Why Major in Spanish?

Spanish has become the second language of the United States. More than 20 million of the country’s residents speak it in their everyday lives (making it the fifth largest Spanish-speaking country in the world). By 2050, the US will be the largest Spanish speaking country¹. Spanish is also spoken in twenty-one countries around the globe.

Students who pursue a major in Spanish have a wide range of options, both in the courses that they take and in job opportunities after graduation. Our curriculum prepares students to think critically, to articulate their ideas both orally and in writing, and to learn how to perceive and understand the world from a variety of perspectives. More specifically, our major in Spanish is designed for students to gain a well-rounded knowledge of the language and cultures of the Hispanic world and to enhance linguistic proficiency for both heritage and non-heritage speakers. 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. In short, we prepare students who wish to pursue advanced studies in Spanish at the graduate level or who wish to seek employment with their Bachelor’s degree.

The teaching and research interests of our faculty cover the broad and dynamic range of Hispanic contributions to world literature and culture. Cultural and intellectual diversity forms the cornerstone of our department at all levels of the curriculum, which in turn prepares our students for future career opportunities in education, business, social and health services, law, diplomacy, and publishing, to name only a few. And last, but not least, according to a New York Times article by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, “speaking two languages rather than just one has obvious practical benefits in an increasingly globalized world. But in recent years, scientists have begun to show that the advantages of bilingualism are even more fundamental than being able to converse with a wider range of people. Being bilingual, it turns out, makes you smarter. It can have a profound effect on your brain, improving cognitive skills not related to language and even shielding against dementia in old age”.²


¹ Available at www.cervantes.es

² Available at www.nytimes.com