Introduction

The department offers a major and a minor in Spanish through a wide selection of courses about the language and cultural production of Spain, Latin America and Latino/a communities of the United States. In addition, independent study and research are available every semester. Unless otherwise indicated, all courses are conducted in Spanish. Study abroad is strongly encouraged. Students planning to major in Spanish should consider studying during their junior year at Dickinson programs in Málaga, Spain or in South America (Cuenca, Ecuador and Mendoza, Argentina). Generally, students study abroad during their junior year, although exceptional students are encouraged to obtain special permission to study abroad during their sophomore year. Permission may also be granted for seniors to study abroad during the fall semester.

Portuguese and Brazilian Studies Minor

The Portuguese and Brazilian Studies (PBST) minor is interdisciplinary by nature. It enables students to analyze the diversity of the multiethnic regions that constitute the Portuguese-speaking countries (Angola, Brasil, Cabo Verde, Guine-Bissau, Mocambique, Portugal, São Tome e Príncipe, and Timor-Leste) and areas. This minor aims to provide students with an understanding of the cultural, linguistic, racial, gender, political, and socioeconomic forces and issues at play in the lusophone regions, with special emphasis on Brazil. The minor incorporates materials, methodologies, and cross-cultural comparisons from the fields of Anthropology, Archeology, Cinema, Cultural Studies, Economics, History, Latin American Studies, Literature, and Political Science.

Courses appropriate for prospective majors

Placement test

All students who wish to take Spanish at Dickinson should follow the placement exam link on the Orientation page for instructions on taking the online placement exam. The department, upon having received the test score, will notify the Registrar of the student's course placement and the Registrar will enable the student to enroll in that course. (Students will see this information when they log on to Banner.) Students should take the placement test online before July 1, 2014.

Test scores and credits that may affect course selection.

Advanced Placement scores: course credit and/or placement

A student who has achieved a grade of 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement test in Spanish will be granted credit for SPAN 116. Those students who wish to continue the study of Spanish at Dickinson MUST take the Dickinson College placement exam to determine appropriate course placement. To determine whether you need to take the placement exam, please refer to the Spanish Placement Test Flow Chart.

For course descriptions and requirements for the major, refer to the Academic Bulletin: Spanish

Courses that fulfill distribution requirements

Language Requirement:
Completion at the intermediate level, SPAN 116 or above

Division IB:
One course in Spanish literature, OR Latin American literature OR Latino literature

U.S. Diversity:
SPAN 239, Spanish for the Health Professions (offered fall only)
SPAN 295, Introduction to U.S. Latino/a Literatures and Cultures
SPAN 350, Latino/a Literatures
SPAN 385, Topics in Latino/a Studies

Writing Intensive Courses:
SPAN 231, (titles vary but focus is on writing process in Spanish)
SPAN 305, Introduction to Literary Analysis and Theory

Suggested curricular flow through the major

Majors must take a total of 11 courses. Required courses are: Spanish 230, 231, 305, and 410. Some students, after taking the placement test, may be placed into 231, in which case the requirement to take 230 is waived by the department chair. A maximum of 4 courses at the 200-level will be applied toward the major.

Please note: (a) Students who are placed into SPAN 101 and who wish to major in Spanish are encouraged to take at least one summer school language class. This will allow them to study abroad in a Spanish speaking country for at least one semester. The requirement to study abroad is SPAN 231. (b) SPAN 305, the "gateway" or "methods" course for the major/minor, should be completed before senior year. Students who have not taken it before junior year and who plan to spend junior year abroad need to confirm they will be able to take an equivalent course abroad.

The flow through the major will depend on in which language class the student places. Here are three possibilities:

Rout#1 Route#2 Route#3
First Year
SPAN 104
SPAN 116
First Year
SPAN 116
SPAN 230
First Year
SPAN 230
SPAN 231
Sophomore Year
SPAN 230
SPAN 231
Sophomore Year
SPAN 231
SPAN 305
Sophomore Year
SPAN 305
SPAN 300-level course
Junior Year
Study abroad (1 or 2 sems)
SPAN 305(or equiv abroad)
Junior Year
Study abroad (1 or 2 sems
Junior Year
Study abroad (1 or 2 sems)
Senior Year
SPAN 410 (offered both sems)
300-level SPAN courses
Senior Year
SPAN 410 (offered both sems)
300-level SPAN courses
Senior Year
SPAN 410 (offered both sems)
300-level SPAN courses

 

Honors

Spanish majors wishing to graduate with honors in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese should speak with the department Chair during the fall semester of the senior year. Honors will be awarded to students who successfully complete a significant scholarly essay (normally thirty to fifty pages in length) and defend the work during an oral examination given by a committee of departmental faculty. This project should be done in close collaboration with a department faculty member and cannot be undertaken before fulfillment of the senior seminar requirement. Essays done for the senior seminar or other advanced course will often be the starting point for the Honors project.  Detailed guidelines are available on the department's web page.  

Independent study and independent research

This is an opportunity to explore individually an area of special interest to the student within the discipline. It is normally arranged through individual contact between the student and the professor involved in the semester preceding the actual project, and approved by the department chairperson.

Co-curricular activities/programs

The department's co-curricular activities include: (1) a Spanish Club, which is open to majors and non-majors alike, sponsors lectures, field trips and other cultural activities, (2) the Spanish Table, held once a week in a private dining area of the Holland Union Building, where students and professors meet over dinner for conversation and informal discussions in Spanish, and (3) the Casa Luso-Hispana, which offers a unique opportunity for the students to live in a Spanish-speaking environment, using the Spanish language as the main vehicle for daily communication.

International students from the University of Málaga and from the National University of Cuyo in Mendoza, Argentina (where Dickinson students take classes when they study abroad) play a key role in these extra-curricular activities. These Overseas Student Assistants live in the Casa Luso-Hispana during the school year, are in charge of the Spanish Table, and assist faculty with language courses in the department.

Opportunities for off-campus study

Dickinson offers fall semester or full year programs at the University of Málaga, Spain. This program is intended to enhance and enrich the strong Spanish major the student has initiated on the Carlisle campus. Students wishing to study in Latin America may take advantage of Dickinson's program in Querétaro, Mexico. Dickinson also has Partner Programs in Argentina and Brazil. Information is available from faculty in the Spanish Department or the Center for Global Study and Engagement.

NOTE: Spanish majors going abroad should carefully plan their course schedule with the assistance of their faculty advisor.

Additional Remarks

Careers: Knowledge of the Spanish language and culture can be a major asset in professional schools and many positions in business and government. Most recent graduates in Spanish are currently employed in teaching, government agencies, social work, and private business. A number of our alumni are now doing graduate work in Spanish, and some have held teaching positions abroad. A list of careers of former Spanish majors is available in the Career Center.

Flowchart for Placement Information
Flowchart for Those Retaking Placement Exam

Note: Spanish and Portuguese and Brazilian Studies are one department but have been filed individually and alphabetically for ease of access.