Bachelor of Arts - Spanish
Currently the foreign languages department offers a bachelor of arts degree in Spanish, with four concentrations. Starting in fall 2013, the newly renamed world languages and cultures department will offer a bachelor of arts in world languages and cultures with four Spanish concentrations, in addition to a French and an Italian concentrations:
- French liberal arts concentration
- Italian liberal arts concentration
- Spanish liberal arts concentration
- Spanish elementary education (teacher licensure track)
- Spanish secondary education (teacher licensure track)
- Spanish professional studies (focus on translation and professional Spanish)
Why study Spanish?
Spanish is a major world language. It is the language of over 400 million people in over 20 countries and the second most spoken language in the United States. Hispanics have recently become the largest minority in our country and will comprise a quarter of the U.S. population in just a few decades. For these reasons, Spanish is the most studied foreign language in the country and there is a high demand for people who can communicate in Spanish, as well as for people who can teach it.
A Spanish major can result in employment opportunities in many areas such as business, government or social services, in addition to teaching, translating and interpreting, especially when combined with a minor or a second major.
What concentrations are offered?
Currently (until fall 2013) the Spanish major consists of 36 credits (12 classes) above the elementary language level in language, literature and culture. Majors in Spanish must choose one of four possible concentrations:
- Professional concentration for professional applications, including business, law, health services, social services, and technical professions
- Elementary education concentration to prepare students for teaching in grades K-6
- Secondary education concentration for teacher preparation for grades 5-12
- Literature and culture concentration with a liberal arts base for those primarily interested in literature or considering graduate studies.
See the foreign language flowsheets
In any of the concentrations, the major prepares students to become successful professionals in a global marketplace. Unlike other Massachusetts public colleges, the Salem State major offers courses in the art of translation and interpretation, as well as courses that prepare students for the Spanish government's internationally-recognized diploma in Spanish proficiency (DELE). Double majors in Spanish and another area of specialization are a popular option at Salem State University. In addition, the foreign languages department offers minors in French, Italian and foreign languages. Many Spanish majors also choose to study a second foreign language.
The Spanish major at Salem State University also prepares those successfully completing baccalaureate degree requirements to enter Salem State graduate programs in bilingual education, English as a second language, as well as our master of arts in teaching Spanish. Majors and minors are strongly encouraged to study abroad. Students may participate in the department’s month-long summer program in Oviedo, Spain. There are also many options for other summer, semester or year-long programs in a variety of Spanish-speaking countries through the university's Center for International Education. Financial aid is available for study abroad.
Changes for Spanish majors in fall 2013
Starting in fall 2013, the Spanish major will change name to bachelor of arts in world languages and cultures with one of four possible Spanish concentrations. The literature and culture concentration will disappear and a new, flexible liberal arts concentration will be available. The education concentrations and the professional concentration will remain unchanged.
Liberal Arts Concentrations in French, Italian, Spanish: These concentrations offer students the opportunity to develop advanced communicative proficiency in their chosen language, while also giving them a broad understanding of the cultural diversity, literature, and history of Italian, Francophone or Hispanic world cultures. The liberal arts base aims to prepare students to work in a global environment in a variety of fields where language training is required or preferred. Interdisciplinary course options encourage students to explore the interconnectedness of various disciplines and to examine their major subject through a broader lens. They also allow students to focus on a particular area of interest within the major (i.e., Francophone Africa, the Italian Renaissance, etc.). Suggested minors or second majors for world languages and cultures majors include a second foreign language or a professionally-oriented field such as: education, communications, business, geography (travel and tourism), social work, pre-law studies, or political science. Students may also opt for a minor or second major in related liberal arts field, such as: history, art, music, theatre arts, sociology, women’s studies, African studies, peace studies, or philosophy.
Specialized concentrations in Spanish: The Spanish education tracks offer a liberal arts degree combined with practical training in teaching methodology, leading to teacher licensure in Spanish at the elementary or secondary level. The professional concentration in Spanish is geared specifically to the development of translation, interpretation and language skills needed for business, medical or legal professions, or social service careers.
Where Do I Start?
If you already have a strong foundation in Spanish from your high school or from life experience, you may not need to take elementary or even intermediate language courses. A simple online Spanish language placement test will help you get started. Students who completed high school in a foreign country where the language of instruction was Spanish can be exempted from the elementary and intermediate levels of Spanish. Students with strong language skills from prior study or life experience may obtain credits by examination (CLEP or AP) which count towards the major.
Summer Program in Oviedo, Spain
Earn up to six credits in Spanish in Oviedo this summer at any level from beginner through advanced! Students live in dorms at the University of Oviedo, located in the Asturias region of Spain. Financial aid is available. See Dr. Serra for more details.