Q: What courses should be taken during the first year?
Students should start at the level they place into based on their total number of years of previous Spanish study (middle school plus high school). Depending on their experience, this can be a language class or a more advanced course in literature or film, for example. Consult the Foreign Languages Placement Guidelines here.
It is highly advisable for students to take Spanish in their first year in order to fully capitalize on knowledge and skills acquired in high school. Students considering majoring or minoring in Spanish will want to make sure that they can progress to the 131-level by their sophomore year. Potential majors also should consider taking CMLT 130: "The National Imagination" (offered Spring semester only).
Q: What courses should first year students steer clear of?
New students should not enroll in 200-level courses offered in LL&C (including Comparative Literature). These are courses designed for students with advanced standing in one of the department’s majors. First year students who speak Spanish at a near-native level, or who scored 4 or 5 on their AP exams, should start by taking SPA 131. Students with a native level who have already had extensive literature study may inquire about taking 200-level courses.
Q: If key introductory courses are filled, are there good alternatives?
Students taking Intermediate I or II (SPA 105  or 106) will want to progress through the sequence as quickly as possible so as to reach the 131-level by sophomore year. If students enter Clark with four or more years of previous study in a strong high school program, they should consider taking SPA 127 or 131. Students who take SPA 131 will receive credit for the major or the minor. If a student has studied Spanish-language literature in high school (AP Literature, International School, studying in a Spanish-speaking country, they should plan to take 131 literature course) or 133 (cultural studies course). All majors should progress into the 200-level no later than their third year, ideally earlier, upon completing 131.
Q. How does Study Abroad fit into the major?
All full semester of Study Abroad is required for all Spanish majors, although this requirement can be waived due to special circumstances (health, finances). Our majors (and minors) can choose between programs in Spain (Madrid, Seville), Argentina, Chile, and the Dominican Republic. Some of our programs also offer the option to study abroad in the summer. Other attractive options while doing study abroad include the possibility of doing internships as well as community service in Spain and Latin America by taking service-learning courses that count towards the major and the minor. Careful planning is necessary for students who want to consider a semester of study abroad, especially for students who are double majoring. Please meet with a member of the Spanish faculty as early as possible in order to map your course load.
Q. Is there any advice for potential Spanish minors?
The 100-level courses that fulfill major requirements also fulfill the minor requirements (SPA 131 and above), including courses taken during Study Abroad. Six courses are needed for a minor; a semester abroad would fulfill half the courses required, provide that the courses taken abroad are Spanish literature or culture courses (history, cinema, art, etc.).
Q. Should students consider majoring in Spanish and another discipline?
Students in Spanish often pursue double majors within the social sciences or the humanities (International Development and Social Change, Psychology, Political Science, and Sociology, etc.).
Q. How and when does your department assign advisers for declared majors?
Students should see a professor of their choice when declaring a major, typically a professor whom the students knows through coursework.
Q. Where should students or faculty go for more information?
Students and faculty can contact the section coordinator, Professor Belén Atienza.