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.

Native speakers of Spanish are encouraged to continue their studies of Spanish at the undergraduate level in order to acquire professional-level writing skills in Spanish and to deepen their knowledge of hispanic literatures and cultures, much like native speakers of English who continue to study English composition and literature in college.  

Choosing to major or minor in Spanish can result in employment opportunities in many areas such as business, government, health or social services, in addition to teaching, translating and interpreting, especially when combined with a minor or a second major.

What does the Spanish program offer?

  • Bachelor of Arts in World Languages and Cultures with four possible concentrations in Spanish. 
  • Spanish minor consists of five Spanish courses (15 credits) above the elementary level. Typically, this includes the Intermediate Spanish (SPN201-202) sequence, plus three additional advanced courses in language, culture, or literature. Note that SPN 203 and SPN 204 do not count towards the minor because they are taught in English.
  • Minor in World Languages: Students may use Spanish courses, in combination with a second language, to complete a minor in world languages (18 credits in two languages).
  • Faculty willing to assist and advise you in all phases of your studies.
  • Study abroad opportunities: study in Oviedo, Spain for a summer, or plan for a summer, semester or year in Spain, Mexico, or any other Spanish-speaking country with an approved program offered through the Center for International Education.
  • Language Resource Center with state-of-the-art technology and free Spanish tutors to assist you in language learning.
  • Spanish Club activities on and off campus for anyone interested in Spanish; plus a virtual Spanish Club called La Lista offering online conversation in Spanish.
  • A multicultural community in which to learn Spanish.
  • Assistance in finding internship opportunities: summer internships or a one-year teaching assistantship in Spain after you graduate.
  • Graduate school advising for those interested in pursuing graduate degrees.

About the Bachelor of Arts in World Languages and Cultures, Spanish Concentrations

Students choosing to major or double-major in Spanish must choose one of four concentrations in our BA in world languages and cultures (WLC). Each concentration in comprised of 12 courses (36 credits) in language, literature and/or culture, with interdisciplinary course options in the liberal arts concentration. All WLC majors complete an experiential learning course (internship, community service placement, or travel-study project), as well as a senior seminar where students undertake a major research project on a topic of their choosing.

The Spanish concentrations include:

  • Spanish concentration: Our liberal arts concentration includes interdiscipinary course options in other departments, such as history, sociology and political science to give students a well-rounded educational experience. This concentration is designed to be flexible, for students who are double-majoring or who plan to go to graduate school in the arts and sciences.
  • Spanish professional concentration: This track is designed for those who will use Spanish in a professional field, such business, law, health services, social services, and technical professions and includes courses in translation and interpretation, as well as advanced language and culture courses.
  • Spanish elementary education concentration: This track is for students who want to become licensed teachers of Spanish at the elementary or middle school level and includes required courses in education and teaching methodology, as well as a student teaching practicum.
  • Spanish secondary education concentration: This concentration is for students who want to become licensed to teach Spanish at the secondary level and includes required courses in education and teaching methodology, as well as a student teaching practicum.  

See the online catalog for more information.

Note: Students who entered Salem State prior to 2013 and who were enrolled in the BA in Spanish can complete their degree using the flowsheet of the year they started the major, or they can opt to switch into the new BA in world languages and cultures. If you are a current BA in Spanish student and are interested in switching to one of the new major concentrations, please see the department chairperson.

The Spanish concentrations at Salem State also prepare those successfully completing baccalaureate degree requirements to enter graduate degree programs in bilingual education, English as a second language, and our own Master of Arts in Teaching Spanish.

As part of the major, study abroad is strongly encouraged, and students are helped and guided every step of the way. A student may participate in the department's month-long summer program in Oviedo, Spain, or some other month-semester-, or year-long programs available in many different Spanish-speaking countries. Extra financial aid is available for study abroad.

Eight students pose for a photo in front of a building in Oviedo, Spain.

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.