Academic program



Spanish is the most widely spoken language in the Americas. 37.6 million Spanish speakers live in the United States, of whom 2.8 million are not of Hispanic heritage. Spanish is also spoken in Spain, Equatorial Guinea, Israel, and the Philippines. The established cultural, political, and economic ties among the countries in the Americas underscore the importance of this discipline.

The major in Spanish facilitates a deeper understanding of the cultures, literatures, arts, and histories of Spanish-speaking peoples. 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. More information on the Spanish department is available on the website (bates.edu/Spanish/).

Learning Goals. The Department of Spanish has the following goals for Spanish majors and minors:

1) to understand spoken and written Spanish in a variety of linguistic registers and social contexts;

2) to communicate in Spanish orally in real-life situations and in interpersonal contexts;

3) to demonstrate presentation skills in Spanish, effectively discussing orally and in writing complex topics related to fields of academic study;

4) to display interpretative skills in Spanish (reading, viewing, and listening), engaging critically a broad range of cultural productions originating in the Spanish-speaking world;

5) to be conversant with Latin American, Spanish, and U.S. Latino literatures, media, and visual arts, across historical periods, applying diverse theoretical approaches to the study of the Spanish-speaking world.

Major Requirements for the Class of 2018 and beyond. Spanish majors acquire a broad knowledge of the diverse literatures, cultural products, and cultural histories of Spanish-speaking peoples. In consultation with the faculty in Spanish, students elect courses in a variety of areas.

The majors consists of ten courses above SPAN 207, plus a thesis or portfolio, including:

1) SPAN 208. Advanced Spanish, which may be waived for heritage speakers or students who have completed part of their secondary education in a Spanish-speaking country.

2) Two courses from among the following:
SPAN 211. Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis.
SPAN 215. Readings in Spanish American Literature.
SPAN 216. Readings in Peninsular Spanish Literature.
SPAN 217. Literature and Screen.

3) Four elective courses above SPAN 208, which may include:
a) one Short term course offered by the Spanish department;
b) one course taught in English by Spanish faculty and offered in African American studies, American cultural studies, European studies, Latin American studies, or women and gender studies;
c) courses taken in an approved off-campus study program in a Spanish-speaking country.

4) Three 300-level courses on the literatures or cultures of Spain or Latin America taught in Spanish by Bates faculty.

5) A capstone project, thesis, or portfolio that demonstrates proficiency in Spanish and competency in Hispanic culture studies. This may be a literary or cultural analysis of a topic related to the Hispanic world, a creative project, a translation, or a digital portfolio. Thesis writers register for SPAN 457 in the fall, and for SPAN 457 and 458 if completing an honors thesis.

For student double-majoring in Spanish and Latin American studies: No more than one course may be applied to both the Spanish major and the Latin American studies major.

Major requirements for the Classes of 2015, 2016, and 2017. 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.

Credit Transfer. Courses taken at other institutions in Languages other than Spanish are not given credit by the deparmtent.