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. The Spanish major can be completed in as little as four semesters, although generally at least five are recommended.

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 major or minor in Spanish, visit the Spanish Advising page to contact the Undergraduate Director.

Spanish Major Requirements (1-5)

1. Three (3) SP 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.

These courses are pre-requisites 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 Cultures of Spain or SP 366 Cultures of Latin America (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)  SP courses in Literatures and Cultures

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 Literatures and Cultures of Spain until 1800 (3 credits)

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

SP 372 Literatures and Cultures of Spain since 1800 (3 credits)

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

SP 375 Latin American Literatures and Cultures until 1900 (3 credits)

Literature of Latin America from the colonial period to Modernismo.

SP 376 Latin American Literatures and Cultures since 1900 (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. One (1) SP course in Linguistics

Students who wish to complete the Spanish major are required to select at least one (1) course in Spanish Linguistics. These courses can only be taken after the Cornerstone courses (SP 353 or  355, SP 356, and SP 364 or SP 366). Students are not subject to taking them in numerical ascending order; they may take any two courses in any order.

SP 383 Fundamentals of Spanish Linguistics (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 384 Spanish Pronunciation: From Theory to Practice (3 credits)

This course provides students with an introduction to the fundamental features of Spanish pronunciation. This includes an awareness of the sound inventory of Spanish and its variants, the creation of syllables and assignment of word stress, and finally the production of a unique Spanish rhythm and intonation.

SP 483 Advanced 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 Advanced Spanish Phonetics and Dialectology (3 credits)

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

SP 485 Special Topics in Spanish Linguistics (3 credits)

Topics vary, and the course may be repeated for credit. Sample topic: History of the Spanish Language.

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.

4. Three (3) SP Electives: one 300-level, two 400-level

Students may take any SP 300 or SP 400 course of their choice from the list specified below. Offerings vary every semester. Students are required to have completed both courses on Literatures and Cultures (SP 371, SP 372, SP 375, SP 376, or SP 377) before they can move on to Literature SP 400-level courses, or SP 383 and SP 384 before they can move on to Linguistics SP 400-level courses. Students who have an average of A in the Spanish program may move up one pre-requisite early with the approval of the Undergraduate Director.

Note: SP 361 Introduction to Romance Linguistics is taught in English and therefore it does not count towards the Spanish major or minor. S

SP 360 Spanish for Business (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 Spanish for International Relations (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 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.

SP 426 Contemporary Approaches to Spain (3 credits)

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

SP 430 Hispanic Culture through Film (3 credits)

This course explores contemporary Hispanic culture through visual representations. The course analyzes many films that reflect and represent the social, political, and cultural changes in the Hispanic world.

SP 437 Social Justice in the Hispanic World (3 credits)

This course is designed to allow students to explore different perspectives covering societal and cultural issues of social justice in the Hispanic world throughout the centuries.

SP 483 Advanced 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 Advanced Spanish Phonetics and Dialectology (3 credits)

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

SP 485 Special Topics in Spanish Linguistics (3 credits)

Topics vary, and the course may be repeated for credit. Sample topic: History of the Spanish Language.

SP 487 Special 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 Special Topics in Literatures and Cultures of Spain (3 credits)

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

SP 489 Special Topics in Latin American Literatures and Cultures (3 credits)

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

SP 490 Special Topics (1 to 6 credits)

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

SP 491 Cervantes (3 credits)

This course is designed to allow students to familiarize themselves with Cervantes’ writing by reading a variety of his literary works. . This is a writing (W) course.

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

  • Three (3) SP Cornerstone courses:
    • SP 353 or 355 (for Heritage speakers), SP 356, and SP 364 or 366
  • Two (2) SP courses in Literatures and Cultures
    • SP 371, SP 372, SP 375, SP 376, or SP 377
  • One (1) SP course in Linguistics:
    • SP 383, SP 384, SP 483, SP 484, SP 485, or SP 492
  • Three (3) SP Electives: one 300-level, two 400-level.
    • SP 361 does not count.