When you know Spanish, the number of people you can reach expands dramatically. In many fields, expertise in Spanish and an understanding of Spanish-speaking communities can be a huge advantage. It may even be a prerequisite for success in some careers.
The UMN Morris Spanish program provides a mastery of the language, along with an introduction to the history and literature of the Spanish-speaking world. The broad curriculum will allow you to read the written works of great Spanish language writers in their original language, immersing yourself in the poetry, rhythms, and spirit of the writing in a way no translation allows.
You’ll benefit from the expertise and commitment of distinguished faculty members who’ve been recognized for the quality of their teaching and research, and who’ve lived, traveled, and taught in many areas of the Spanish-speaking world.
With courses that emphasize the philosophy, richness, and diversity of Hispanic culture and the chance to travel abroad, you’ll not only learn the language, you'll gain an appreciation of and competence for another culture—further breaking down barriers between people and nations.
Spanish can easily and effectively be combined with other fields for a double major.
The core of the Spanish major comprises eight courses emphasizing:
- Composition and conversation skills
- Cultural competence
- Fundamental methods of analyzing film and literature
- Broad surveys of Peninsular and Latin American literature and culture
This core is complemented by an upper level sequence of four additional courses, including three electives chosen from among various options in Spanish and Latin American literature and film.
Finally, you will complete a capstone research symposium in which you develop and present your own individualized research project.
The minor in Spanish has a six-course core of language study, supplemented by four upper-level departmental electives, such as:
Student Learning Outcomes
By completing a degree in Spanish, you will be able to
- demonstrate Spanish language proficiencies in reading, writing, speaking, and listening, which, in turn, enhances and improves your general language skills;
- refine your cross-cultural and intercultural awareness;
- expand your critical thinking, analytical competencies, and problem-solving skills;
- discover and critically evaluate the traditions, philosophies, values, artistic expressions, and histories of the cultures of Latin America, the Latino USA, and Spain; and
- design and conduct in-depth, sustained, analytical research in Spanish.
General Education Requirements
The University of Minnesota and its faculty are committed to providing an education that invites you to investigate the world from new perspectives, learn new ways of thinking, and grow as an active citizen and lifelong learner. The University’s general education requirements are designed to be integrated throughout your four-year undergraduate experience. These courses provide you an opportunity to explore fields outside your major and complement your major curriculum with a multidisciplinary perspective.
Careers & Graduate School
The Spanish discipline at UMN Morris prepares you for a wide variety of potential careers or further advanced study. While an expertise in Spanish is the foundation for jobs in translation, interpretation, and teaching, it can also open doors to careers where knowing Spanish is a key component of the job. Because Spanish is spoken by so many people, employment opportunities for those with advanced Spanish language skills are numerous. Spanish can give you the upper hand when applying for many positions, as second language competency is an attractive talent to employers. Spanish graduates have taken positions in
- nongovernmental organizations;
- nonprofit organizations;
- immigrant advocacy groups in U.S.;
- international health care;
- agriculture and wildlife in Latin America; and
- international organizations like the United Way, the Peace Corps, and the Organization of American States.
Many have also gone on to international destinations for jobs or graduate school after graduation, such as in Spain, Mexico, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Brazil, and Mozambique, among others.
The Spanish program at UMN Morris incorporates a variety of important skills common to liberal arts programs that you’ll develop during the course of study: analysis, critical thinking, creative problem-solving, and communications proficiency. These skills are much sought after in the job market, and transferable to any occupation. Some of the varied careers pursued by UMN Morris Spanish program graduates are:
- Accountant / bookkeeper
- Bilingual customer service / office assistant
- Certified financial planner
- English as a second language instructor
- Foreign service officer
- Immigrant advocate
- International adoption coordinator
- Legislative staffer
- Newspaper editor
- Pastoral assistant
- Pharmaceutical sales representative
- Physical therapist
- Public health professional
- Sales manager
- Social worker
- Town clerk
- TV producer
- Web designer
Graduates of the Spanish program at UMN Morris have continued on to advanced study at many universities, including:
- Emory University
- Georgetown University
- North Dakota State University
- Northwestern University
- Universidad de Salamanca (Spain)
- University of Arizona
- University of Kansas
- University of Maryland
- University of Sussex (England)
- University of Wisconsin
The University of Minnesota Morris is a national public liberal arts college committed to making a high-quality education available to students from across the country. Expenses for housing, meals, books and supplies, transportation, loan fees, and personal expenditures can vary.
Students are immediately considered for a scholarship package upon admission to UMN Morris.
Research & Engagement
As a student in the Spanish discipline at UMN Morris, you’ll be able to team up with faculty to conduct research or pursue your own topics of interest. UMN Morris students in the Spanish department have also published their work in Metamorphosis, an undergraduate peer-reviewed literary journal. Others have won prestigious national awards: Truman Fellowship, Fulbright Scholar, and the Boren Fellowship.
With a combination of coursework, extracurricular and service learning activities, and study abroad opportunities, you’ll gain a practical expertise of the language and be well-rounded in your knowledge of the Spanish-speaking culture.
Community-based service learning opportunities with the local Hispanic community and Spanish-language student organizations are available, including:
- English as a second language (ESL) program
- Tercero Community Translation and Interpretation Program
- Jane Addams
- Vamos Juntos student group
- Unión Latinx
- Sigma Delta Pi National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society
- Spanish conversation table
Spanish students and faculty also engage regionally, nationally, and internationally. Our students have presented at conferences in the Twin Cities; Wisconsin; Querétaro, Mexico; San Sebastián, Spain; and Panama City, Panama. Our faculty have researched and collaborated with institutions and partners in Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Germany, Great Britain, and Poland. They have presented their research at national and international venues in Austin, Boston, Honolulu, Nashville, Miami, New Orleans, San Francisco, Seattle, DC, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Spain, Uruguay, Canada, the Netherlands, and New Zealand, among others.
Study abroad is the most effective way to improve your language abilities, broaden your academic and personal horizons, globalize your world-view, expand your career opportunities, and advance your cross-cultural understanding and problem-solving skills. The opportunity to study abroad is critical for modern language majors like Spanish, and the Spanish faculty at UMN Morris is devoted and motivated to make this feasible for you.
Opportunities for Students
The Undergraduate Research Symposium (URS) offers students an opportunity to present research plus scholarly and creative work. Types of presentations include posters, oral presentations, and short or abbreviated theatrical, dance, or musical performances.
- Creative Activity
The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) provides University of Minnesota undergraduates from every college, major, and discipline, the opportunity to partner with a faculty member on research or creative projects.
- Creative Activity
The University of Minnesota Morris offers the Morris Academic Partnership (MAP) program, in which faculty select academically talented, qualified second-year and third-year students to assist them in scholarly and creative projects. Selected MAP students undertake assignments intended to enhance their intellectual competence and increase their interest in graduate or professional study.
- Creative Activity
- Morris Academic Partnership (MAP)
- Student Employment
CURA was established by the University of Minnesota Board of Regents in 1968 in response to the social and political upheaval of that time. Many universities established centers like CURA, but most of these have shifted their focus. CURA, in contrast, remains a thriving center for community-engaged research, always evolving with community needs.
- Community Engagement
Many Spanish students have pursued either coursework or double majors in the health sciences, like pre-medicine, biology, biochemistry, and chemistry. Both the Spanish discipline and the various science disciplines and programs at UMN Morris naturally complement one another. Deep linguistic and intercultural knowledge on the part of health professionals can contribute to improved care in the increasingly diverse communities in which we live. Because both language and science programs are, of necessity, highly sequenced, the following sample plans may help guide you, assuming that you place in the 2000 or 3000 level of Spanish at the beginning of your first year. If you begin your Spanish major at the 1000 level, you’ll need to work with your adviser to map out a more customized plan. Regardless, you are strongly advised to consult with faculty and have an adviser for both Spanish and the sciences.
Note that significant credit toward the Spanish program may be earned through study abroad. Study abroad programs in Spain and Latin America are available during fall, spring, and summer terms.