Learning Goals for the Spanish Major:

- Develop an advanced level of linguistic fluency in Spanish

- Recognize texts from a wide array of societies and time periods

- Analyze texts in academic papers and/or public essays

- Utilize diverse critical approaches to the study of literature and culture

- Value the ability to understand, communicate with, and effectively interact with others across cultures

Directions for Election of the Major

A minimum of eight units exclusive of 101-102 and 201-202 must be presented for the Spanish major. Also required are at least two 300-level units, including a seminar during the senior year. Both of the 300-level courses counted towards the major must be taken at Wellesley. SPAN 350, 360, and 370 count towards the major, but normally do not fulfill the two 300-level courses requirement. One course in Portuguese taken at Wellesley at the 203-level or above may be counted toward the major in Spanish.

The major in Spanish incorporates considerable flexibility in designing a program of study, but must include the following elements, chosen in consultation with the major advisor:

- Foundational work: normally SPAN 241 and / or SPAN 242. Qualified students may begin the major at a higher level.

- Breadth: coursework focused on Spain as well as offerings focused on the Americas.

- Depth: two units in which a student concentrates on a special field of their choice, such as

· a single literary or artistic form (i.e., prose narra­tive, poetry, film)

· a broad cultural movement or theme (i.e., moder­nity, feminism, human rights)

· a specific region of the Spanish-speaking world (i.e., Mesoamerica, Southern Cone, the Caribbean, U.S. Latino) and its cultural production.

- Historical perspective: at least one unit in Medieval, Renaissance, Golden Age, or Latin American Colonial literature and culture.

Upon approval from the department, up to four courses taken during a semester of study away from Wellesley and up to five during a full academic year away may be counted toward the major.

For students interested in an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Latin America, also available is the interdepartmental major in Latin American Studies, which allows students to choose from a list of courses in different depart­ments, including Spanish. Majors devise their own programs in consultation with the directors of Latin American Studies. Students are referred to the Latin American studies interdepartmental program listing for further information.


The only route to honors in the major is writing a thesis and passing an oral examination. For students entering in Fall 2020: To be admitted to the thesis program, a student must have a grade point average of at least 3.75 in all work in the major field above the 100 level and to be approved by the department; Student with a GPA in the major is between 3.5 and 3.75 can petition the department.

Teacher Certification

Students interested in obtaining certification to teach Spanish in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts should consult Professor Renjilian-Burgy, Department of Spanish, and Professor Hawes of the Department of Education.

Advanced Placement Policies and Language Requirement

There are several paths to completing the Language Requirement in Spanish:

  • A student entering Wellesley with an Advanced Placement score of 5, an International Baccalaureate High Level score of 5, or a score of 690 on any SAT in Spanish (literature, language) fulfills the Language Requirement by taking one semester of Spanish above the level of 243.  
  • A student entering with an Advanced Placement score of 4 fulfills the Language Requirement by taking Spanish 241 (one semester).  
  • All other students with previous study of Spanish should take the Department's Placement Exam.  Based on the results of the exam, a student will fulfill the Language Requirement by taking one semester of 241, two semesters of Intermediate Spanish (201/202) or four semesters of Beginning and Intermediate Spanish (101/102/201/202).
  • A student who has been exposed to Spanish at home but has no formal study of the language may qualify to complete the Language Requirement by taking one semester of Spanish 243.  To gain admittance to this course, a student should take the Department Placement Exam and make an appointment for an interview with Professor Antonio Arraiza.
  • A student who is a native speaker or a very advanced learner of Spanish may be certified as having fulfilled the Language Requirement by permission of the department. Please contact the Chair for more information.  

Latin American Studies: An Interdepartmental Major

Students are referred to the Latin American Studies Interdepartmental Program Page for further information.