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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.

Students do not need to have studied Spanish in high school since the department offers basic language instruction. 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

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. The departmental website has regularly updated pages with outreach and volunteer opportunities in education, social work, medical fields and community-based groups. 

One of the principal goals of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese is to help students attain the highest possible level of language proficiency. The department encourages students to take advantage of several study 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.

Many incoming students realize the importance of collaborating with professors to conduct research and/or write a thesis. There are opportunities for these students to receive scholarships, fellowships and other funding opportunities offered at Ohio State. After receiving such funding, many of our students have traveled to various Latin American countries, Spain and throughout the United States during the summer to complete their investigative work, and then finish their writing during the school year.

The Spanish Honors program offers an in-depth and particularly challenging curriculum.

The knowledge of a second language is usually a key to acquiring strong writing skills. Employment in almost any field is open to a language major, especially in companies that do business with overseas clients. This can range from the banking industry to public relations to computer programming.

Knowledge of a second language is also helpful in health care and social work. A second language can be beneficial for employment in federal, state and local governments. The ability to do research and translation in another language also opens doors to careers.

Ohio State graduates with Spanish degrees have chosen a wide range of professions, such as Spanish teacher, House of Representatives, Spanish-speaking loan/mortgage officer, technical writer for AT&T, lawyer, FBI field agent, and U.S. postal inspector in Puerto Rico. 

Students should utilize the Arts and Sciences Career Services Offices during their studies at Ohio State for help in writing résumés and for advice about enhancing their academic experiences with internships and jobs. Workshops and career fairs are organized on a regular basis through the ASC Career Services Office. 

Students can explore career options by utilizing Career Connection as well as the Arts and Sciences Career Services Office. Providing complimentary services, Career Connection focuses on helping students establish a career direction, while the Arts and Sciences Career Services Office assists students with finding internships—experiences that are essential to testing out the suitability of career fields they are considering. Located in 48 Townshend Hall, the Arts and Sciences Career Services Office also assists seniors and recent graduates with finding entry-level career employment. More information about both offices is found at and

Jessica Gatts

Department of Spanish and Portuguese

355 Hagerty Hall

1775 College Road

Columbus, OH 43210


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