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 or Latin American studies, or in business, medicine, law, or international relations, are encouraged to develop advanced proficiency in Spanish.
Major Requirements. Spanish majors acquire a broad knowledge of the different literatures 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 three 200-level courses beyond SPAN 202.
2) One course taken outside of the Spanish program preapproved by the faculty in Spanish. This course may be chosen from a number of options from literary theory to history or politics of Latin America (e.g., ANTH 234, ENG 295, HIST 181, PLTC 249) or a research methods course in areas such as women and gender studies, African American studies, or American cultural studies. Study-abroad courses may be used to fulfill this requirement.
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.
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.
Students interested in proposing an independent interdisciplinary studies major with a focus on Latin American studies should contact the chair of Spanish.
Minor in Spanish. A minor requires a minimum of seven courses in Spanish (or six courses and a designated Short Term course). At least one of the seven courses must be beyond 208. Advanced Placement courses may not be applied 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 must obtain approval from a Spanish faculty member in order for their courses to count toward the major or minor; otherwise, credit 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.