Academic program

Spanish is the most widely spoken language in the Americas, without even including ten percent of the United States population. It is also spoken in Spain, Equatorial Guinea, Israel, and the Philippines. The established cultural, political, and economic ties among all nations of the American continents underscore the importance of this discipline. The major in Spanish develops not only students' language skills, it exercises critical thinking around subjects related to the culture, literatures, art, and history of the Spanish-speaking peoples of all continents. Reading, discussing, and writing in Spanish are the principal activities of the major. Spanish majors are strongly encouraged to spend a year or a semester living and studying in a Spanish-speaking country. Students interested in graduate studies in Spanish, Latin American studies, environmental studes or in business, medicine, law, or international relations, are encouraged to develop advanced proficiency in Spanish. More information on the Spanish department is available on the website (

Major Requirements. Spanish majors acquire a broad knowledge of the different literatures, cultural products, and cultural histories of the Spanish-speaking peoples. In consultation with the faculty in Spanish, the student elects courses in a variety of areas. The requirements for the major consist of ten courses beyond SPAN 202. They must include:

1) At least two 200-level courses beyond SPAN 208.

2) At least one 300 level course.

3) At least two seminars on the literatures or cultural histories of Spain or Latin America (400-level) taught by Bates faculty, usually taken during the senior year.

One Short Term course offered by the Spanish department may be counted toward the major.

In addition, majors must complete a senior thesis (SPAN 457 or 458) written in Spanish. This may be a literary or cultural analysis of any topic related to the Hispanic world. Honors candidates register for SPAN 457 and 458.

Minor in Spanish. A minor requires a minimum of seven courses in Spanish beyond SPAN 201. At least one of the seven courses must be a 300-level course. One Short Term course offered by the Spanish department may be counted toward the minor. Advanced Placement courses may not be counted toward the minor.

Study Abroad. Spanish majors are encouraged to gain proficiency in the language through the experience of studying in a Spanish-speaking country. For the major a maximum of three credits is normally recognized for one semester and five for two semesters of study in a recognized program. For a minor the maximum number is two for one semester and three for two semesters. Students are encouraged to speak with their Spanish advisor regarding course offerings, before going abroad, otherwise credit toward the major or minor is not guaranteed.

Pass/Fail Grading Option. The use of the pass/fail option is restricted to one course within the major and the minor. 400-level seminars cannot be taken pass/fail.

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