Spanish Studies Minor

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Department of World Languages and Cultures
Program Type
World Languages and Cultures
College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

About this Program

Spanish is the second most spoken language in the United States and in the world. In the Spanish Studies minor, you will gain proficiency in the language, and you will gain insight into cultures and communities where Spanish is spoken. Take a wide array of courses in Spanish in areas like culture, sustainability, history, art, Business Spanish, film, and literature here at UMD and expand your horizons! Spanish faculty at UMD are dynamic, award-winning educators and scholars who have significant experiences and connections in the Americas and in Spain. Our courses combine deep critical engagement in meaningful content with creative and joyous opportunities for interpersonal connection--all in Spanish! We also offer study abroad opportunities, such as our faculty-led program to the University of Salamanca, exciting co-curricular programming, such as movie nights, Yoga in Spanish, talks by professors, and much more. Come join our community!

Students who pursue this minor will complete or satisfy Spanish language through the advanced level in preparation for further coursework. The wide array of courses beyond the Advanced Spanish language course (SPAN 2301) fosters critical thinking in the target language, intercultural competency, knowledge of Spanish-speaking world cultures, and understanding of cultural production across time and space.

Acquired Skills

Spanish Studies fosters the development of cross-cultural competency and broader world perspectives through the study of history, cultural production and texts of Spanish-speaking communities and cultures, and their concomitant inherent diversity. This minor presupposes the acquisition of Spanish language in order to carry out coursework in the study, analysis and understanding of literary texts and cultural products from Spain, Latin America, and United States Latino communities. It prepares students for graduate or professional school programs such as law, or for work in government, in education or with agencies and businesses having international ties. Many students who minor Spanish Studies major in science or business.

Program Learning Outcomes

Career Possibilities

Recent graduates have utilized their intercultural competency, language proficiency and critical thinking skills in a variety of careers and experiences: working in the Peace Corps, Human Resources, Cultural Consulting, Government work in the US and abroad, AmeriCorps, teaching abroad as well as in the US; continuing studies in professional programs such as Law and Pharmacy, or attending graduate school in Linguistics, Museum Studies, Hispanic Studies, Government and Public Policy, Education and Communication Sciences and Disorders.

Recent UMD Graduates Job Placement Data

Admissions and Scholarships

CAHSS is proud to be able to offer over 90 alumni and donor-funded scholarships to our students each year.  In total over $190,000 is awarded out to CAHSS majors and some minors as well. Each department facilitates the process for their specific scholarships and students are also encouraged to apply for CAHSS-wide scholarships offered to students in any field.

Student Clubs

The UMD Club de Español (Spanish Club) is a student-run organization that plans events where students (and faculty) can connect and celebrate their love of the Spanish language and Hispanic cultures. Recent events include a bonfire in Bagley Nature Area, a holiday goodie decorating party, yoga in Spanish, among others. The club has also hosted fundraisers such as Mock-arita miércoles. The club’s leadership team organizes student volunteering with the Spanish immersion program at Lowell Elementary School.

Faculty Highlights

Our faculty are nationally and internationally known scholars who publish on the literature, cinema, social realities and diversity of the Spanish-speaking world.

Recent publications pertain to identity and intersectionality as they relate to race, gender and language use; female exile in Europe; representation and identity formation in 21st-century Spain; recovery of historical memory in the wake of the Spanish Civil War and dictatorship, social media and indigeneity, among others.

Our faculty secure prestigious grants to travel to conduct interviews, research in archives, and have first-hand contact with the subjects they investigate. The faculty have received recognition and awards for their teaching and research.

Our faculty are leaders, including holding elected positions in organizations such as the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. We connect with our community through events such as the World Languages and Cultures Film Series, in which we have shown and discussed cinematic works such as "Ixcanul," the first film every produced in the Kaqchikel language (which is in the Mayan family language group), and "14 kilómetros," on the perilous and deadly voyage of those who cross the Strait of Gibraltar into Spain in search of a better life.