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Undergraduate Program


There are an estimated 470 million Spanish speakers in the world with native competence and 559 million Spanish speakers as a first or second language. Spanish is becoming so prevalent in the United States that there are actually more Spanish speakers here than Spain.

Spanish makes a great double major and is in high demand in fields like medicine, social work, business, industry, non-for-profits and government.

Spanish majors have gone on to graduate programs in law, medicine, business, Spanish, education, translation studies, and history. Some of our graduates are employed in international business, government, and non-governmental organizations.

Below is information on:


Spanish Major Requirements

The Spanish major has a total of 11 required courses:

  • SP 200: Advanced Spanish Composition
  • SP 203: Origins and Empire: Reading the Early Hispanic World
  • SP 202: The Forging of a Nation: Literary Ideas and Aesthetics from the Romantics to Democratic Spain or SP 204: Coming to Terms: Spanish American Literature, from Tradition to Innovation
  • Six additional courses above the 200-level in Spanish* (SP 205 or 206 is highly recommended for an elective)
  • Any CLT 101 course or another CLT course approved by Spanish advisor
  • CLT 200 (Class of 2020 and beyond)
  • CLT 389: Major Seminar

*Students can use SP 151 and 152 or up to two upper-level courses from another department toward their six electives with Spanish advisor approval.

See a complete list of Spanish courses >

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Spanish Minor Requirements

A total of five courses in Spanish language, literature, and culture, to be selected in consultation with the Spanish advisor.

Students usually start with SP 151 and may include SP 152, SP 200, and other 200-level courses. All minors, regardless of study-abroad credits, must take a minimum of one four-credit Spanish elective course numbered SP 202 or above at the University of Rochester.

Please note: The Spanish minor only allows for a maximum of two courses of transfer credit, e.g. AP, IB or Education Abroad.

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Latin American Studies Minor

The minor in Latin American studies gives students a broad view of Latin American cultures and their relations to the United States and the rest of the world.

Latin American Studies Minor Requirements (for students who declare in Fall 2016 or earlier)

A total of five courses with Latin American content are required for the minor:

  • Three courses must be at the 200-level from the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures.
  • Two courses must be from different related areas, such as anthropology, history, political science, or religion.

The minor must be approved by the Spanish program's faculty in its beginning stages. Study abroad in a Latin American country is strongly encouraged.

Latin American Studies Minor Requirements (for students who declare in Spring 2017 or later)

A total of five courses related to Latin American people, their languages, and their cultures are required for the minor.

  • Two courses must be taken from different areas, such as anthropology, business, economics, history, international relations, political science, Portuguese, religion, or Spanish.
  • The division of the minor (humanities or social sciences) will be that in which the student takes three courses.
  • Up to two study-abroad courses may count toward the minor with the approval of the student's advisor for the minor.
  • In order for a course to qualify for the minor, roughly 50 percent of the course must feature content relating to Latin America in the terms described in this document.
  • The minor must be approved by one of the designated program advisors.

Prerequisite: Students must complete SP 151 and 152, SP 153, or POR 151 and 152. Students who are placed in SP 200 may use that course as their language prerequisite.

Proposed Program Advisors:

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Spanish Clusters

Literature and Identity in Hispanic Societies (H1SP001)
Students explore questions of identity including issues of class, race, nation, gender, and genre, through a variety of literary texts from Spain and Latin America. One course may be taken in English.

Introduction to Spanish Studies (H1SP002)
This cluster introduces students to Spanish language and culture through courses that practice language skills as well as present current issues of interest in Hispanic countries.

Hispanic Film and Popular Culture (H1SP003)
This cluster provides an analysis of the visual representations of social and cultural issues such as gender, race, class, and national identity in film and popular texts. Proficiency in Spanish is not required for completion of this cluster. Students may choose three courses taught in English from among the alternatives.

Hispanic Cultures (H1INT006)
Students explore Hispanic literatures and cultures in relation to political, historical, and economic contexts. Proficiency in Spanish is not required for completion of this cluster, and students may choose three courses taught in English from among the alternatives.

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Study Abroad

Study Abroad in Ecuador, Spain (Summer)

SP 157/207 is a four-week Spanish study abroad language and cultural immersion program in Granada, Spain or Quito, Ecuador. Students travel to one of these sites with a faculty director.

Frequent excursions to sites of cultural and historical importance are combined with class study and language practice.

Study Abroad Programs

The Center for Study Abroad has programs in Spain, Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Peru. Attend an information session or speak to a study abroad advisor to learn more.

You must seek course approval from a Spanish Program advisor PRIOR TO course registration and departure from campus. 

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Language Placement

Advanced Placement (AP) scores or International Baccalaureate (IB) rankings assist departmental advisors in finding the right course level for you. Information on how you learned the language or languages you know will also help us advise you on the most appropriate courses for you in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures.

For students with previous experience with the Spanish language, the first step is to take the online placement exam. You will receive a score that will be used along with the other information you provide to help determine your placement. For more information on the online placement test, and instructions for how to login, see our online placement exam instructions page. Students who have not studied Spanish previously and who are not heritage speakers of Spanish may register for SP 101 without taking a placement exam.

The placement you receive with your online numerical test scores is not necessarily how you will be placed by MLC.

Students will receive a “Course planning, placement, and recommendations” sheet with their language placement information from Academic Advising during Orientation and via email.

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Contact Information


On Leave, Fall 2018

Majors and minors N-Z, transfers and study abroad credit

Program head, clusters, study abroad credit for clusters, Take-Fives, placement appeals

Majors and minors A-M, transfers and study abroad credit


Michelle Brown, Associate Professor of Instruction in Spanish

Beth E. Jörgensen, Professor of Spanish

Kirt Komocki, Associate Professor of Instruction in Spanish

Ryan Prendergast, Associate Professor of Spanish

Raúl Rodríguez-Hernández, Associate Professor of Spanish, and Head for the Spanish Program

Luisa-Maria Rojas-Rimachi, Associate Professor of Instruction in Spanish

Claudia Schaefer, Professor of Spanish and Film and Media Studies, Rush Rhees Chair

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