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. To be admitted to the thesis program, a student must have a grade point average of at least 3.5 in all work in the major field above the 100 level; the department may petition on their behalf if their GPA in the major is between 3.0 and 3.5. See Academic Distinctions.
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
A student may receive one unit of credit and satisfy the foreign language requirement with a grade of 5 on either of the AP Spanish exams. They will lose the AP credit(s) if they take SPAN 202 or a lower-numbered course. AP credit does not count toward the major in Spanish.
General Foreign Language Requirement
A student may receive one unit of credit and satisfy the foreign language requirement with a grade of 5 on either or both of the AP Spanish exams. They will lose the AP credit(s) if they take SPAN 202 or a lower-numbered course. AP credit does not count toward the major in Spanish. A student may also satisfy the foreign language requirement with a grade of 690 or higher on the Spanish SAT II. A student who does not present the above AP or SAT II scores should take the Spanish Placement Test when they arrive at Wellesley College.
The only route to honors in the major is writing a thesis and passing an oral examination. To be admitted to the thesis program, a student must have a grade point average of at least 3.5 in all work in the major field above the 100-level; the department may petition on their behalf if their GPA in the major is between 3.0 and 3.5. See Academic Distinctions.
By petitioning the Registrar (through the Dean) for exemption from this requirement if a student's native language is not English and they have been educated in literature courses in their native language through high school.
Students interested in obtaining certification to teach Spanish in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts should consult Ms. Renjilian-Burgy and Ms. Beatty of the Department of Education.
Latin American Studies: An Interdepartmental Major
Students are referred to the Latin American Studies Interdepartmental Program Page for further information.
Latin America remains one of the most fascinating regions of the world. Whether focusing upon the region's politics, literature, cultural diversity, history, or economy, the student of Latin America and Latino culture in the U.S. is continually challenged by the rich complexity of Mexico and the nations of Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.
The Latin American Studies major seeks to understand the Latin American experience through an interdisciplinary program of study. Students must submit a plan of study following the requirements listed below for approval by the directors. The Latin American Studies major requires Spanish proficiency at the level of 241 or above. A minimum of nine units (excluding Spanish 241 and 242), with a concentration of four courses in one of the following departments: Art History, Political Science, Sociology, History, or Spanish constitute the major. Of these nine units constituting a minimum for the major, at least two must be taken at the 300 level. It is recommended that one of these two be a seminar. Courses with an asterisk (*) require notifying the instructor that the course is to be counted for Latin American Studies. The asterisk also signifies that a research paper in the course will focus on Latin America.
The student must exhibit a degree of proficiency in the oral and written use of Spanish by successful completion of two Spanish language courses beyond the College’s foreign language requirement (above the intermediate level). In some cases an oral and written proficiency exam may be substituted. In the case where the student’s area of interest is better served by proficiency in another language (e.g. Portuguese), that language may be substituted in consultation with the directors. Qualified juniors are encouraged to spend a semester or a year in Latin America. To be eligible for study in Latin America a student should normally be enrolled in SPAN 241 or higher level language or literature course the previous semester.
Majors may also apply to the Five-Year Cooperative M.A. Program at Georgetown University in Latin American Studies. This program enables the student to apply upper-level Latin American Studies courses taken at Wellesley toward the master’s degree at Georgetown. A summer of study at the Universidad Católica in Santiago, Chile, taken during an undergraduate summer, and a year of academic work at Georgetown are required to earn the master’s degree at Georgetown in one year. Interested students should contact the directors of Latin American Studies or Career Education.