Spanish Program Requirements

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  • Deyanira Ariza-Velasco

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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 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 world 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 world 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 university-wide graduation requirements in addition to the Spanish major:

  • 124 total hours
  • 30 upper division hours
  • WCore or Honors College requirements

Spanish-Latin American Studies Major

Requirement Description Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. Lower Division Courses 8  
Students entering the major who demonstrate appropriate levels of Spanish language proficiency can fulfill the SPAN 111 and/or SPAN 220 requirements by substitution with electives in Upper-Division Spanish or courses from the list of approved History, Social Science, and/or other elective courses.
SPAN 111 Spanish II 4  
SPAN 220 Spanish III 4 SPAN 111
II. Upper Division Required Courses 34-38  
SPAN 310 Spanish IV: Intro to Spanish Literature 4 SPAN 220
SPAN 320 Survey of Peninsular Spanish Culture & Literature 4 SPAN 220
SPAN 321 Spanish Literature and Cultural Studies A, B, C, D, E, F, or G 4  
SPAN 330 Survey of Latin American Culture & Literature 4 SPAN 220
SPAN 331 Latin American Literature and Cultural Studies A, B, C, D, E, F, or G 4 SPAN 220
SPAN 470 Senior Thesis 2 instructor permission
Choose one course from each of the following groups:    

SPAN 301


SPAN 300

The Spanish-Speaking World


Special Topics in Spanish 






SPAN 440

Semester Study Abroad





*Study Abroad: courses beyond the 12 hours may be eligible for elective credit. See "Study Abroad/Internship Abroad/Domestic Internship" description below for more information.
III. History and Social Science 6-8  
Complete six-eight credit hours of coursework from the following courses:
HIST 300 Special Topics in History (when relevant, subject to approval) 3-4  
HIST 340 Latin American Hist: Discovery of the Americas —offered spring 4 one lower division HIST course
HIST 341 Latin American Hist: Revolution in the Americas —offered spring 4 one lower division HIST course
HIST 343 History of Mexico: The Quest for Stability 4 one lower division HIST course
SOC 372 Race, Ethnicity, and Class– offered spring 4  
IV. Other Elective Courses 4  
Complete four credit hours of coursework from the following courses:
ART 311 Art History: Renaissance to Modern Art - offered spring (when relevant, subject to approval) 4 one Writing Emphasis course
ART 312 History of Contemporary Art (when relevant, subject to approval) 4 one Writing Emphasis course
ECON 319 International Economics– offered spring 4 ECON 253, 263, and DATA 150 or 220
FINC 435 International Finance– offered fall 4 FINC 300
JUST 300 Special Topics in Justice (when relevant, subject to approval) 1-4  
MGMT 400 Global Business Strategy 4 MKTG 300 or MGMT 305
PLSC 300 Special Topics in Political Science (when relevant, subject to approval) 1-4  
PLSC 306 Comparative Politics - offered spring 4  
PLSC 367 Contemporary Political Philosophy– offered fall 4  
PLSC 315 Theories of Global Politics 4  
PLSC 415 Issues in Global Politics– offered spring 4 PLSC 315
Total Hours for the Spanish-Latin American Studies Major 48-54  

Recommended Plan of Study for Spanish-Latin American Studies

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

Spanish Minor

To fulfill the requirements for an academic minor in Spanish, students must complete a minimum of 20 credit hours in Spanish coursework.

Requirement Description Credit Hours Prerequisites
I. Required Courses 12  
SPAN 111 Spanish II  4  
SPAN 220 Spanish III 4 SPAN 111
SPAN 310 Spanish IV: Intro to Spanish Literature 4 SPAN 220
II. Electives 8  
SPAN 110 or any upper division SPAN courses    
Total Hours for the Spanish Minor 20  

Study Abroad/Internship Abroad/Domestic Internship

Spanish/Latin American Studies majors must complete one of the following:

  • A semester of study abroad (12 credits)
  • An internship abroad (8 credits)
  • A domestic internship (8 credits)
  • 12 credit hours of on-campus Spanish courses

One of these options must be completed 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 an international 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 world 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 world 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. 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 World Language Exam—up to 12 credit hours may be obtained by successfully passing an accredited world language exam administered by another institution, (e.g., University of Utah, Brigham Young University; contact the individual institution directly for world 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 6 credit hours, distributed as 4 credit hours for SPAN 110 (applicable to world language requirements of the student’s major but not to a Spanish major or minor), and 2 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 your academic advisor or Spanish faculty member. Questions regarding Spanish exams and placement should be directed to a Spanish faculty member.