Program of Study
As its primary objective, the Spanish Major promotes the study of the language and culture of Spanish-speaking people. It is designed to provide the background and appreciation of Hispanic literatures and cultures, and linguistic and analytic skills, so students can pursue careers in a variety of fields. The program seeks to contribute support to and articulate with other areas of study at the University. It aims to serve the immediate region and its needs, while providing students with understanding and insight into the Hispanic world at large.
The Spanish Major addresses cultural and linguistic connections between the United States and its Spanish-speaking neighbors. It promotes the concept that Spanish is not a foreign language, but rather one to be cultivated and appreciated alongside English in Southern California.
The availability of multiple concentrations within the Spanish Major gives students flexibility and diversity while providing a strong core in all basic linguistic, analytic, and cultural skills. The program takes into account the unique nature of the Cal State San Marcos student body and the University’s Mission Statement.
The program addresses the need for trained language specialists in a variety of fields, with special attention to the location of Cal State San Marcos, in North San Diego County, an area characterized by a large Spanish-speaking population. The bi-national interaction that stems from our proximity to the Mexican border establishes the need for a multidimensional major which incorporates practical and academic components. The University’s commitment to interdisciplinary and multicultural issues guides the cultural and literary elements of the major. All of these principles are prevalent in the curriculum and the faculty, both of which are complemented by those of other programs.
Student Learning Outcomes
Students who graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish will:
- Recognize Spanish as a global language with regional and social varieties and registers that both unify and differentiate the Spanish-speaking world; in particular, they will recognize the cultural and linguistic roots and features of the Spanish language as spoken in California, elsewhere in the U.S., and throughout the world;
- Be able to carry out a range of communicative functions in Spanish, such as engaging in oral conversation modes with sufficient accuracy so as to be easily understood by a native Spanish speaker, reading and listening to authentic texts and materials, producing written discourse and composing academic texts, and giving public oral presentations and readings;
- Have the demonstrated ability to carry out several aspects of collaborative learning tasks, including group communication, and peer review;
- Use technological tools and Spanish language resources available through electronic means, such as chat rooms, email, and the Internet for research and classroom purposes; and demonstrate ability to compare information available only in Spanish with information on the same topics available in English to analyze the different perspectives and/or biases shown in the sources;
- Have the capacity to confront and consider issues of social justice relevant to local and global Hispanic communities;
- Formulate research questions and identify and use appropriate methodology to answer them, applying appropriate guidelines for the ethical treatment of human and non-human research participants to the various phases of research;
- Appreciate the diversity and richness of the Hispanic world’s multiple forms of literary and artistic expression, and relate the patterns of behavior and values integral to Hispanic cultures to their own culture, aspirations, and identity;
- Identify, critically analyze and interpret language data and literary texts in Spanish;
- Identify the distinguishing characteristics and aesthetic registers of the major literary genres and periods of Hispanic literature;
- Recognize the existence of a variety of literary, linguistic, and cultural perspectives and meanings; and
- Identify the grammatical and discursive functions of Spanish language structures in a variety of social and cultural contexts.
The world is tied together by many bonds—economic, diplomatic and human—and because of technological advances in transportation and communication, an increasing number of Americans rely on the knowledge of a second language. Concentrated study of the languages and cultures of other nations contributes significantly to the improvement of international relations.
Employment possibilities for Spanish majors include the many positions available to humanities students in any field. For bilinguals there are openings in foreign countries as well as in the United States. Graduates have found jobs in teaching, translating, foreign diplomacy, foreign correspondence, the travel/hospitality industries, import-export work, international corporations, and in government agencies. Spanish language competence is an asset to workers in social services, public health, and law enforcement. While graduates with skills and backgrounds only in the Spanish language may encounter keen competition for jobs, as a supplement to other skills the knowledge of a language other than English is a valuable professional commodity.
Special Conditions for the Bachelor of Arts in Spanish
- The major consists of 48 semester units, with 36 units of upper-division coursework.
- The 12 units of lower-division, or any portion thereof, may be met by demonstrating equivalent proficiency. In such a case, the units in lower-division would be reduced proportionately.
- Upper-division requirements are divided between a core and a concentration. The core requires 21 units and each of the four concentrations is 15 units, for a total of 36 units.
- Appropriate courses taken for lower-division General Education credit may be counted toward the preparation of the major.
- Credit/No Credit grading is not allowed in the upper-division courses required for the major, except in the case of students who pass course-specific challenge exams administered by the program.
- A grade of C (2.0) or better must be earned in all upper-division courses applied to the major.
- In no case may more than two courses conducted in English be applied to the Spanish major.
Preparation for the Major
Lower-Division (0-14 Units)
*May be waived by demonstrating language proficiency; please consult with the LOTER Proficiency Advisor.
Three (3) Units Selected from the Following Courses in Civilization/Culture (3 Units)
Six (6) Units Selected from the Following Courses in Linguistics/Specialized Language Study (6 Units)
**No more than one of these courses may be counted for the Linguistics/Specialized Language Study category of the Core Requirements.
Three (3) Units in Community Service Learning
Language and Culture
This concentration’s interdisciplinary emphasis is on cultural, political, and social elements of Spanish and Latin American, and U.S. Latino life.
Six (6) Units Selected from the Following Courses in Literature (6 Units)
Three (3) Units Selected from the Following Seminar Courses (3 Units)
Three (3) Units Chosen from Any Upper-Division Course that Deals Significantly with Spain, Latin America or Latinos in the United States (3 Units)
Three (3) Units in Oral-Based Coursework (3 Units)
*Units are in addition to those attained in the core.
Minimum Total (120 Units)
Students must take a sufficient number of elective units to bring the total number of units to a minimum of 120