Spanish (SPAN)

Spanish (SPAN)

Courses and programs in Spanish are offered by the Department of Modern Languages and Classics

Department Policy - Modern Languages and Classics

1. Enrollment in some language courses involves the following formal placement procedures.

All students seeking entry into language courses who have not previously taken a language course at Saint Mary’s University must complete and return the Language Profile Form to the Department of Modern Languages and Classics.

Based on the information provided in the Language Profile Form, students may receive notification from the Department to appear for an oral interview and/or a written placement test at a designated time.

The Department of Modern Languages determines the appropriate course placement for each student

(i) Permission to register or remain in a particular language course can be refused if the Department judges that the student’s knowledge exceeds the level for that course.
(ii) Native speakers are not eligible to receive advanced credit for language courses.
(iii) Completion of Advanced Standing (transfer) courses does not exempt a student from taking the placement test.

2. The student’s eligibility to enroll in language, culture, and literature courses, and in specific sections of those courses, is determined by the Chairperson in consultation with the instructor in light of the student’s ability level in the language concerned, previous course work completed at university or elsewhere, and overall size of the course or section of a course. In matters of placement, the decision of the Chairperson is final.

3. In order to ensure the academic integrity in language courses, especially at the lower levels of instruction, the Department of Modern Languages and Classics does not allow native or near-native speakers of a particular target language to enroll in courses at the 2000 level or lower.

Students who misrepresent their knowledge of any given language by providing inaccurate or incomplete information about their linguistic educational history will be subject to disciplinary action as laid out in Academic Regulation 19.

4. The Department of Modern Languages and Classics supports a policy of regular class attendance by students.

Frequent, unexplained absences from class will result in a lowering of the final grade in a manner to be determined by each faculty member.

5. Students should note that courses in literature and/or culture fulfill the BA Humanities requirement 3(c) but do not fulfill the 3(b) requirement. The courses designated with an * in front of the number satisfy the 3(c) requirement.

Programs in Spanish and Hispanic Culture

The following programs are available in the area of Spanish and Hispanic Culture: a major, a minor, a concentration, a Certificate in Spanish Language and Hispanic Culture and a Minor in Latin American Studies.

Major in Spanish and Hispanic Culture

A major in Spanish and Hispanic Culture consists of thirty- six (36) credit hours:

  • 12 credit hours at any level
  • 12 credit hours at the 2000-level and above, and
  • 12 credit hoursat the 3000-level and above.

Courses counting towards the major are normally chosen from among the SPAN courses in language, literature, culture. After consultation with the Spanish Advisor or the Chairperson of Modern Languages and Classics, these can be supplemented [to a maximum of twelve (12) credit hours] by courses from other disciplines whose principal subjects are the arts, history or current reality of Spain and Spanish-speaking Latin America.

Concentration in Spanish

To obtain a concentration in Spanish in partial fulfillment of the B.A. General Degree (i.e. one with a Double Arts Concentration and a minimum of ninety (90) credit hours), a minimum of twenty-four (24) credit hours in Spanish is required. At most 6 credit hours can be at the 1000 level. Also, the minimum grade point average is 2.00.

Minor in Spanish and Hispanic Culture

A minor in Spanish and Hispanic Culture consists of twenty-four (24) credit hours, with at least fifteen (15) credit-hours at the 2000-level or above.  A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00 is required for courses in the minor program.

Minor in Latin American Studies

Minor in Latin American Studies
Students majoring in a discipline other than Spanish may obtain a minor in Latin American Studies by completing the equivalent of twenty-four (24) credit hours approved for the program. These must include:

a) SPAN 1000 Introduction to Latin American Studies
b) SPAN 1100 Introduction to the Spanish Language
c) HIST 1262 Introduction to Latin American History
d) And twelve (12) other credit hours with a focus on Latin America in at least two different disciplines taken from the list below:

HIST 2250, HIST 2251, HIST 3480, HIST 4530, IDST 4463, SPAN 3310, SPAN 3312, SPAN 3320, SPAN 4400 and other courses approved by the Program Advisor.

Students without prior knowledge of Spanish will need the prerequisite 6 credit hours of SPAN 1100, or the equivalent. Students with beginner-level knowledge of Spanish can receive advanced placement into SPAN 2204/2205. Students with intermediate-level knowledge or higher are not eligible to enroll in SPAN 2204 or 2205, but will be required to substitute an additional six (6) credits decided in consultation with the program coordinator.

Certificate in Spanish and Hispanic Culture (Cert. H.C.)

The certificate program in Spanish Language and Hispanic Culture is designed to provide linguistic and cultural knowledge to persons interested in studying and/or working in a Spanish-speaking country. It consists of twenty-four (24) credit hours and is intended for undergraduate students and persons already holding degrees in any discipline.


Admission to the certificate program requires a formal application for admission and the official approval of the Spanish Advisor. Application forms are available from the Registrar. Students majoring in Spanish at Saint Mary’s University are not eligible for this program. Eighteen (18) of the twenty-four (24) credit hours must be completed at Saint Mary’s.

Program Courses

The program consists of twelve (12) required credit hours in language, SPAN 1100 and/or 2204, 2205, 2206, 3303, 3306 and /or and a number of optional credit hours. These optional credit hours must be at the 3000 level or above and will be chosen from the following courses:

  • SPAN 3310 Latin American Culture
  • SPAN 3312 Introduction to Latin American Literature
  • SPAN 3313 20th Century Latin American Literature
  • SPAN 3314 DEvelopment and Dystopias in Latin American
  • SPAN 3320 Latin American Travel Literature
  • SPAN 4400 Dictatorship and Memory in Latin American Modern Fiction
  • HIST 4530 Forced and Free Migration in Latin America

Other courses are possible, subject to the approval of the Coordinator for Spanish.

Requirements for Graduation

A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00 in this certificate program is required. Students who have completed all the courses without being officially admitted to the program will not be accredited.