Majoring in Spanish

Spanish Major

The goal of the major in Spanish is to foster knowledge of the language, literature, history, and culture of the Spanish-speaking world. As students of the humanities, Spanish majors cultivate skills in research, analysis, and communication that is essential for a lifetime of intellectual engagement within and beyond our national borders.

Please note: Per university policy, "The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at www.virginia.edu/registrar/catalog/ugrad.html."

The Declaration Process

Deadline to be Assigned to a SPAN Major Advisor during Fall 2017:  Friday, November 17

Students who are interested in majoring in Spanish should begin by reviewing the requirements for the major described below. The last day to declare during the semester is two weeks before the last day of classes. Students may NOT declare a Spanish major along with a Spanish minor or a Business Spanish minor.

This department does not assign major advisors:

  • When classes are not in session
  • During the first three (3) weeks of the Fall and Spring semesters
  • During Summer Session

Study Abroad reminders:

If you are planning to study abroad and want to major in Spanish and have met the prerequisite (SPAN 3010), make sure you declare before you go. Once you are abroad, if you decide to major, you will have to wait until your return to UVa.

If you complete SPAN 3010 immediately before leaving and are thus unable to declare before going abroad, please contact Ms. Shawn Harris, Undergraduate and Graduate Program Support, for assistance.

When you are ready to declare, please do the following:

1.  Pick-up a Declaration of Major form and complete the top portion – The forms are located in Monroe Hall 101.

2.  Choose your concentration and write it on your declaration form – When declaring the Spanish major, students are required to choose one of the three concentrations -- General, Literature & Culture, or Linguistics & Philology -- to give structure to their Spanish studies. Your concentration must be indicated on your declaration form. The specific course requirements for each concentration are listed below in the Spanish Major Concentrations section.

3.  Plan to attend one of the Spanish Advising Workshops – The workshops are held in the early weeks of the fall and spring semesters (see Spanish Advising Workshops below). Students who are unable to attend an advising workshop should complete the top portion of the major declaration form and bring it to the department office (New Cabell Hall 444) to be assigned an advisor. After you've been assigned an advisor, you'll need to meet with him/her to discuss the major and complete the declaration paperwork. (Note: If you cannot attend the declaration workshop, then please visit New Cabell 444 on any work day after the workshop date to be assigned to a major advisor. That advisor can then help you with your major declaration during his or her office hours.)

4.  Submit the signed declaration form to your School's registrar – Once it's signed by your advisor, the declaration form (white copy) should be submitted to the registrar of your School. (For the College of Arts & Sciences, Monroe Hall 106.) Note:  The declaration process isn't complete until your form is submitted to your School's registrar and your information is entered into the Student Information System (SIS).

Major Advising Workshops

Fall 2017 Spanish Major Advising Workshop: Monday, September 11 at 6:00 PM in New CAB 485

Spanish major advising workshops are held in the early weeks of the Fall and Spring semesters. (Please check the departmental calendar for the time and location.) Students who want to declare a major should attend and bring a Declaration of Major form, available in the College Registrar’s Office located in Monroe Hall 101.

The workshops are presided over by Spanish Faculty Advisors who will review the highlights of declaring a Spanish major, answer questions from students, assign advisors, and sign major declaration forms during the workshop. All students are welcome to attend to get more information about the Spanish program.

Students who are unable to attend an advising workshop should complete the top portion of the major declaration form and bring it to the department office (New Cabell Hall 444) to be assigned an advisor. After you've been assigned an advisor, you'll need to make an appointment with him/her to discuss the major and complete the declaration paperwork.

Prerequisites for Majoring in Spanish

In order to declare a major in Spanish, a student must have completed SPAN 3010 (Grammar & Composition I) or the equivalent, with a grade of C or better. A C- is insufficient. Students must complete SPAN 3010 at the University of Virginia or through a study abroad program recommended, not merely approved, by the department. (Please see the Study Abroad section below for distinction.)

Students who have scored a 4 on the Advanced Placement (AP) Spanish Language exam will proceed directly to SPAN 3010. Students who have scored 5 on the AP Spanish Language exam place out of SPAN 3010 and may not take it for credit. Students who place out of SPAN 3010 in any way are eligible to enroll in any SPAN class for which 3010 is the sole pre-requisite. These include SPAN 3000, 3020, 3030, 3031, 3032, 3040, 3200, and 3300.

Requirements for Majoring in Spanish

Overview

The Spanish major consists of thirty (30) credits completed above SPAN 3010 with a grade of C or better. Note: SPAN 3010 is the prerequisite for declaring a major in Spanish.

  • Courses in which a student receives a C- or less will not count toward the major.
  • As in the case of any major in the College of Arts and Sciences, only courses taken for a grade will count for the major.
  • When declaring the Spanish major, all students are required to choose one of the three concentrations (General, Literature & Culture, or Linguistics & Philology) to give structure to their Spanish studies. The specific course requirements for each concentration are listed below in the Spanish Major Concentrations section.

Course Sequence

Students are expected to take courses in the sequence indicated below for each concentration. Students are reminded that:

1. They may not count the same Spanish course twice for the fulfillment of the Spanish major.

For example: If a student takes SPAN 4700 (Spanish Culture and Civilization) to fulfill the major requirement for one Culture and Civilization course, they may not also count that same course as one of the “Four courses at the 4000 level.”

The Spanish major consists of 10 different courses for a total of 30 credits.

2. Spanish majors may not take a survey course (3400 through 3430) during their fourth year, unless:

  1. they are on the Linguistics and Philology track; OR
  2. they began upper level Spanish study late enough that it would have been impossible to have taken the survey course any earlier.

If these circumstances do not apply, then the student must take an additional 4000-level literature course as a substitute for the missing survey.

The substitute course must be in the same area as the survey being replaced (i.e. a Latin American literature course for a Latin American literature survey, or a Spanish literature course for a Spanish literature survey).

AP Scores

Students with a score of 4 or 5 on the AP Spanish Literature exam place out of SPAN 3300 and may not take it for credit; they may proceed to any SPAN course at the 3000 level, EXCEPT 3010 and 3300.

  • Students who are placed out of SPAN 3300 must still earn 30 credits of upper-division Spanish to complete the major, substituting another literature course for SPAN 3300. A survey of literature course (SPAN 3400-3430) may substitute for 3300 as long as it is not used to count as one of the required surveys.
  • All students who place themselves incorrectly may lose credit for the courses in which they enroll without departmental permission.
  • Only one conversation course may be counted toward the major.
  • Native speakers of Spanish may not enroll in conversation courses.

Study Abroad

It is expected, but not required, that all Spanish majors will complete at least a summer of study abroad. All are highly encouraged to study abroad for a semester or a year. The department distinguishes between Recommended Study Abroad programs and Approved Study Abroad programs. (Please see the Study Abroad section below for distinction.)

Study Abroad Credit

All study abroad courses taken for major credit must be taught in Spanish, but the language of instruction alone does not qualify any course for credit for the Spanish major.

Students who study in a recommended program may count the following number of credits toward their Spanish major:

  • Up to 15 credits per semester of study abroad
  • Up to 24 credits per year of study abroad

Students who study in an approved program in Spain or Latin America may count the following number of credits toward their Spanish major:

  • Up to 9 credits for a semester of study abroad
  • Up to 15 credits for a year of study abroad

Concentrations in the Spanish Major

When declaring the Spanish major, students are required to choose one of the three concentrations listed below to give structure to their Spanish studies. Students who wish to change their Spanish major concentration must get permission, in writing, from their assigned major advisor. The department will forward the approval to the registrar of the student's School, so that it can be updated in SIS.

General Concentration

The Spanish major (General Concentration) consists of prerequisite coursework (SPAN 3010, Grammar & Composition I), and an additional ten additional courses at the 3000- and 4000-level. Please note that the prerequisite must be satisfied before declaring the major.

To download a pdf of the requirements for the General Concentration, please click here: General Concentration Requirements & Course Grid.

Each course in the major consists of three credit hours. These courses are:

  • Texts & Interpretation (SPAN 3300)   Note: SPAN 3300 must be taken at UVa or through a recommended study abroad program. It must be satisfied before continuing to survey or literature courses.
  • Two (2)  Language or Linguistics Courses
  • One (1)  Survey of Spanish Literature Course
  • One (1)  Survey of Latin American Literature Course
  • One (1)  Culture & Civilization Course
  • Two (2)  Literature Courses at the 4000-level
  • Two (2)  Electives at the 4000-level

Literature & Culture Concentration

The Spanish major (Literature & Culture Concentration) consists of prerequisite coursework (SPAN 3010, Grammar & Composition I), and an additional ten additional courses at the 3000- and 4000-level. Please note that the prerequisite must be satisfied before declaring the major.

To download a pdf of the requirements for the Literature & Culture concentration, please click here: Literature and Culture Concentration Requirements & Course Grid

Each course in the major consists of three credit hours. These courses are:

  • Texts & Interpretation (SPAN 3300)  Note: SPAN 3300 must be taken at UVa or through a recommended study abroad program. It must be satisfied before continuing to survey or literature courses.
  • One (1)  Survey of Spanish Literature Course
  • One (1)  Survey of Latin American Literature Course
  • One (1)  Culture & Civilization Course
  • Three (3)  Literature Courses at the 4000-level
  • Three (3)  Literature or Culture & Civilization Courses at the 4000-level

Linguistics & Philology Concentration

The Spanish major (Linguistics & Philology Concentration) consists of prerequisite coursework (SPAN 3010, Grammar & Composition I), and an additional ten additional courses at the 3000- and 4000-level. Please note that the prerequisite must be satisfied before declaring the major.

To download a pdf of the requirements for the Linguistics & Philology concentration, please click here: Linguistics and Philology Requirements & Course Grid

Each course in the major consists of three credit hours. These courses are:

Please note: To declare this concentration, students must get approval from the linguistics advisor, Joel Rini.

  • Phonetics (SPAN 3000)
  • Grammar & Composition II (SPAN 3020)
  • Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics (SPAN 3200)
  • Texts & Interpretation (SPAN 3300)
  • Survey Spanish Literature I (SPAN 3400)
  • History of the Language I (SPAN 4200)  
  • Hispanic Sociolinguistics (SPAN 4202)
  • Structure of Spanish (SPAN 4203)
  • History of the Spanish Language II (SPAN 4210)
  • Seminar (SPAN 4530)

Distinguished Major Program (DMP) Requirements

Distinguished Majors must complete 12 courses post-high school (10 courses in the major, and an additional two courses). In other words, AP credit does not count as one of these 12 courses; neither does 3010, Grammar Review.

  • DMP Colloquium (SPAN 4980) - This course is taken during the Fall semester of the 4th year, as Credit/No Credit for 3 credit hours, with Professor Alison Weber as the instructor.
  • DMP Thesis (SPAN 4989) - This course is taken during the Spring semester of the 4th year, as Graded Option for 3 credit hours, with your thesis advisor is the instructor.

For additional information about the Distinguished Major Program, please click here.

Transfer Credit

With approval from the Department, a student who transfers to UVa from another college or university may apply up to 12 credit hours towards the major requirements.

Waitlist and Course Permissions

The Department of Spanish, Italian & Portuguese uses wait lists and permission lists, through the Student Information System (SIS), for course enrollment. The department does not accept course action forms. For guidance with getting on a wait list or permission list, please visit the SIS Help Center.

If a course is full, please use the wait list or permission list through SIS. Please do no contact the professor.

Study Abroad

If you are planning to study abroad and want to major in Spanish and have met the prerequisite (SPAN 3010), make sure you declare before you go. Once you are abroad, if you decide to major, you will have to wait until your return to UVa.

If you complete SPAN 3010 immediately before leaving and are thus unable to declare before going abroad, please contact Ms. Shawn Harris, Undergraduate and Graduate Program Support, for assistance.

Spanish majors are very strongly encouraged to study abroad for a summer, a semester, or preferably a year. This work must be carried out either in a recommended UVa program or in a program approved by the Spanish faculty.

The recommended programs are UVa in Valencia (summer & semester) and UVa in Costa Rica (summer).

The approved programs are those that have been reviewed and approved by the Spanish faculty, the International Studies Office (ISO), and the College of Arts and Sciences (CLAS). These are all of the other programs mentioned on this site, and on the Study Abroad website. Students who wish to study in a program that does not appear on this list must go through the petition process administered by the ISO and provide a compelling academic reason for studying in a non-approved program.

Please note that while there are many other programs approved by the ISO for study in Spain, Central and South America, not all of these are approved for Spanish MAJOR credit by the Spanish faculty. Students may still pursue the other program options on the ISO website for elective credit or for another major without a petition to the Spanish program.

For more details about how to study abroad for your Spanish major, please click here.

Independent Study

Independent study with a faculty advisor is available to advanced students who wish to pursue specific areas in depth that are not included in the regular curriculum. All of these courses are taught in Spanish. For an independent study course to count for the Spanish major it must be taken for a grade.

Grants & Awards

Each year, the Department rewards excellence in Undergraduate and Graduate studies by awarding the following fellowships and awards (see Department Chair for details):

T. Braxton Woody Fellowship: This fellowship, administered by the Jefferson Society, is given to rising 4th year students in Spanish. The T. Braxton Woody Fellowship honors students who have demonstrated superior academic performance and have contributed to the Department and other Hispanic activities at the University.

Hispanic Studies Program Award: This award is given to an undergraduate student who has contributed to the UVa Hispanic Studies Program in Valencia.

Virginia Louise Garth Scholarship: This scholarship is offered to an undergraduate student from Virginia who has demonstrated outstanding academic performance and who has contributed to the life and well-being of the Spanish Department. This scholarship is offered by the Garth family in honor of their late daughter.

Marie M. Giuliano Award: This award is given to a fourth-year graduating student on the basis of demonstrated academic excellence in Spanish or Italian language study and a contribution to the growth and nurturing of Spanish or Italian at the University.

Wyatt Family Summer Fellowship for Distinguished Majors (DMPs) in Spanish: This award provides support up to $4,000 for Distinguished Majors in Spanish to conduct research in a Spanish-speaking country during the summer between their third and fourth years. The funds may be used for field research, archival research, interviews, museum study, or other activities related to the student’s proposed thesis topic.

Wyatt Family Summer Scholarships for Spanish Majors: This scholarship, for Spanish Majors, aims to support students pursuing a total immersion experience so they can improve their language skills early in their major and bebetter prepared to complete their upper level courses on-grounds. Students are encouraged to attend our two established UVA summer Spanish programs in Costa Rica and Valencia, but may go to any ISO/department approved program. Preference may be given to students who have not been abroad before. Scholarship award amounts range from $2000 to $3000 and depend upon the qualifications of the applicant pool. To apply, students must complete the Education Abroad Scholarship application through the International Studies Office.

Additionally, the University's Center for Undergraduate Excellence includes a searchable database for research and funding opportunities. Please visit their page for more information.

B.A./M.T. in Elementary Education (Five-year Program for Undergraduates)

Students wanting to enroll in the five-year B.A./M.T. Teacher Education Program (Elementary Education) should contact Professor Ruth Ferree in the Curry School of Education. The five-year program leads toward teaching certification and has special requirements, including a mandatory study abroad and diagnostic and evaluative proficiency exams in Spanish.

For more information on combining your B.A. in Spanish with a Master of Teaching, please visit the Curry School page.

Major or Minor in Latin American Studies

For major and minor requirements please go to the Latin American Studies homepage.

For more information, please contact Professor Thomas Klubock, Department of History, 281 Nau Hall, (434) 924-7147.