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?

Communicate internationally

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

The Interactive Language Resource Center (ILRC) welcomes all students at Miami University and is the technical hub of the four foreign language departments. Students enrolled in language courses use the ILRC to supplement and enhance their foreign language courses with language specific computer assisted language learning (CALL) software, access internet and network applications, and use various language learning specific software. Since the 1950s, when the Language Laboratory first opened to the public, the ILRC has strived to stay technologically advanced and up to date with the current trends in language learning techniques.

The ILRC serves an average of 17,800 visits each academic year. Since the ILRC began operations in 1956, we have recorded over 1,030,000 student visits to our facilities. Students have access to online movies and videos through our ILRC-Online video and file server. Up-to-date and current software allows students to create papers, reports, presentations, access the web, play simulated role-playing games, communicate and conference with each other, as well as have the resources to create many other projects and assignments. Students can print either black and white or color copies with our Pay-to-Print system.

The ILRC also assists other areas in the university, such as students in the departments and programs of American Studies, American Culture & English Program, Communication, Educational Psychology, English, Film Studies, History, Jewish Studies, Latin American Studies, Music, the Western Program, and even Accounting! We also assist the Graduate College and the College of Education with SPEAK testing (for all incoming graduate students whose native language is not English), Oral Proficiency Testing, and Written Proficiency Testing in several languages through the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. The ILRC also assists the College of Arts and Science, the four language departments, and the College’s Advising Office with the administration and maintenance of the foreign language placement exams throughout the year.

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.

What are the special admission requirements, if any?

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