A major in Spanish can be used as preparation for teaching, graduate study, library science, foreign language education, comparative literature study, employment in Latin America and for a career in translating and interpreting. In conjunction with another major, the Spanish major can lead to enhanced employment possibilities for you in business, social work, teaching ESL, medical work, travel, missions, the legal profession or library science. A Spanish major can also be combined with a secondary education endorsement.

As a Spanish major, you will be required to study at least one semester in an approved study abroad program. Northwestern College, in cooperation with other colleges and programs, provides the opportunity to study in different locations throughout Latin America and Spain. You must be accepted into the program both by the department and the off-campus study committee. Students who study abroad in our program remain Northwestern students and are able to maintain most of their financial aid. If you are majoring in humanities with Spanish as your primary discipline, although encouraged to study abroad, you would be exempt from the study abroad requirement.

Spanish department homepage

Major requirements

Spanish electives (beyond Spanish 202) 6 credits **
Semester Abroad 12 credits ***
SPA 202 - Intermediate Spanish Language and Culture
Combined study of intermediate language and culture. Study of primary sources in print, audio and visual forms to develop appreciation for the ways culture in general and the language's culture in particular shape a variety of social contexts. Building on previously acquired ability in Spanish, continued study of language in a communicative context with considerable emphasis upon precision and expansion of linguistic skills.Prerequisite: SPA201, or placement by the foreign language placement exam.(3 credits)
SPA 311 - Advanced Spanish Conversation *
The main goal of this course is to improve oral communication, which includes speaking as well as listening, comprehension. Since successful communication also involves cultural awareness of the Spanish speaker's feelings, thoughts and attitudes, part of this course involves studying sources of these important underlying constructs.Prerequisite: SPA202 or equivalent proficiency.(1 credit)
SPA 312WI - Advanced Grammar and Composition
(3 credits)(Writing intensive) Advanced development of writing skills anda review of difficult grammar concepts. Students will be expected towrite in a variety of contexts. Emphasis will be on the writing process.The majority of the assignments will be completed in steps includingmultiple drafts. Additionally, students will be expected to reviewgrammar and complete some grammar exercises.Note: Taught in Spanish.Prerequisite: SPA 202 or equivalent proficiency.
SPA 314 - Introduction to Reading Hispanic Literature
Advanced development of reading skills and strategies and an introduction to Hispanic literature and literary topics. Students will learn how to effectively read a literary text in Spanish. Attention will be paid to strategies for understanding context through vocabulary and grammar recognition. Additionally students will be introduced to the literary genres and cultural contexts of the texts they study as well as pertinent critical commentary.Prerequisite: SPA202 or equivalent proficiency.(3 credits)
SPA 376 - Study Abroad Cross-Cultural Preparation
Lack of cross-cultural competence and sensitivity is a prominent cause ofmuch frustration and anger between visitors to a country and the individualsliving in that country. In preparation for their semester study abroad, inthis course students will learn common cross-cultural skills and becomeaware of the joys and challenges they will face in those months. They willalso spend time learning about the country in which they will be studying sothey are well-versed in the basic historical, political, economic, socialand cultural issues that country has dealt with and is dealing with. Prerequisite: Acceptance into a study abroad program approved byNorthwestern College for Spanish majors. (1 credit)
SPA 377 - Enhancing the Study Abroad Experience
Semester study abroad trips have two interweaving tracks: the externalexperience, where we encounter the new world in which we are living, and theinternal experience, where we visit new places with ourselves. Writing ajournal affords the student the opportunity to wrap these two journeystogether and end up with a vibrant account of his/her experience - akeepsake that helps him/her remember and learn from the semester studyabroad. Thus, a travel journal is the ultimate souvenir. To complete therequirements for this course, students will write a journal during theirsemester study abroad experience as well as write a final essay reflectingon both the semester abroad and their entire foreign-language collegiateexperience. Prerequisite: Acceptance into a study abroad program approved byNorthwestern College for Spanish majors. (1 credit)
Choose one course: 3 credits
SPA 351 - Survey of Hispanic Literature from Spain
A study of peninsular Spanish literature from El Cid to the present. Emphasis upon major literary movements and their representative masterpieces. Prerequisite: SPA314 or permission of instructor. (3 credits, alternate years, consult department)
SPA 352 - Survey of Hispanic Literature from the Americas
A study of Spanish Latin-American literature from the colonial period to the present. Emphasis upon major literary movements and their representative masterpieces. Prerequisite: SPA314 or permission of instructor. (3 credits, alternate years, consult department)

Total credits required: 35


* 1 credit course, repeated a minimum of 3 different semesters. Additional credits may be applied towards Spanish electives.

** Students may substitute 3 credits from either French or German languages.

*** Students must study Spanish abroad in a Spanish-speaking country through an approved program (the list of approved programs to complete the semester abroad requirement for the Spanish major is available from the chair of the Modern Foreign Languages department, Registrar’s Office or Career Development Center director).

For students seeking the secondary teaching endorsement in Spanish:

  1. Students must earn a minimum of 85% accuracy on the language pronunciation exam prior to student teaching. The pronunciation test score must be on file in the registrar’s office by the end of the semester prior to graduation.
  2. LAN308, Methods of Teaching Secondary Foreign Language is required
  3. TESL307, Methods in TESL is recommended