Bachelor of Arts | College of Arts and Science
What is Spanish?
Spanish is the national language in 19 countries on four continents and is the fourth most spoken language world wide. Los Angeles is now the second-largest Spanish-speaking city in the world. In some areas of the United States, it is used in schools, courts, business, and every phase of daily life. In a few years, more than 35 percent of all Americans will speak Spanish as their first language. Our ties with Latin America continue to grow, and in the past decade, U.S. trade has grown faster in the Northern and Southern hemispheres than in any other part of the world.
What are the features of Miami's program?
You can view important events from around the world on SCOLA (Satellite Communications for Learning), the international news programming network which is part of Miami's academic cable television system. You also have access to international e-mail networks and bulletin boards through Netscape.
Expand your career options
The foreign language majors at Miami are designed to allow you to complete a second major within four years. This broadens your education as well as your career possibilities.
Use our high-tech lab
Miami's language lab has an impressive variety of technical aids for your independent study. In the individual station area, each of the 40 booths has a monitor, VCR, and cassette player so you can work on your oral comprehension and pronunciation, watch a foreign language film, or view a news broadcast from a foreign television station via SCOLA. Lab managers can assist you by taping broadcasts, translating tapes from other formats into ones usable in the lab, and guiding your use of the language word processing programs.
Highly qualified leadership
Our international faculty are true teacher-scholars who maintain a strong interest in and are actively involved with undergraduate students, with small classes allowing close attention, through working with students on independent study projects, and in the Summer Scholars program. Their areas of expertise are broad and include Spain, Latin America, and linguistics. Study abroad is highly encouraged for majors and minors, and each year, the department sends many students to programs throughout the Spanish-speaking world. The Portuguese program is growing, with courses in language, literature, cultural studies, and related areas.
Are there special admission requirements?
There are no additional admission requirements for this program.
What courses would I take?
Among the requirements for the Spanish major are courses in language skills as well as courses in Latin American and Peninsular Spanish literature and linguistics. These courses provide the broadest possible exposure to the many aspects of Hispanic language and civilization, from the medieval epic of the Cid through Cervantes and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz and such contemporary writers as García Lorca, Borges, Isabel Allende, Rosario Castellanos, and García Márquez.
You will study subjects in their cultural and historical context. Courses are taught in related sequences. For example, if you take "Spanish Literature in the (Spanish) Civil War," the text covers literature, art, history, and frequently film. Linguistics classes focus on the cultural influences of/on language, second-language acquisition, dialectology, and other areas.
You may be eligible for credit through advanced placement examinations. Check with the department for details. You can also apply for departmental honors, several department-sponsored scholarships, and an essay award.
Outside the classroom, you can get to know fellow students and professors and learn more about the culture and language through extracurricular activities sponsored by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. There are also films, guest lecturers, and picnics for students, faculty, and staff.
What can I do with this major?
Because of the growing importance of Spanish in this country, career opportunities for majors are stronger and more varied than ever. Our graduates are working in businesses with Latin American connections, in law offices with Hispanic clients, and as health professionals, sociologists, teachers, coaches, and law enforcement personnel. Some continue their studies in graduate schools; Miami's well-regarded MA program in Spanish now offers a five-year BA/MA option for the strongest students who may apply to the program in their junior year.
Like other liberal arts backgrounds, a major in foreign language and literature serves as a good base for careers in fields where broad educational experience is more important than a strictly vocational major. Combining language knowledge with other skills can lead to positions in such diverse areas as education, journalism, business, tourism, government service, and the armed forces. A second major or minor are options many language students choose to help achieve their career goals.
Some job titles directly related to foreign language study are interpreter, travel agent, foreign correspondent, translator, librarian, immigration inspector, radio announcer, Peace Corps member, international public relations specialist, and international market researcher.
Many language majors take advantage of our teacher certification program and work in public and private schools. An undergraduate degree in a foreign language is a solid foundation for graduate work in international business, law, diplomacy, library science, or more specialized study in language.
Who can I contact for more information?
Department of Spanish and Portuguese
268 Irvin Hall
Oxford, OH 45056