Spanish, B.A.

Speaking a language other than English is a necessary asset in an increasingly globalized, complex world. Mastering Spanish as the demand for bilingual workers in the U.S. continues to rise gives graduates a competitive edge in fields such as education, health care, business, international relationships, government, cultural studies, social work and law enforcement. It also enlarges one's personal horizons by increasing cultural awareness and global contacts.

Program highlights include:

  • The Spanish major at Saint Louis University prepares students for careers that require proficiency in Spanish or for graduate work in Spanish.
  • With the help of a team of dedicated, experienced faculty members, instructors, and mentors, Spanish majors focus on refining their language skills in Spanish, exploring the Hispanic cultural legacy through literature, linguistics, and/or culture, gaining familiarity with Spanish within professional contexts (such as health care), and increasing their cultural and social sensitivity. Students are encouraged to study abroad; one option is SLU's campus in Madrid, Spain.
  • In the United States, Spanish has been present for more than five centuries and it is currently the second most used language, spoken at home by more than 50 million people. Spanish is spoken around the world by more than 460 million native speakers on four continents and in 21 countries. It is the third most used language on the internet, one of the six official languages of the United Nations — along with Arabic, French, English, Mandarin, and Russian — and one of the official languages of the European Union. By 2030, Spanish speakers will make up 7.5% of the world's population.
  • Based on the growth of the Hispanic population and the increase of Spanish-speakers worldwide, bilingual English/Spanish ability and cross-cultural understanding are valued assets within all fields but especially so within the business world, health care fields, government, education, cultural as well as international studies, social work and law enforcement. In addition, it is reported the need for foreign language teachers will increase 20% over the next 10 years in the U.S. 

Curriculum Overview

Spanish majors at Saint Louis University achieve oral and written proficiency in the language while taking courses in literature, culture, linguistics, and/or Spanish for the professions. A diverse curriculum that focuses on literary, cultural and linguistic analyses provides students with an informed understanding and a critical perspective of main issues in Spanish and Hispanic societies. Thus, when graduating, a Spanish major at SLU may have taken some of the following courses: 

  • Advanced Spanish Grammar
  • Spanish Sociolinguistics
  • Spanish for the Health Professions
  • English-Spanish in Translation
  • The African Experience in Latin America
  • Latin American Film
  • Don Quixote
  • Spanish Jewry in Spain and in the Diaspora
  • Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics

In addition to coursework in the classroom, Spanish majors at SLU are encouraged to participate in service projects and social activities that help develop cultural awareness and social conscience. Thus, students are invited to be part of Sigma Delta Pi (the Spanish Honor Society), or the Spanish Club, and to participate in service projects, as well as social activities such as movie nights, cultural talks, service workshops, dinners and parties. An additional highlight is the Annual Symposium, an intellectual forum that provides students with opportunities to share their research while offering insights into the academic career.

Fieldwork and Research Opportunities

At SLU's Language Resource Center, all students have access to a wide range of multimedia technology designed to enhance the development of language and cultural proficiency. These include live satellite transmissions with news broadcasts; interactive video, film and multimedia; and a variety of computer programs.

The program encourages all students majoring in Spanish to spend one year at SLU's campus in Madrid, Spain. Besides the traditional courses in Spanish language, culture and literature, students at the Madrid campus may select from a wide variety of offerings in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Many courses are taught in English as well. This experience abroad has proven to be an invaluable asset in competing for career opportunities.


A major in Spanish, complemented by a second major, uniquely qualifies students to compete and advance in many careers. Spanish graduates can develop career paths successfully in:

  • Education
  • Medicine and health sciences
  • Business
  • Law
  • Government work; politics
  • Social work; non-governmental organizations
  • Foreign service
  • Scientific research
  • Translation and interpreting

Admission Requirements

Begin Your Application

Saint Louis University also accepts the Common Application.


All applications are thoroughly reviewed with the highest degree of individual care and consideration to all credentials that are submitted. Solid academic performance in college preparatory coursework is a primary concern in reviewing a freshman applicant’s file.

To be considered for admission to any Saint Louis University undergraduate program, applicants must be graduating from an accredited high school, have an acceptable HiSET exam score or take the General Education Development (GED) test. 


Applicants must be a graduate of an accredited high school or have an acceptable score on the GED.

Students who have attempted fewer than 24 semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must follow the above freshmen admission requirements. Students who have completed 24 or more semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must submit transcripts from all previously attended college(s).

In reviewing a transfer applicant’s file, the Office of Admission holistically examines the student’s academic performance in college-level coursework as an indicator of the student’s ability to meet the academic rigors of Saint Louis University. Where applicable, transfer students will be evaluated on any courses outlined in the continuation standards of their preferred major.

International Applicants

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students along with the following:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Proof of financial support must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include the courses taken and/or lectures attended, practical laboratory work, the maximum and minimum grades attainable, the grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

There are two principal ways to help finance a Saint Louis University education:

  • Scholarships: Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, service, leadership and financial need.
  • Financial Aid: Financial aid is provided in the form of grants and loans, some of which require repayment.

For priority consideration for merit-based scholarships, apply for admission by Dec. 1 and complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1.

For information on other scholarships and financial aid, visit the student financial services office online at

  1. Graduates will be able to articulate complex ideas and have meaningful interactions in Spanish, both orally and in writing.

  2. Graduates will be able to interpret texts and artifacts produced in Spanish.

  3. Graduates will be able to demonstrate an awareness of the diversity of the Spanish language, cultures, and Hispanic populations.

  4. Graduates will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the role of Spanish as a major world language with a relevant cultural legacy.

  5. Graduates will be able to engage with Spanish-speaking cultures. They will be able to explain similarities and differences between cultures.

Spanish students must complete a minimum total of 33 credits for the major regardless of whether they start at SPAN 2010 Inter Spanish: Lang & Culture or later. No more than two SPAN courses conducted in English will be counted toward the major in Spanish.

Core Requirements
College core requirements57-66
For additional information about core courses
Skills-Expanding Courses (not required for students with advanced proficiency)
SPAN 2010Inter Spanish: Lang & Culture3
SPAN 3010Written Communication3
SPAN 3020Oral Communication3
3000-Level Spanish Elective Courses6
Select no more than two 3000 level courses beyond SPAN 3020:
Refining Spanish Expression: Grammar & Composition
In Conversation with the Hispanic World
Spanish Pronunciation
Introduction to Medical Spanish
Race, Gender, Class and Social Justice in Latin America
4000-Level Spanish Elective Courses18
Select the number of courses needed to complete 33 credits from the following:
Advanced Spanish Grammar
Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics
Span Phonetics & Phonology
History of the Spanish Language
Spanish Sociolinguistics
Language and Linguistics
Second Language Acquisition
Spanish for the Health Professions
Business & Prof Spanish
English-Spanish in Translation
Introduction to Hispanic Literature
Short Stories: History, Histories. Deciphering Latin-American Societies and Cultures
Latin American 'Modernism'
Contemporary Latin American Poetry
Early Latin American Novel
Contemporary Latin American Novel
Contemporary Latin-Am Drama
The African Experience in Spanish America
Latin Am Novel after 1970
Identities of the Other in 19th-c. Latin American Narrative
Counter Hegemony Discourses in Latin America
Women's Literature in Latin America
Latin American Film
Cultural Stereotypes: Latin Am
Contemporary Spanish Women Writers
Strangers in a Familiar Land: Displacements in Latin America
Contemporary Latino Literature
The Kingdom of Brevity: Spanish and Spanish-American Short-Short Stories
Don Quixote
People and Things Out of Place: Transnational Border Crossings in 21st-Century Hispanic Cinema
Spanish Jewry in Spain and in the Diaspora
Narrative of the Spanish Civil War
Generation of 98
Contemporary Spanish Short Story
20th Century Spanish Poetry
20th Century Spanish Novel
Twentieth Century Spanish Drama
Peninsular Spanish Poetry 1965-present
Spanish Novel After 1970
Spanish Literature and Film
Spanish Women Poets
Spanish Culture & Civilization
The short story in medieval Spain: fear, education and humor
Spanish Medieval Masterpieces
Love in the Middle Ages
16th - 17th Century Spanish Prose
General Electives21-30
Total Credits120

Continuation Standards

All courses for the Spanish major must be completed with grade of "C" or better.

Bachelor of Arts Core Curriculum Requirements

Please note: beginning in Fall 2022, all incoming SLU undergraduates—regardless of major, program, college or school—will complete the University Core curriculum. You can find more information about SLU’s common Core here:
Core Components and Credits
Foundations of Discourse3
Diversity in the U.S.3
Global Citizenship3
Foreign Language0-9
Fine Arts3
Natural Science6
Social Science6
World History6
Total Credits57-66

Graduation Requirements

  • Complete a minimum of 120 credits (excluding pre-college level courses numbered below 1000).
  • Complete either the College of Arts and Sciences Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science Core Curriculum Requirements
  • Complete major requirements: minimum 30 credits required.
  • Complete remaining credits with a second major, minor, certificate, and/or electives to reach the minimum of 120 credits required for graduation.
  • Courses listed under the intensive English program do not count toward graduation requirements. EAP 1500 College Composition for International Students (3 cr), EAP 1900 Rhetoric & Research Strategies (3 cr) and EAP 2850 Nation, Identity and Literature (3 cr) count toward graduation requirements as equivalents to Department of English courses.

    In addition to those courses, six credits from EAP/MLNG courses at the 1000 level or higher may count toward graduation requirements
  • Achieve at least a 2.00 cumulative grade point average, a 2.00 grade point average in the major(s) and a 2.00 grade point average in the minor/certificate, or related elective credits.
  • Complete department/program-specific academic and performance requirements.
  • Complete at least 50% of the coursework for the major and 75% for the minor/certificate through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
  • Complete 30 of the final 36 credits through Saint Louis University or an approved study abroad program.
  • Complete an online degree application by the required University deadline.

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester.  Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
Participation in First-Year Mentoring Activities  
SPAN 1010 Communicating in Spanish I 1 3
UNIV 1010 Enhancing First-Year Success 1
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
Elective 3
Participation in First-Year Mentoring Activities  
SPAN 1020 Communicating in Spanish II 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
Elective 3
Year Two
Participation in Second-Year Mentoring Activities  
SPAN 2010 Inter Spanish: Lang & Culture 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
Participation in Second-Year Mentoring Activities  
SPAN 3010 Written Communication 2 3
SPAN 3020 Oral Communication 2 3
Elective 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
Year Three
SPAN 3xxx Level Elective 3 3
SPAN 3xxx Level Elective 3 3
Elective 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
SPAN 4xxx Level Elective 4 3
SPAN 4xxx Level Elective 4 3
Elective 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
Year Four
SPAN 4xxx Level Elective 4 3
SPAN 4xxx Level Elective 4 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
Elective 3
SPAN 4xxx Level Elective 5 3
SPAN 4xxx Level Elective 5 3
Elective 3
A&S Core 3
A&S Core 3
 Total Credits121

Students often begin their studies at SLU with previous experience in Spanish. Entering students take a placement test (SLUPE) to help determine their level. See the program notes for more information.


Students can take SPAN 3010 Written Communication (0,3 cr) and SPAN 3020 Oral Communication (0,3 cr) concurrently, or separately, and in any order.


Students need to take two Spanish 3000-level courses beyond SPAN 3020 Oral Communication (0,3 cr) in any order, concurrently or separately.


It is highly recommended students complete SPAN 4200 Introduction to Hispanic Literature (3 cr) and SPAN 4030 Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics (3 cr) is similarly recommended as the introductory course in the field of linguistics. Spanish 4000-level literature courses fulfill the Core Literature Requirement. Many Spanish 4000-level courses also fulfill the Global Citizenship and the Diversity in the U.S. requirements.


Completion of a research project under the supervision of a faculty member and participation at the Department of Languages Literatures and Cultures' Student Annual Symposium can enhance students' educative experience. The Annual Symposium is an intellectual forum that provides students with opportunities to share their research at local and national levels, while offering insights into academic careers.

Program Notes

The sequence of courses will vary according to the student’s previous experience with the language and individual preferences. Mentors help majors make the most out of the program.

Students have several options to study abroad in a Spanish-speaking country, including on our own campus in Madrid, Spain.

SLU Spanish majors generally complete a second or even a third major in another discipline – for example, Biology, International Business, International Studies, Latin American Studies, Psychology, Sociology, Communication, Political Science, etc.

Willing to experience Spanish life and culture firsthand? Wanting to put your language skills into practice outside the classroom? You can complete all or part of the Spanish major at SLU’s campus in Madrid. You may also choose to take many of your general degree requirements ― such as psychology, history, and theology ― in Spanish.
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