World Languages & Cultures

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Major in Spanish

The Spanish major will equip students for a large variety of positions in industry, social work, medical institutions, and government where advanced proficiency in the Spanish language is required. Students will also be prepared to continue the study of Spanish or a related field in graduate school. They will develop proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in Spanish, as well as knowledge and appreciation for the rich cultural heritages of Latin America and Spain.

Upon completing the B.A. degree in Spanish, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an advanced level of communicative proficiency in writing, speaking, listening to, and reading Spanish, including a high degree of ability when interacting with native speakers and authentic texts;
  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills by analyzing and responding to various forms of communication in Spanish, including identifying and evaluating arguments, ideas, and evidence; constructing analytical responses to Spanish texts; and pursuing research in some facet of Spanish language or culture;
  • Demonstrate and apply advanced knowledge of the social, historical, political, and cultural aspects of the Spanish-speaking world and apply this knowledge to analyzing authentic cultural aspects. Students will understand how cultural products reflect or construct aspects of the Spanish-speaking world’s history, culture, and identity; and
  • Increase their own global engagement and citizenship by understanding the relationship between language and culture, developing a less ethnocentric perspective, and understanding their own identity better.

Requirements for the Spanish Major

If you have any prior experience with studying/speaking Spanish, please review our Placement Exam information prior to registration.

Students will choose a minimum of 33 total hours, which must include the capstone. 27 of them must come from the following list or be Spanish courses taken abroad, but students may opt to complete all 33 from this list.

The approved courses, all of which are three-credit-hour courses, are:

SPAN 052 – Intermediate Spanish II

SPAN 135 – Medical Terminology

SPAN 140 – Practical Speaking and Writing

SPAN 150 – Topics (Students may repeat this course as the topic varies.)

SPAN 151 – National Identity (Students may repeat this course once as the topic varies.)

SPAN 152 – Film (Students may repeat this course once as the topic varies.)

SPAN 153 – Culture and Society (Students may repeat this course once as the topic varies.)

SPAN 154 – Cultural Health Perspectives

SPAN 155 – Spanish for Business

SPAN 156 – Women of Influence

SPAN 157 – Legends and Myths

SPAN 160 – Literature (Students may repeat this course once as the topic varies.)

SPAN 165 – Capstone (Students must have senior status or instructor's approval.)

Electives: Students may earn six hours of coursework toward the major that are taught in English and that are related to the cultures of Spain and/or Latin America. Interested students should consult this list of approved electives. If you have questions about whether courses not on the list would be applicable, please contact your WLC advisor or email

Students are able to earn up to six credits in Spanish and apply them as electives to the major requirements through AP, CLEP, or IB taken while in high school. More specifically, students earn:

  • three hours for an AP placement of 4 on the language exam;
  • six hours for an AP placement of 5 on the language exam;
  • six hours for an AP placement of 4 or 5 on the literature exam;
  • three hours for a CLEP placement over 50 for the Level One exam;
  • six hours for a CLEP placement over 50 on the Level Two exam;
  • six hours for having completed an IB program and successfully passed the exam.

A minimum of 21 credits must be earned at Drake or at other institutions approved by Drake International. To earn the major, students must have a 2.67 GPA (B- average) in all Spanish courses.

The Major in Spanish may be earned in conjunction with the Minor in Spanish for the Medical and Health Professions, but no more than 12 credit hours may be counted toward both programs.

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