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Degree: BA

Campus: Columbus

College: Arts and Sciences

Spanish is one of several major languages spoken on the Iberian Peninsula and throughout Latin America, as well as in various regions of the United States. The Department of Spanish and Portuguese offers an undergraduate major program in Spanish designed to provide students with a strong foundation in the language. It introduces them to the study of literary works and helps them develop an informed awareness of the respective cultures.

Upon admission to the university, students can declare a major in Spanish within the College of Arts and Sciences. Interested students should contact an undergraduate advisor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and in Arts and Sciences Advising.

Because the department offers basic language instruction, students do not need to have studied Spanish in high school. However, students who have had prior instruction in the language may begin their major program earlier and progress toward advanced levels more rapidly.

Prerequisite requirements include Spanish 1101 (Spanish I) through 1103 (Spanish III) and Spanish 2202 (Reading Comprehension). 

The major program requirements in Spanish include a minimum of 33 hours:

  • An orientation of 12 credit hours in advanced language 
  • Instruction including Advanced Grammar, Intermediate Spanish Composition, Introduction to the Study of Literature and Culture in Spanish, and Spanish Pronunciation
  • A core of 21 credit hours of 4000-level course work, including at least one 5000-level Senior Seminar or Honors Seminar 
  • A minimum of three credit hours of elective
  • An immersion requirement

Students also choose from tracks in Iberian or Latin American Literatures and
Cultures, Hispanic Linguistics, or Hispanic Studies.

Over 40 percent of Spanish majors also carry another major such as engineering, business, nursing, social work, biology, international studies and linguistics. Due to the interdisciplinary interests of our students, the Spanish department offers many opportunities to learn and grow outside of the classroom. 

One of the principal goals of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese is to help students attain the highest possible level of language proficiency and cultural competency. The department encourages students to take advantage of several education abroad programs sponsored by the department in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Spain. These programs provide opportunities to gain greater exposure to the languages, literatures and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world.

Honors students have opportunities to pursue their individual academic interests and professional goals alongside faculty in a variety of experiences, including:

The Spanish and Portuguese Club emphasizes service, community and mastery of speaking skills through weekly language practice opportunities.

Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, is the nation’s only certifying agency for college and university honor societies, providing qualifying students with additional opportunities for research and travel grants and the chance to graduate from its programs with national honors.

The knowledge of a second language is helpful in acquiring strong writing skills and in developing cultural competencies necessary for engaging in diverse marketplaces. Employment in almost any field is open to a language major, especially in companies that do business with overseas clients. This can range from banking to public relations to computer programming and beyond. Knowledge of a second language is also helpful in health care, social work, and federal, state and local governments.

The department offers courses to help students explore different career pathways and develop professional vocabularies in business, the arts and humanities, and STEM fields. Additional course work is also available for students interested in working as translators or interpreters. 

Ohio State graduates with Spanish degrees have worked as Spanish teachers, members of Congress, loan and mortgage officers, technical writers, lawyers, FBI field agents, U.S. postal inspectors and more.