¡Bienvenidos! With more than 400 million Spanish speakers, Spanish is one of the most important languages in our globalized world.

Globalization is part of the reality of the twenty-first century and speaking Spanish has almost become a necessity. Thus, the study of the Spanish language and its culture is quite practical. Given the Hispanic presence in the United States and the proximity of our Spanish-speaking neighbors in Latin America, proficiency in Spanish is increasingly advantageous and even necessary for numerous professions and careers. 

The Spanish area faculty members recognize the need to provide today's students with a broad education and perspective. To that end the Spanish area offers three different concentrations (majors) as well as a minor.  The three concentrations are:

  1. Hispanic Studies
  2. International Studies-Spanish
  3. A Certification Program for teaching grades 7-12 (More information and details are available on Certification-Only Secondary Program (COS) (Spanish) page.)

Some facts:

  • Spanish is the official language of 21 countries
  • Spanish is a language of business
  • Spanish is the third most commonly used language on the Internet (after English and Chinese)
  • Spanish is the second most used language in international communication, and an official language of the UN and its organizations
  • There are approximately 53 million Hispanics in the United States according to the Census Bureau
  • The Hispanic population in the United States is the largest of any country in the Spanish-speaking world except for Mexico 
  • Spanish is the second most used language in the United States
  • Spanish serves as the most commonly taught foreign language in the United States

Sources: Pew Hispanic Center and American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese

Degree Requirements

  • B.A. in Hispanic Studies

    The concentration in Hispanic Studies offers students a thorough training in the Spanish language and the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world. Concentrators are required to complete course work in three general areas:

    1. Spanish language including advanced-level courses and the specialized course in language of business,
    2. Hispanic culture and civilization, and
    3. the literature of the Hispanic people.

    Emphasis is placed on the Spanish-speaking world as a whole, not just on a specific country or point of view. Students are trained to be able to travel, live, work and function within a broad range of Spanish-speaking regions and cultures

    All students concentrating in Hispanic Studies must complete 24 hours of course work at the 300 or 400 levels and 48 hours overall.


    The following courses are a sample of some of the offerings of the program, but not a exact path to graduation. Students enrolled in this program MUST see an Academic Advisor from Hispanic Studies every semester and an Academic Advisor from Advising and Academic Success (CASL Building 1039) at least two semesters BEFORE graduation.

    Grammar-Conversation-Culture courses

    •   Spanish 301: Advanced Conversation and Composition I

    •   Spanish 302: Advanced Conversation and Composition II

    Specialized language courses 

    •   Spanish 305: Language of Business 

    •   Spanish 310: Hispanic Linguistics

    Civilization/culture courses

    •   Spanish 356: Spanish Civilization and Culture

    •   Spanish 357: Latin American Civilization and Culture

    •   Spanish 358: Spain in the Twentieth Century

    •   Spanish 353: Latinos in the US

    Literature courses 

    •   Spanish 350: Masterpieces of Latin American Literature

    •   Spanish 351: Masterpieces of Spanish Literature

    •   Spanish 465: Contemporary Spanish Literature

    Other upper level courses 

    •   Spanish 406: Advanced Written Expression

    •   Spanish 409: Oral Expression

    •   Spanish 420: Introduction to Translation

    •   Spanish 450: Hispanic Cinema

    •   Spanish 451: Spanish Cinema


    All students MUST see an Academic Advisor from Hispanic Studies every semester and an Academic Advisor from Advising and Academic Success (CASL Building 1039) at least two semesters BEFORE graduation. This helps students in course planning and degree requirements while also giving them the opportunity to ask questions about transfer courses equivalencies, AP credits, and in general required number of credits and classes for graduation.

    More information and details are available on the CASL Advising and Academic Success pages.

  • B.A. in International Studies - Spanish

    The concentration in International Studies - Spanish combines an advanced curriculum in Spanish language and culture with structured training in a professional field. The professional fields include Art Administration, Business and Management, Communications, Computer and Information Sciences, Economics, Engineering, Environmental Studies, Natural Sciences, or Political Science. A third component, Support Studies, offers cognate courses which reinforce the international context and enable students to integrate the two primary components.

    Read information about additional requirements for the International Studies major.

  • Certification-Only Secondary Program

    The Certification Program for grades 7-12 is offered in conjunction with the College of Education, Health, and Human Services. Students must meet the requirements for the concentration in Hispanic Studies as well as the State of Michigan requirements for teacher certification.

    A major for certification consists of 30 upper-level hours including the requirements listed for the Hispanic Studies concentration. A minor for certification consists of 20 upper-level hours. See a Spanish area faculty member for further information on requirements in this program.

CASL Spanish Major | Giselle Torres-Vill
It's always beneficial to learn another language because you never know who you're gonna encounter.
Giselle Torres-Villa, Spanish Major

Study Abroad Program

Hablando de Valencia, the study abroad program at the Institute of Spanish Studies in Valencia, Spain, is where our students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the Spanish language and culture. During their summer abroad, our students, while taking classes that contribute to the completion of the program’s major or minor requirements, stay with Spanish families, go on excursions, and travel throughout Spain.

  • Requirements

    Generally, the study abroad program is recommended for students that have already completed Spanish 301 and 302.

    The upper division course requirements are:

    • two years of college Spanish or its equivalent
    • Study Abroad Approval form
    • Transcript of your college work
    • 2.5 GPA
    • Faculty Recommendation form
  • Classes

    Classes are held daily during the morning and/or afternoon at the Institute of Spanish Studies.  Classes are conducted by experienced Spanish university professors and are specially designed for American students; they will be given in accordance with the American system of teaching.  Lectures of all courses are in Spanish unless otherwise stated.  During the summer sessions, courses meet for 1 1/2 hours daily from Monday to Friday.

    Upper division courses offered during Summer Session are:

    • SPAN 316 Spanish for Professionals
    • SPAN 330 Historical and Cultural Perspectives of Spain
    • SPAN 331 Hist. and Cult. Perspectives of Spanish America
    • SPAN 335 History of Spanish Art
    • SPAN 338 Geography of Spain
    • SPAN 402 Spanish Phonetics
    • SPAN 405 General Translation
    • SPAN 412 Golden Age Literature
    • SPAN 414A Philosophical Movements in 20th Century Spanish Lit.
    • SPAN 415 Cervantes
    • SPAN 425 20th Century Spain
    • SPAN 435 The Jews in Spain
    • SPAN 440 Present Day Spain
    • SPAN 445 Women in the History of Spain

    The following courses are taught on the study abroad but are not approved. They should be taken at UM-Dearborn. 

    • SPAN 315 Business Spanish 
    • SPAN 341 Survey of Spanish Literature I
    • SPAN 342 Survey of Spanish Literature II
    • SPAN 352A Survey of Spanish-American Literature
    • SPAN 414B Contemporary Spanish Literature
  • Extracurricular Activities

    Valencia offers a wide variety of cultural activities such as lectures, concerts, festivals and museums.  Visits and activities will be organized throughout the summer.  These activities will enable students to enjoy full access to the Spanish cultural treasures and to engage in social relations with a wide variety of students and scholars of Spain.

    For more information, please contact Profesora Samantha Petrak, spetrak@umich.edu.

Student Clubs, Organizations and Activities

In addition to the regular course offerings, the Spanish Program offers a number of co-curricular activities designed to support the academic program. Students are also encouraged to get involved in student organizations in Language, Culture and Communication, in CASL and across campus.

  • La Mezcla

    Each term La Mezcla, the Spanish club, organizes various events such as excursions to Hispanic restaurants, trips to Detroit's barrio, visits to local and regional museums featuring Hispanic exhibitions, and viewing of films in the Spanish language.

  • Tertulia

    The tertulia or social hour takes place bi-weekly and is designed for students who wish to converse in Spanish with other students outside the normal classroom setting. The Spanish Program also offers special film series which provide students with visual treatment of important aspects of Hispanic culture. Guest lecturers and discussions with area business persons and government officials are also a frequent part of the program.

  • Honors Convocation

    The Honors Convocation is a gathering of our best students, along with their families and friends, to recognize and celebrate their achievements during the academic year.  

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