the United States could have the most Spanish speakers on Earth by 2050.
Perfecting Spanish skills fosters awareness of Latin American culture, builds brainpower, opens jobs abroad, and even improves your English. According to PayScale, Spanish BA graduates report an average yearly salary of $61,249, too.
Related Article: The 20 Best Foreign Language Study Podcasts
Table of Contents
- FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- The Top 20 Bachelor’s Degrees in Spanish Programs in 2021
- Arizona State University
- Boston University
- Eastern University
- American University
- University of California – Irvine
- Florida International University
- Oregon State University
- Pace University
- Indiana University-Bloomington
- University of Minnesota
- Grand Canyon University
- St. Louis University
- University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Eastern New Mexico University
- University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
- Fort Hays State University
- University of Maryland
- University of Toledo
- Arkansas Tech University
- University of Nevada Reno
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What can I do with a Bachelor of Spanish degree?
There are many job opportunities available for those with a second language degree, such as Spanish. Specifically, here are a few job sectors that hire experts in Spanish:
- Travel and Tourism
- Governmental Agencies
- International Relations
What can you expect from a bachelor’s in Spanish degree program?
Take note that bachelor’s in Spanish degree programs are designated as “Bachelor of Arts” (BA) for a reason. Their curricula may differ, but their emphasis is on the liberal arts, not math and sciences. While there are math and science courses, these are in the general education category instead of core and specialization categories.
Students in BA in Spanish programs develop their mastery of and fluency in the Spanish language. These aspects include reading, writing, speaking, listening in the Spanish language, and familiarity with Spanish history, arts, and food. Many programs even touch on the unique aspects of the Spanish language in countries outside of Spain, such as Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Argentina.
The typical coursework includes:
- Introduction to the Spanish language and culture
- Intermediate Spanish
- Advanced Spanish writing and grammar
- Conversational Spanish
- Spanish culture, literature, and arts
Aside from the academic coursework, students also have the opportunity for community immersion and study abroad sessions. These are considered real-world exposures to the Spanish language and the vibrant communities behind it.
How long does it take to earn a BA in Spanish degree?
In on-campus, online, and hybrid programs, the typical completion rate is four years. The four-year programs include general education courses, core courses, specialization courses, and the practicum/immersion experience.
Students can choose to shorten or lengthen the recommended four-year duration depending on their needs. For example, taking a fast-track route may involve:
- Transferring Advanced Placement (AP) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) credits, among others.
- Taking one or two more courses beyond the recommended number per semester
- Enrolling during the summer term
There are also many accelerated programs that students can look into, such as 4+1 programs where students can earn both a BA and MA in Spanish in five years.
As for tuition, it varies depending on the public or private status of the school where a BA in Spanish program is offered. On average, the tuition for in-state public colleges is $7,070, while it’s $37,000 for out-of-state private colleges. Be sure to consider the costs of textbooks, room and board, and travel, as well as incidental expenses.
Scholarships are offered in most colleges and universities. Check out FAFSA, institutional scholarships and grants, and low-interest student loans.
Our Spanish translators in demand?
As immigrants come to the US to live, translators are needed to help with communication. The BLS estimates a 20% increase in job growth for Interpreters and Translators, with an average salary of $52,330 annually. The most popular translators are needed in the following languages:
What kind of work environment can I expect as a Spanish interpreter or translator?
In this position, you can expect to work full-time and, if you would like to be self-employed, a job as an interpreter or translator may be for you. However, if you work for a company that employs translators, you may work in various settings, such as in an office, hospital or clinic, or a school. Also, extensive travel may be required.
Let us help you find the best Spanish school program that fits your educational requirements for starting a new career, a job promotion, or simply meeting your personal goals. Our researchers at PremiumSchools.org utilize these indicators of excellent academic standards to locate exceptional Spanish school programs designed just for you.
The following schools are listed in random order. However, as every school displays its unique qualities and strengths, you should search our list based on your needs and career aspirations.
The following factors were considered:
- Offers on-campus and hybrid classes for flexible or convenient attendance without compromising hands-on training,
- Exhibits rigorous yet engaging and innovative training in the field of Spanish coursework that takes into account the readiness of students in taking the next step to their budding career,
- Taught by outstanding faculty consisting of experts in the field of Spanish,
- Held in high esteem among academic agencies, industry organizations, and journalistic resources,
- Displays stellar reviews and feedback from school alumni and students,
- Offers a convenient application process,
- Provides exceptional Student Career Centers, Resource Departments, and easy-to-use Learning Management Systems, where applicable,
- Permits a wide range of scholarships, grants, and other financial support programs for eligible students,
- Ensures the proper Accreditation under academic standards in the field of Spanish,
- Preference was also given for Spanish-speaking opportunities, award-winning faculty, foreign trips, multicultural service, and Latino/a clubs.
If you would like to learn more about our selection process, please see our Methodology page!
The Top 20 Bachelor’s Degrees in Spanish Programs in 2021
Arizona State University
871101, Tempe, AZ 85287-1101
( 480) 965-6060
Arizona State University emphasizes inclusivity, responsibility for the communities it serves, and advancement of research. Indeed, the nationally-ranked university is known for being among the most innovative public universities and providing the best value in education and opportunities for social mobility!
Students in its BA in Spanish program learn these values early on through their academic coursework and immersion experience. In addition, the curriculum shines the spotlight on Spain and Spanish-speaking countries across Mexico and Latin America. Such all-encompassing inclusivity encourages students to appreciate the similarities and differences between them and become more sensitive to their nuances.
Aside from textbooks and ebooks, many other learning materials are used to study the Spanish language and the cultures it has influenced. These include films, art, and social debates that expand the students’ understanding of the topics. Again, the results are observable in the nuanced way that students translate and discuss Spanish-language materials.
Of course, fluency in the Spanish language is an overarching goal! Therefore, students are provided with numerous opportunities to build their language proficiency, from academic coursework to synchronous meetings. In the latter case, students and instructors engage in informal conversations and structured discussions in Spanish.
This is a 100% online program, so synchronous meetings are conducted virtually. Students must have a computer equipped with a webcam, microphone, and appropriate software.
But most of the assignments are given and submitted in an asynchronous manner. Students can then work on the learning materials at their preferred pace and time.
The assignments, however, are arranged sequentially to ensure a steady learning pace, starting from the basics of vocabulary and grammar and advancing into intermediate topics. In addition, every assignment is designed to build on the learning from the past assignment.
There are 38 courses in the curriculum and 120 total credit hours. Each class lasts for 7.5 weeks, meaning the program can be completed in four years.
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
Students with previous knowledge of the Spanish language and its cultures will also benefit from the program! Check out the Spanish Heritage track, a series of courses specifically designed for Spanish-speaking students. Regardless of whether you’re in the traditional or Spanish Heritage track, your appreciation for the Spanish language’s beauty and cultures will be better.
233 Bay State Road, Boston, MA 02215
Boston University, a private research university, is a nationally recognized institution known for its innovative approach and quality instruction for its long list of famous alumni. Among its alumni are Nobel Laureates, Rhodes Scholars, Academy Award winners, and Pulitzer Prize winners. To say that it’s an excellent school to earn your BA in Spanish degree is an understatement!
The BA in Spanish program significantly focuses on the liberal arts, including the humanities and social sciences. Students then learn a broad range of courses related to the Spanish language, linguistics, and literature. Due to the international reach of the Spanish language, the coursework features cultures from across North America, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
There’s also an emphasis on the intensive study of Spanish as it’s spoken in the United States and its Hispanic culture. This is in light of the large Spanish-speaking community and the strong Hispanic presence across the country. The proximity of Latin America is also among the reasons for the emphasis on its literature and culture.
Students have a certain degree of flexibility in their program of study through a wide range of electives. These courses enable them to tailor their studies based on their unique professional goals and personal interests. Students are well-advised to consult with an academic advisor when choosing electives.
Graduates become knowledgeable in the Spanish language and its underlying culture that, in turn, prepares them for successful careers in diverse industries. These include business, education, and communication, as well as the culture and arts.
Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
Students can apply for the Honors program, a competitive program with numerous rewards, including a prestigious diploma. Being part of the Honors program is also a testament to your intelligence, competence, and commitment, meaning you’re likely to stand out from the competition. All graduates, nonetheless, become fluent in the Spanish language and acquire advanced knowledge about Hispanic history, literature, and culture. Many career opportunities are available with such an impressive skill set, such as translators and tour guides.
1300 Eagle Road, St. Davids, PA 19087-3696
Eastern University is a private Christian university. A strong Christian perspective underlines its undergraduate programs. Students are encouraged to manifest their faith into action and transform the world around them in positive ways. This is also true for its BA in Spanish program, where academic coursework and immersion experiences abound.
The faculty members possess impressive terminal degrees from prestigious universities, including New York University, Temple University, and Pennsylvania. Students then learn from the best professors in their general, core, and elective courses, aside from the relevant curriculum.
The comprehensive 32-credit academic coursework includes these courses:
- Spanish Phonetics and Phonology
- Advanced Spanish Syntax and Translation
- Studies in Modern Spanish American Literature
- Spain: from Fragmentation to Unified Mosaic
- Latin American’s Unbridled Reality
Students can go on annual mission trips abroad to Haiti, Bolivia, and the Dominican Republic. These trips provide meaningful interactions with native speakers and awaken their civic duty through community projects.
Eastern University also has study abroad programs in Mexico, Spain, and Argentina, where students can complete their studies. Students may also seek departmental approval for study abroad opportunities in other countries.
But it doesn’t take a passport for students to learn about the Hispanic culture either! Students can also participate in socio-cultural activities and internships in the Greater Philadelphia area. These include attending church, seeing Spanish productions, and touring Spanish artworks. In addition, Eastern University has close ties with many nonprofit organizations where students can enjoy the internship experience, too.
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
Students aren’t confined to their academic coursework, although it’s a vital aspect of learning. Instead, you have ample opportunities to expand your knowledge through hands-on, in-community immersions and internships. As a result, your understanding of the Hispanic language, culture, and arts across nations will be better, deeper, and more sensitive.
You can also earn a double major alongside your BA in Spanish degree! The choices are diverse, too, from biology to anthropology, criminal justice, and political science. In addition, you will find an abundance of career opportunities where your double degree will be valuable, such as working with underserved Hispanic communities.
4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20016
Set in the soul of the United States, American University is undoubtedly the quintessential American university! With numerous foreign heads of state, US senators and members of Congress, and Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winners as alumni, it has bragging rights few other universities have. Plus, it’s among the top five feeder schools for US federal government employees, including Congress and Foreign Service.
AU’s BA in Spanish Studies program is proof that, indeed, it’s a top university not only in the US but the world. Offered by the Department of World Languages and Cultures through the College of Arts and Sciences, the 120-credit program has competitive admission. However, the college reserves the right to grant or decline formal admission to the program based on stringent requirements.
For a student to continue in the program, a minimum of grade C is required for the 39-credit major courses. Students must also complete an intermediate language level and any second foreign language level or any area studies at the 300 level.
There are plenty of approved minors that can be combined with the degree. These include Arabic, French, and German Languages, Business Administration, Political Science, and Economics. A BA in Spanish with a minor in Business Administration, for example, is a good fit for students who want to enter the corporate world.
The coursework includes:
- Introduction to Spanish LinguisticsAdvanced Spanish I: Spain in Context
- Advanced Spanish II: Latin America in Context
- Introduction to Latin American Literature
Beyond academics, students are required to complete an internship and a capstone project. The internship course is Spanish: Proyecto Amistad, of which the college requires 2-6 credits for completion. The capstone project is an independent research work covering an original topic.
Students are provided with the tools and support to pursue their Spanish-related interests and to be engaged with the environment beyond the classroom. AU is also a well-known institution for future leaders, and its track record is enough proof. Many alumni have distinguished themselves as thought leaders, change-makers, and movers and shakers.
University of California – Irvine
215 Aldrich Hall, Irvine, CA 92697
UC Irvine, a public research university and part of the University of California system, also has its fair share of Nobel Prize laureates and Pulitzer Prize winners. In addition, many organizations, such as Forbes, Kiplinger, and Money, consider it among the best in the US and the world regarding quality instruction, the best value, and real-world applicability.
The BA in Spanish program has these hallmarks, from the outstanding quality of instruction delivered by professors to the real-world experiences enjoyed by students. The comprehensive study of Spanish-speaking countries’ cultures, norms, and languages is the program’s primary goal.
Students have the choice to live on or off-campus since learning occurs in either environment. But for a fully immersive college experience, students should consider participation in the La Casa Nuestra housing program. Here, 24/7 exposure to the Spanish language is possible that, in turn, contributes to faster fluency.
The program offers three concentrations:
- Literature and Culture
- Cinema: Spain, Latin America, and U.S. Latino
- Spanish for Future Teachers
Each of these concentrations has its unique curriculum but shares an overarching goal – to ensure that the students speak fluent Spanish. The secondary benefits include conducting academic and business work and carrying everyday conversations in the language.
Study abroad opportunities is available upon consultations with an academic advisor. Students may even complete many of the required credits or complete their degrees abroad.
Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
Students don’t just learn the Spanish language and become fluent in it. Professors also ensure that their students are provided with a broad humanities-based education that explores the underlying history, cultures, and arts of Spain, North American, and Latin America. In addition, the interdisciplinary approach encourages applying principles and practices from anthropology, women’s studies, and linguistics.
Florida International University
11200 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33199
FIU may only be passed the half-century mark, but it has made its mark in the national consciousness! Part of the State University System of Florida, it’s known for its challenging coursework, tough grading system, and honor societies. Indeed, it’s the alma mater of many notable American citizens, including writers, politicians, and judiciary members.
Students who are admitted into the BA in Spanish program should expect no less than a challenging curriculum! Professors are fair but have high expectations of students. It is a must, considering that the Spanish language and culture demand focused learning.
The 120-credit program is delivered 100% online and, thus, students can learn anytime, anywhere provided the minimum technological requirements are met. The 12-credit core courses enable students to read, write and speak in Spanish fluently:
- Review Grammar and Writing
- Advanced Spanish for Native Speakers
- Advanced Grammar and Composition
- Introduction to Spanish American Literature
- SPW 3820 Introduction to Peninsular Spanish Literature
The elective courses add dimension to your degree, but these also combine business and pleasure through immersion experiences. Students engage in culture-based social conversations, read works of literature, and watch movies and shows in the Spanish language.
Fluency in the Spanish language isn’t the be-all and end-all at FIU either. Students also develop their critical thinking skills, learn to communicate their ideas, and become more aware of diverse perspectives. A well-rounded understanding of Hispanic languages and cultures, particularly their uniqueness and nuances, is a top learning outcome.
Both heritage and non-heritage candidates are welcome to apply. Candidates must have completed FIU’s lower-division prerequisites and 60 semester hours before admission into the BA program. Students must also have intermediate-level proficiency in the Spanish language as part of the admission requirements.
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
Did you know that FIU is among the top, if not the #1, universities in terms of bachelor’s and master’s degrees awarded to Hispanic students in the country? That’s an excellent reason to earn your bachelor’s degree in Spanish right there! There’s also the fact that the curriculum’s design optimizes student learning through a natural progression. Students develop their basic language skills first and then proceed to the intermediate and advanced levels. The progression is supported in various ways, including academic coursework, social conversations, and cultural experiences.
Oregon State University
4943 The Valley Library, Corvallis, OR 97331
A public land-grant research university, OSU is the State of Oregon’s largest university known for its credentialed faculty and distinguished alumni. Famous alumni include Linus Pauling, Gary Payton, and Donald Pettit – and you can be one of them, too!
Check out OSU’s BA in Spanish program, a 180-credit online program with four start dates per year. Scholarships, grants, and work-study schemes are available, although the per-credit cost itself is reasonable. Both first-year and transfer students are welcome to apply; admission terms and conditions vary.
The program has a two-pronged overall learning outcome. First, students become highly proficient, if not fluent, in the Spanish language, from reading and writing to speaking and listening. Such language proficiency is a must since the majority of the coursework is obviously in Spanish.
Second, students become more aware of the international impact of the Spanish language and culture and become more globally aware. With exposures in and out of the classroom to Hispanic culture in and out of the United States, such heightened awareness isn’t surprising!
The professors conduct the coursework to develop a solid foundation in Spanish-speaking countries’ culture, literature, and languages. Since numerous countries are covered, from Spain to Mexico, Argentina, and Puerto Rico, there’s always something new, fascinating, and exciting to learn.
Furthermore, students learn through peer-to-peer avenues, thanks to Spanish-speaking students from around the world. Both heritage and non-heritage speakers learn from and interact with native-speaking faculty members, too.
The coursework doesn’t just emphasize proficiency in the Spanish language. The broad curriculum also covers topics like the Mexican-American immigrant experience, a relevant topic in the US today.
OSU’s Office of Global Opportunities provides students with excellent assistance for study abroad purposes. As a result, students may satisfy some of their academic work in Spanish-speaking countries and enjoy more meaningful studies.
Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
OSU’s College of Liberal Arts, where the program is offered, is one of the nation’s best online liberal arts colleges. Students have easy access to exceptional student support services, including free online tutoring, success coaching, and career guidance.
One Pace Plaza, New York, NY 10038
Pace University, a private university, is the alma mater of bankers, politicians, and businessmen, including Richard Grasso, Rossana Rosado, and Joy Mangano. Its main campus in the Big Apple offers an exemplary BA in Spanish program that welcomes heritage and non-heritage candidates.
Graduates have the above-par competencies in the Spanish and English languages that serve as their tickets to well-paying jobs. Many also choose to pursue related graduate programs, such as a master’s in publishing. No matter the post-graduate path, alumni, are successful in diverse industries, including media and entertainment, tourism, and education.
The coursework emphasizes the gradual progression from basic language skills to advanced knowledge about Spanish and Hispanic cultures. The courses include:
- Introduction to Spanish Culture
- Introduction to Latin American Culture
- Spanish Translation, Interpretation, and Conversation
Students must apply themselves to the challenging coursework, particularly as there are minimum grade requirements for retention. Their skills in the communication and translation of Spanish works must be above-par, a must in a competitive world for Spanish degree graduates.
Professors have both the academic credentials and fluency in the Spanish language, a combination that matches the challenging nature of the coursework. Students will appreciate the small class sizes, which contribute to the individualized attention from their instructors. The university also ensures a conducive learning environment, including easy access to student support services, career services, and research and service opportunities.
Students may also enroll in accelerated dual-degree programs to earn a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in five years. For example, in the BA in Spanish program, available combinations are an MS in Publishing and an MST Adolescents.
Students have numerous opportunities to learn beyond the classroom and enjoy the learning process along the way. Joining the Spanish Club, Phi Sigma Iota, and the Spanish Conversation Hour are a few examples. Lectures delivered by renowned scholars, stage and screen personalities, and playwrights are also popular, as are tours to galleries and museums. The study abroad program enables students to enrich their learning experiences through travels and community immersion. There are also courses with a ten-day immersion trip as the culminating activity and internship placements.
107 S Indiana Ave, Bloomington, IN 47405
IU Bloomington, a public research university, is the flagship and largest campus of Indiana University. Its national prestige is designated as a Public Ivy University, meaning it provides the finest collegiate experience comparable to Ivy League universities. Add its impressive roster of Nobel Prize laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, and Olympic medalists, and it’s an honor to be part of its student body!
If you’re interested in being a student, you may want to consider its top-notch BA in Spanish program offered by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. Your studies will be guided by credentialed professors whose experiences in cutting-edge research are integrated into the coursework. You may even become part of a research team and, thus, gain valuable experience and a competitive edge.
The 120-credit program has a challenging and comprehensive curriculum that will put your commitment to the test. The courses are designed to cover the language, literature, and other aspects of the culture of Spain, including Catalonia, North America, and Latin America. As a result, students will acquire a deeper understanding of these areas’ subtle and observable linguistic differences.
There are three tracks available:
- The Hispanic Literature track focuses on Spain, Latin America, and other countries with Hispanic communities. The secondary learning outcome is basic training in linguistics studies.
- The Hispanic Linguistics track emphasizes linguistic study with syntax, acquisition of the second language, and sociolinguistics. Students are also trained on Hispanic cultures and literature.
- The Hispanic Studies prepares students for the rigorous study of linguistics that, in turn, becomes the foundation for the study of Hispanic cultures and literature.
Regardless of track, all students acquire intermediate-to-advanced competence in the Spanish language and a basic understanding of Spanish culture and its diverse manifestations. Their training also includes competence in research, communication, and leadership.
You will find that the professors are approachable and open for discussions about your class performance, including your coursework and assignments. You may also become involved in the ASURE program and engage in independent studies through campus resources, which will expand your knowledge and perspective. These include Chicano Riqueño Studies, Latino Studies and La Casa Latino Cultural Center.
University of Minnesota
214 Folwell Hall, 9 Pleasant St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455
U of M is also a public land-grant research university with a Public Ivy designation, meaning that it’s among the best public institutions in terms of selective admission and academic excellence. In addition, many of its programs are recognized as among the best in the nation, and its BA in Spanish Studies program is running.
Candidates must meet stringent admission requirements, including four semesters of Spanish language classes with a minimum C- grade. Proof of proficiency in the Spanish language may also be required. Once admitted, students must complete 120 credits for graduation, of which 34-54 credits are within the major courses.
The curriculum is divided into four distinct components:
- The preparatory courses are taken in strict sequential order, although exemptions can be made for students with advanced proficiency. The courses include Beginning Spanish, Intermediate Spanish, and Business Spanish.
- The 4-credit advanced language courses demand higher-level skills in writing and reading. Students choose between Spanish Composition and Communication or Honors: Spanish Composition and Communication.
- The critical analysis courses are intended to develop the students’ higher-level faculties. These courses are Introduction to the Study of Hispanic Literature and Introduction to the Study of Hispanic Linguistics. Both are offered in standard and honors formats.
- The electives customize each student’s learning experience. Students choose from Interpreting Imperial Spain, Interpreting Modern and Contemporary Latin America, and Advanced Oral Proficiency Workshop.
There’s also the choice between service-learning courses and a study abroad opportunity. The semester-long service-learning course can either be Latino Immigration and Community Engagement or Medical Spanish and Community Health Learning. The study abroad experience lasts for at least six weeks in a Spanish-speaking country or territory.
Students must also complete a capstone requirement with a thesis.
While the entire coursework is as challenging as any U of M program, academic excellence isn’t all there is to the BA in Spanish Studies program! You will also develop your critical thinking, communication, and analytical thinking skills in your studies of the Spanish language and its cultures. You become more proficient in the language, conduct research, and deliver exceptional performance.
Grand Canyon University
3300 West Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ 85017
GCU, a well-known Christian university, offers a BA in Spanish program that attracts thousands from across the country. It’s among the world’s largest Christian universities based on on-campus and online enrolment! Students and alumni agree that it’s an outstanding university that combines academic excellence with faith in action.
The BA in Spanish program requires students to complete 120 credits, which can be transferred and in-school credits. These are categorized into general education, major credits, and elective credits in courses like:
- Intermediate Spanish I and II
- Spanish Conversation
- Spanish Composition and Grammar
- Introduction to Literature in Spanish
- Theory and Methodology for Translation and Interpretation
Students are provided with the crucial tools, resources, and support to achieve proficiency in the Spanish language during their four-year stay. There’s a gradual progression in the coursework that allows students to speak, read and write in Spanish fluently. This is true for both non-heritage and heritage students, both cohorts learning the syntax and other subtleties of the Spanish language and culture.
The progression starts with the 100-level courses where students learn basic language skills, including reading, speaking, and writing. The 200-level courses come next, focusing on the proper application of grammar rules, expansion of vocabulary, and more productive use of the language.
The 300-level courses promote advanced language skills, including better conversational skills and a deeper understanding of cultural nuances. The 400-level courses encourage students to go beyond informal conversations and use their language fluency in professional settings.
The program emphasizes the study of both the peninsular Spanish language and its Latin American dialects. As proof of their competency in both languages, students must submit a capstone project. The culminating requirement consists of a portfolio of translated works in business, medicine, law, and education.
GCU’s program encourages an appreciation, passion, Spanish language, culture, and literature while also developing advanced language fluency. You will gain marketable skills, which can be transformed into a successful career in diverse industries, from business to education.
St. Louis University
1 N Grand Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63103
SLU, a private Jesuit university, has a long history of academic excellence that attracts students from across the country. Its two-century history has produced notable politicians, business executives, scientists, sportsmen, and artists. And you can be an SLU Billikens, too, if you enroll in its BA in Spanish program!
Students here achieve excellent skills in reading and writing in the Spanish language, a skill set developed through four years of consistent academic coursework and learning experiences. Such language proficiency isn’t limited to conversational situations either since students must learn Spanish for professional purposes. Students must also develop their English-to-Spanish and Spanish-to-English translation skills.
Aside from formal language classes, students also learn from reading and discussing literary works in the Spanish language. In addition, the Hispanic culture in Spanish-speaking countries is also studied in detail, and these are complemented by linguistic analysis. Such a multi-pronged approach results in a well-rounded education that combines Spanish language fluency, cultural awareness, and a critical perspective.
The courses include:
- Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics
- English-Spanish in Translation
- Advanced Spanish Grammar
- Spanish for the Health Professions
- Spanish Sociolinguistics
Academics aren’t the only component of a well-rounded SLU education either! Students are encouraged to become actively involved in various social events and service projects. Their participation in these events will aid in the development of a strong social conscience, cultural awareness, and personal connections. Extracurricular options include the Spanish Club, Sigma Delta Pi, and cultural talks.
Graduates are more than prepared for successful careers in education, business, and law or graduate studies, whichever path they prefer after completion. Your success may be your own, but it also rests on committed educators and mentors whose knowledge sharing and support were instrumental. You can also study abroad, such as on SLU’s Madrid campus.
University of Wisconsin-Madison
702 West Johnson Street, Suite 1101, Madison, WI 53715-1007
UW-Madison, a public research university, is Wisconsin’s official state university and the University of Wisconsin System’s flagship campus. Not only is UW-Madison the oldest, but it’s also Wisconsin’s largest public university! The bottom line: UW-Madison has been in business for 173 years – and going strong – so it knows what it’s doing!
This is apparent in the outstanding curriculum and quality of instruction in its BA in the Spanish program. Students complete at least 120 credits to earn the degree, usually within four years. In addition, residency requirements must be complied with, including earning at least 30 credits in the university.
Students must also meet the college’s minimum GPA requirements and remain in good academic standing. UW-Madison doesn’t take too kindly to slackers with penalties like academic probation in effect for underachieving students.
General education requirements must be met, too, before admission into the program. These courses aren’t just academic but are crucial for the student’s overall personal development.
As for the major courses, these are designed to equip students with high proficiency levels in the Spanish language, a must for success. Students also expand their understanding of Spanish and Hispanic culture through literature, pop culture analysis, and history. Examples of courses include:
- Introduction to Hispanic Literature
- Introduction to Spanish Linguistics
- Spanish Applied Linguistics
- Advanced Language Practice
- Spanish Phonetics
- Structure of Modern Spanish
Most of these courses must be taken in sequential order since each course builds on the acquired knowledge of prior courses.
The faculty members work closely with students toward achieving the learning outcomes, and there’s a fair and open-door policy. You will develop fluency in the Spanish language, resulting in your impressive ability to conduct casual conversations and professional-level work.
Eastern New Mexico University
1500 S Ave K, Portales, NM 88130
ENMU is a trailblazer university with a widely known reputation for being a Hispanic-friendly university. It’s an active member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities and a federally designated Hispanic-serving university. No surprise then that its BA in Spanish program is as authentic as it comes!
Yet another great thing about it: You can earn the degree completely online! Keep in mind that it has a synchronous learning method, so students learn as a cohort. Students must be available for the real-time live lectures conducted via Mediasite and for discussions on Skype. In addition, readings, tests, and projects are conducted throughout the semester, requiring attendance and participation.
Take note, too, that it’s a structured program with a four-year target completion rate. But actual completion time will vary depending on your program of study, enrollment status, and other factors. Completion can also be done entirely on-campus or in hybrid format, aside from 100% online.
Every student acquires language proficiency in English and Spanish and gains a deeper understanding of Spanish and Hispanic cultures. Native and heritage speakers and students with a basic grasp of Spanish can ask about the series of language courses specifically designed for their needs.
Students appreciate the Spanish language and culture even more with intensive immersion programs here and abroad. For example, the on-campus Summer Immersion Institute complements the month-long intensive community immersion program in Sololá, Guatemala. These immersion experiences aren’t just about learning the language but, more importantly, also about opening your eyes to the world and its cultures. Studying abroad and internship opportunities in Spain and Latin America are also available, thanks to ENMU’s active international partnerships. Students also have easy access to Spanish tutoring lessons and advising services and the open invitation to be in service and mutual interest organizations.
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
One West University Blvd., Brownsville, TX 78520
UTRGV, a public research university, is known for its large Hispanic student population. Nearly 90% of its student body is Hispanic, and the majority of them are Mexican-Americans. For this reason, earning a BA in Spanish with Teacher Certification here is easier considering the number of heritage speakers.
Students acquire bilingual competencies that prepare them for a successful career in education, particularly teaching Spanish at the K-12 levels. Furthermore, their bicultural competencies empower them toward greater awareness of and sensitivity to the cultural subtleties between Hispanic cultures. Critical thinking, creativity, and communication skills are also developed during their studies.
The comprehensive curriculum includes studying the Spanish language, obviously, and pedagogy, linguistics, and cognition. Both theory and practice are tackled in the courses, whether about Spanish culture or professional teaching skills.
The learning outcomes initially sound lofty, but upon closer examination of the coursework, these are achievable. Students must demonstrate proficiency in the Spanish language, analyze Spanish texts, and understand the past, present, and possible future of Spanish cultures.
Faculty members are keen on fostering a mentoring relationship with their students to pursue academic excellence. Such an approach is an acknowledgment of the direct relationship between faculty guidance and student success. Students also benefit from the bilingual, bi-literate, and bicultural learning environment at UTRGV.
Fort Hays State University
600 Park Street, Hays, KS 67601-4099
FHSU, a state university in Kansas, takes pride in its Hispanic College Institute (HCI), a residential program for Hispanic and Latino high school students. Here, students prepare themselves for success in college under the guidance of teachers, most of whom are Hispanics whose experiences align with their own. The BA in Foreign Language: Spanish is a natural jump, so to speak, for many HCI students.
The program is available in on-campus and online formats, so students have a choice. Both formats have the same curriculum, but their learning delivery methods are different.
(There’s also a BA in Foreign Language: Spanish and Teacher Education option. Offered in partnership with the Department of Teacher Education, it’s designed for aspiring teachers. This is a dual degree that can lead to a career as an elementary or high school teacher specializing in Spanish.)
The 127-credit program can be completed in four years on full-time enrollment. But acceleration is possible through the transfer of credits for prior learning and placement exams. Native and heritage speakers and candidates with Spanish language competency can qualify for advanced standing.
Coursework includes courses like:
- Beginning Spanish I and II
- Intermediate Spanish I, II, and III
- Spanish Conversational Skills
- Spanish Civilization
- Survey of Spanish Literature I and II
But academics alone don’t make for a well-rounded education! FHSU then offers a wealth of experiential learning opportunities that put the walk in the talk, and these include Hispanic dance sessions, film festivals, and tertulia. Students are also welcome to be part of the Spanish club, a mutual interest organization.
Your Spanish studies will be characterized by an exciting, challenging, at times, a mix of academic coursework and extracurricular activities. Both are intended to make your Spanish language skills and cultural understanding as solid as can be.
University of Maryland
3215 Jimenez Hall, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742
UMD College Park is the flagship university of the University System of Maryland and the state’s largest university with students from across 50 states and 120+ countries. Such is its reach that it has 360,000-strong international alumni! Therefore, one of its implications is that you will likely find UMD alumni who can assist in your career.
And career opportunities are abundant with a BA in Spanish degree from UMD! These include careers in public service, education, social services, law, medicine, the arts, and travel and tourism. With your bilingual and bicultural competencies, you will find a rewarding career here and in Spanish-speaking countries, too.
The program offers three major concentrations:
- Spanish/Latin American Literature, Culture, and Media
- Spanish Language, Culture, and Professional Contexts
- Spanish Linguistics, Culture, and Education
These concentrations involve the completion of 36 credits of coursework and nine credits in specialization courses. Students can also get a double major – one in Spanish and the other either belonging to or not part of the same college.
There are also study abroad opportunities that allow students to complete part of their studies in Spanish-speaking countries. Heritage students can also take advantage of special courses specifically designed for their needs.
The university has several distinctions that work in favor of its BA in Spanish students and alumni. First, UMD is recognized as a top producer of Peace Corps and Teach for America volunteers, thus, its reputation as an exceptional breeding ground for teachers.
University of Toledo
2801 W. Bancroft St. Toledo, OH 43606
Part of the University System of Ohio, UToledo offers a fine BA in Spanish program designed for students from all backgrounds. Heritage and non-heritage speakers learn alongside each other, although there will be differences in their coursework.
Non-heritage students, for example, must start their studies with Spanish prerequisite courses. On the other hand, heritage students may qualify for advanced standing through placement exams that determine their language proficiency level. Both cohorts, nonetheless, train for the same learning outcomes.
These are categorized into six, namely:
- Speaking objectives. Students can start, maintain and close conversations in the Spanish language in casual and professional settings. Their language proficiency should cover both understandings and be understood in a way that fosters effective communication.
- Writing objectives. Students can write clear compositions and summaries with proper sentence structure, syntax, and grammar. Their works must also demonstrate proper and precise use of vocabulary and express ideas clearly and concisely.
- Grammar objectives. Students must have advanced grammar skills that make it easy for native Spanish speakers to understand their ideas.
- Literature objectives. Students become familiar with the literary history and works of Spanish literature. Critical thinking skills are a must in these subjects.
- Linguistic objectives. Students demonstrate competency in the history, structure, and dialects of the Spanish language. These are technical aspects that also require creative inputs.
- Culture objectives. These are just as important as Spanish language proficiency since an appreciative understanding of the Spanish culture contributes to a richer experience.
You can earn a BA in Spanish and an MBA in International Business in five years. Your learning experience includes fully immersive community service projects at Nuestra Gente, Adelante, and Toledo SMART Bilingual School.
Arkansas Tech University
215 West O Street, Russellville, Arkansas 72801
ATU’s BA in Spanish Education program is a preparatory program for aspiring teachers seeking licensure and competitive skillsets for their future careers. Students start their education by learning the Spanish language, including their written and oral skills. The curriculum’s design fosters a gradual yet effective and efficient learning trajectory for heritage and non-heritage speakers.
The coursework includes topics on:
- Basic linguistics theory
- Spanish and Spanish-American society, culture, and literature through the years
- Foreign language pedagogy
Internships are an integral part of training toward becoming effective K-12 teachers. These include a year-long, field observation-centric internship and a semester-long teaching internship in a classroom setting; participation in the La Casa Immersion Experience; and community internship or study abroad experience.
Members of the Sigma Delta Pi also have translation opportunities that will hone their professional skills, said opportunities present in schools and community organizations. Extracurricular cultural activities are also a great way to enjoy the Hispanic experience, with notable examples being Dia de Muertos and Expo Hispanico.
You can stack various credentials with the BA in Spanish Education degree and acquire more marketable credentials. These include TESOL certificates and certificates of proficiency in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and Spanish for Medical Interpretation.
University of Nevada Reno
1664 N. Virginia Street, Reno, NV 89557
UNR has a selective admissions process that can make it challenging for candidates to gain admission into its BA in the Spanish program. But once you’re in the program, you’re likely to stay in it. UNR has an 81% average freshman retention rate.
Offered by the College of Liberal Arts, specifically by the Department of World Languages and Literatures, the program equips students with diverse marketable skills. These include proficient Spanish language skills, including writing, reading, listening; critical thinking skills; and advanced conversation, grammar, and syntax skills.
There are several concentrations within the program:
- Spanish Language and Society wherein students develop their international relations, business, and economics skills in Spanish-speaking countries.
- Spanish Literature and Culture, a specialization that enables students to deeply appreciate the Spanish language and its underlying culture, including literature.
- Spanish through the Professions is the best fit for individuals whose career aspirations lie in using the Spanish language in work situations.
The BS in Spanish degree from UNR carries with it the prestige of a nationally recognized university, and it’s attractive to employers, too.