Spanish Major

Dr. Sarah Moody's Spanish conversation classThe Spanish major requires 27 hours at the 300–400 level between required courses and electives. The curriculum provides students with an attractive variety of classes with grounding in Latin America and Spain. A minimum of 12 hours at the 300 or 400 level must be earned on the Tuscaloosa UA campus.

Instruction of all courses must be in Spanish to be computed into the major GPA. Majors must maintain a GPA average of 2.0. Most courses are 3 credits. Also, Spanish majors need to complete two writing courses (W). These do not have to be in the major area (i.e., Spanish).

Ancillary courses are not computed into the major GPA. The Spanish degree requires the successful completion of the following courses: SP 101, SP 102, SP 201, and SP 202 (some students may receive credit for these 100/200 level SP courses by submitting a Foreign Language Courses Credit Petition Form [PDF]. This option is not available to heritage language or bilingual individuals, as specified in the UA Catalog).

Credit might be given for AP courses, and transferring credit from another institution is possible. Alternatively, students may take the UA Placement Test to be registered directly into a 300-level course. Please check the Spanish Basic Language Program Course Placement guidelines for further information.

Find complete details about the Spanish major in the Undergraduate Catalog.

For help planning your minor in Spanish, visit the Spanish Advising page to contact the Undergraduate Director.

Spanish Major Requirements (1-5)

1. Three (3) Cornerstone Courses

These courses are required for the Spanish Major. They are all pre-requisites for more advanced courses and must be taken first.

SP 353 Spanish Conversation or SP 355 Spanish for Native Speakers (3 credits)

SP 353 introduces students to linguistic immersion in the target language. It can be taken before, concurrently, or after SP 356.

SP 355 is designed for students of Hispanic background, who are either native speakers or heritage speakers of Spanish, to improve their formal knowledge of the language.

Native speakers or heritage speakers cannot take SP 353; they should enroll in SP 355 instead or substitute it with another course in consultation with the Spanish Adviser.

Pre-requisite for SP 364 and SP 366.

SP 356 Advanced Grammar and Composition (3 credits)

This course is a rigorous study of grammatical concepts, as well as the tools needed to write successful essays in Spanish, with emphasis on crafting academic papers, as these will be part of the assessment in future courses. It can be taken before, concurrently or after SP 353.

Pre-requisite for SP 364 and SP 366

SP 364 Spanish Civilization or SP 366 Spanish-American Civilization (3 credits)

Only one of these courses is required. SP 364 is based on Spanish Peninsular culture and history. SP 366 is based on Latin American culture and history. Pre-requisite for all courses at the 370 level.

2. Two (2) Survey Courses in Literature

Students are also required to select two (2) of the five literary survey courses offered. In these courses, students are introduced to selections of important literary works from Spain, Latin America, and the Hispanic US. These courses can only be taken after the Cornerstone courses (SP 353 — or 355 for heritage/native speakers — SP 356, and either SP 364 or SP 366 are pre-requisites for any SP 370-level course), to build towards the 400 level. Students are not subject to taking them in numerical ascending order; they may take any two courses in any order.

SP 371 Survey of Spanish Literature (3 credits)

Literature of Spain from the Middle Ages through the 18th century. This is a writing (W) course.

SP 372 Survey of Spanish Literature (3 credits)

Literature of Spain from the 19thcentury to the present. This is a writing (W) course.

SP 375 Masterpieces of Spanish-American Literature I (3 credits)

Literature of Latin America from the colonial period to Modernismo.

SP 376 Masterpieces of Spanish-American Literature II (3 credits)

Literature of Latin America from modernism to the present. This is a writing (W) course.

SP 377 US Latino Studies (3 credits)

Literatures and cultures of the Hispanics in the United States, starting in the 19thcentury to the present. This is a writing (W) course.

3. Two (2) 300/400-Level Electives

For the six hours of electives, students may take any SP 300 or SP 400 course of their choice. Offerings vary every semester. Of the electives in requirements (3) and (5), one must be a linguistics course taught in Spanish. Please note that SP 361 Introduction to Romance Linguistics is taught in English and therefore it does not count towards the Spanish major or minor.

SP 360 Commercial Spanish (3 credits)

This course is based on Spanish business vocabulary and practices.

SP 362 Spanish for Healthcare (3 credits)

This course is designed to build fluency in both spoken and written Spanish that will enable the healthcare professional to communicate more effectively with patients, emphasizing vocabulary acquisition and cultural nuances. It is oriented towards students who are pursuing a health-related career and it includes a service-learning component.

SP 367 Technical Writing (3 credits)

This course will teach students how to understand and write documents in technical areas usually not taught in conventional language courses. It trains students in the intricacies of economics, politics and international relations.

SP 383 Linguistic Fundamentals of the Study of the Spanish Language (3 credits)

This course introduces students to the study of the Spanish language using modern methods of linguistic analysis in order to observe how the Spanish language is formed from sounds to words, and from sentences to social interactions.

SP 389 Outreach (3 credits)

This course places the most accomplished Spanish majors and minors as interns in local schools, where they can assist students with individual tutoring, comprehension of lessons, interpersonal dialogue, interpretation, and other language-based tasks.

SP 390 Open Topics (1 to 6 credits)

This course may be based on topics related to Spanish language, literature, and culture. Students may only take up to 6 credits in SP 390.

4.  Cervantes/Don Quijote (SP 491)

Students are required to have completed the following requirements before taking this course: SP 353 (or 355 for heritage/native speakers), SP 356, either SP 364 or SP 366, and any TWO of the literary survey courses (SP 371, SP 372, SP 375, SP 376, or SP 377).

SP 491 Cervantes (3 credits)

This course focuses on the renowned Spanish writer and provides students with an in-depth study of a world masterpiece. This is a writing (W) course.

 5. One (1) 400-Level Elective

Students are also required to choose a second 400-level course from the wide variety offered by the Spanish faculty. Of the electives in requirements (3) and (5), one must be a linguistics course taught in Spanish. Offerings vary every semester. Some options are:

SP 426 Twentieth-Century Spanish Literature II (3 credits)

This course is based on reading and discussion of complete texts representative of the literary movements of the period.

SP 483 Introduction to Spanish Linguistics (3 credits)

This course is based on linguistic analysis of the Spanish language, its underlying structure, as well as a study of its phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics.

SP 484 Spanish Phonetics and Pronunciation (3 credits)

Introduction to Spanish linguistics with a focus on phonetics, emphasizing the development of correct pronunciation and basic phonetic transcription.

SP 485 Open Topics in Linguistics (3 credits)

Topics vary, and the course may be repeated for credit.

Sample topic: History of the Spanish Language

SP 487 Open Topics in US Latino Studies (3 credits)

This course proposes an in-depth study of US Latino literatures, arts, and cultures. Topics may vary, and the course may be repeated for credit.

SP 488 Open Topics in Spanish Peninsular Literature (3 credits)

Topics vary, and the course may be repeated for credit.

SP 489 Open Topics in Spanish-American Literature (3 credits)

Topics vary, and the course may be repeated for credit.

SP 490 Open Topics (1 to 6 credits)

Topics vary, and the course may be repeated for credit.

SP 492 Spanish in the US (3 credits)

This linguistics course is designed to reflect the current situation of Spanish speakers in the US, either born in this country, or abroad, and hailing from all countries where Spanish is spoken.

Specialty Courses (Senior Seminars)

The Spanish faculty is also quite proud of its specialty courses, offered virtually every semester as “Senior Seminars” (400 level courses) as well as SP 490 courses (Open Topics) in both Latin-American and Spanish Peninsular topics. Recently offered areas of study include

  • Crime and trauma narratives
  • Ecocriticism
  • Environmental humanities
  • Gender studies
  • Hispanic autobiography and narratives of the self
  • Hispanic women writers
  • Indigenous studies
  • Literatures and cultures of Latin American countries: Cuba, Peru, Argentina, Chile, etc.
  • History of the Spanish language
  • Second Language Acquisition
  • Spanish American Modernismo
  • Spanish and Latin American cinema
  • Spanish Civil War
  • Spanish / English contrasts
  • Spanish sociolinguistics
  • US Latino theater
  • Suggested Sequence for the Spanish Major
  • Cornerstone courses: SP 353 (or 355 for heritage/native speakers), SP 356
  • Cornerstone courses: SP 364 or 366
  • Survey Courses in Literature. Any TWO (2) of the following: SP 371, SP 372, SP 375, SP 376, SP 377
  • SP 491 Cervantes / Don Quijote
  • SP 300/400-level elective (except SP 361)
  • SP 300/400-level Linguistics elective
  • SP 400-level elective