There are more than 500 million Spanish-speaking people in the world, including those who speak it as a second language. Spanish has become so prevalent a language in the United States that there are more Spanish speakers here than in Spain.

Spanish makes an excellent and practical double major and is in high demand in fields such as medicine, social work, business, law, government, computer science, engineering, and NGOs (not-for-profits).

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

Below is information on:


Spanish Major Requirements

The Spanish major has a total of 11 required courses:

FOUNDATION COURSES (fulfill upper level writing):

CLTR 200: Topics in Critical Thinking
CLTR 389: MLC Research Seminar


SPAN 200: Advanced Spanish Composition
SPAN 202: The Forging of a Nation or SPAN 204: Coming to Terms: Spanish American Literature
SPAN 203: Representing Identities in the Early Hispanic World (or an approved alternative)


Six additional courses which could include SPAN 151 and 152 and 200-level electives in Spanish

SPAN 205 or 206 are highly recommended

Possibility of AP credit for SPAN 151/152 (depending on score and UR placement) or approved education abroad classes, selected in consultation with the Spanish advisor.

Study in a Spanish-speaking country is strongly recommended. 

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 SPAN 151 and may include SPAN 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 SPAN 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

See the Latin American studies minor page in the Multidisciplinary Studies Center website for information.

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Spanish Clusters

Literature and Identity in Hispanic Societies (H1SPAN001)
An exploration of 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 (H1SPAN002)
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 (H1SPAN003)
Proficiency in Spanish is not required for completion of this cluster; students may choose three courses taught in English from among the alternatives. 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.

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Education Abroad

Study Abroad in Ecuador or Spain (Summer)

SPAN 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.

Education 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 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 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 SPAN 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


Department Chair

Program Head, Advisor to Minors, Clusters, Study Abroad Credit for Clusters, Take-Fives, Placement Appeals,

Advisor to Majors, Transfers and Study Abroad Credit


Raquel Alfaro, Visiting Professor of Spanish

Michelle Brown, Associate Professor of Instruction in Spanish

Vialcary Crisótomo Tejada, Assistant Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature

Beth E. Jörgensen, Professor Emerita of Spanish

Kirt Komocki, Associate Professor of Instruction in Spanish

Ryan Prendergast, Associate Professor of Spanish

Raúl Rodríguez-Hernández, Associate Professor of Spanish and Film and Media Studies, and Head of the Spanish Program

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

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

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