Hispanic Studies

Department Chair: Roy Ketchum

Faculty: Eleonora Bertranou, Patricia Bolaños-Fabres, Bruce Campbell, Shirley Cardozo, Nelsy Echávez Solano, Marietta Franulic, Tania Gómez, Christina Hennessy, Roy Ketchum, Marina Martín, Elena Sánchez Mora, Sarah Schaaf, Corey Shouse

The study of another language is an adventure, an exploration into the workings of minds both like and unalike our own. As human minds mold language, so language also molds human minds. A language is therefore not only a means by which we represent our thoughts; it is also a medium that presents the world to us in a certain way. When we learn a new language, we learn to see differently - we acquire a new perspective from which to view both ourselves and the world. In the literature of another language we encounter a culture revealed, extended and tested by its most critical and inventive thinkers, who use the language to explore their society's limitations and possibilities. Because the study of language liberates us from bondage to a single cultural perspective and allows us to converse with members of another culture, it has from the times of the ancient Romans been considered central to a liberal education.

Students of Hispanic Studies seek to understand an intricate contemporary culture and explore the literature and traditions that give it life. The major in Hispanic Studies, accordingly, consists of a balanced program of language, literature, culture, and linguistics, and includes one semester in the colleges' semester study abroad programs in Chile, Guatemala, and Spain.

A major in Hispanic Studies is often interdisciplinary in nature and prepares students for a wide variety of careers, both in the United States and around the world. Some students pursue careers in teaching or go on to graduate school in their field, others enter those professions in which applicants with a broad liberal background are sought. Beyond that, the linguistic competence associated with such a major is increasingly of interest to employers in a growing number of business, service, and government fields. As a result, students often choose to double major.

Requirements for Majors and Minors:


A major in Hispanic Studies consists of a minimum of 40 credits including the following required courses: 212, 311, and 312 plus at least six four-credit courses in HISP numbered 320 and higher, plus 394, and may include 12 transfer credits for study abroad. HISP 212 is a prerequisite for all 300-level courses; it also fulfills one course of the Common Curriculum Humanities requirement (HM).

Students pursuing a major in Hispanic Studies must take at least one course each in the areas of literature, culture, and linguistics beyond HISP 312. All majors are required to study abroad a minimum of one semester in a Spanish-speaking country. Students who are unable, for whatever reason, to participate in a semester-long study abroad program, can fulfill this requirement through an internship only with the approval of the department chair. In order to ensure a well-balanced program, no student may apply more than 12 credits towards the major in any one semester, whether on campus or abroad. No more than 8 credits for upper division courses transferred from another U.S. institution can be applied to the major.

Courses in literature in translation may not be counted toward a major or minor.

All majors must complete the Capstone Course (HISP 394). All seniors must enroll in HISP 394. This 4 credit course is offered every fall.


A minor in Hispanic Studies consists of a minimum of 24 credits including 212, 311, 312 plus three four-credit courses in HISP numbered 320 and higher with an expectation of balance between literature, culture and linguistics. HISP 212 is a prerequisite for all 300-level courses; it also fulfills one common curriculum course in humanities (HM). Students pursuing a minor in Hispanic Studies are strongly encouraged to spend one semester or at least a summer term in a Spanish-speaking country.  

The Department of Hispanic Studies also provides the Global Language Proficiency common curriculum requirement for all CSB/SJU students. In order to fulfill this goal, all students will:

  1. Demonstrate a minimum proficiency level of Intermediate-Low, as defined by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, in at least two of the four language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing). Such a proficiency level means that students will have a functional command of the target language which allows them to communicate limited basic needs and ideas, and negotiate simple situations.
  2. Be exposed to a variety of cultural contexts in which the target language is spoken, and have a functional command of the basic rules of social interaction in that language.


The Department of Hispanic Studies conducts regular assessment of student learning in language skills as well as in the literary, linguistic and cultural components of the major. Methods of assessment include: listening and reading tests according to proficiency guidelines for intermediate language courses, a senior capstone project written in the target language and presented in a public forum.

Hispanic Studies courses taught abroad

All the following courses count towards the major or minor in Hispanic Studies. Cross-listed courses cannot count twice.

Viña del Mar, Chile (Fall)
ART 309 Topics in Art History: Latin American Art and Culture. (4) (FA)
HISP 216 Spanish Intermediate II. (4)
HISP 315 Spanish Conversation Abroad. (4)
HISP 316 Spanish Conversation Abroad. (4)
HISP 328 History of Chile. (4)
HISP 363 Advanced Spanish Abroad. (4) (Meets the linguistics requirement)
SA 370 Direct enrollment courses

Quetzaltenango, Guatemala (Spring)
HISP 216 Spanish Intermediate II. (4)
HISP 315 Spanish Conversation Abroad. (4)
HISP 316 Spanish Conversation Abroad. (4)
HISP 321 Mayan Societies: History, Politics and Economy. (4)
HISP 356D Guatemalan History. (4)
HISP 363 Advanced Spanish Abroad. (4) (Meets the linguistics requirement)
HISP 356F Theater of the Oppressed (4) (LLAS) (Meets the culture requirement)

Segovia, Spain (Spring)
ART 345 Culture and Art History. (4) (FA)
HISP 324 History, Society and Spanish Cinema. (4)
HISP 356AA National Tradition, Modernity and Cultural Identity. (4) (HM)
HISP 359 Spain and the European Union. (4)
HISP 363 Advanced Spanish Abroad. (4) (Meets the linguistics requirement)
HISP 396 Myths and Legends in Times of Globalization. (4) HM)
SA 398 Field Experience/Practicum. (1-4)

Valladolid, Spain (Summer)
HISP 200 (112 + 211) Intensive Intermediate Spanish. (8)
HISP 211 Intermediate Spanish I. (4)

Otavalo, Ecuador (Summer)
HISP 317 Intensive Spanish Composition and Conversation Abroad. (4)
HISP 318 Intensive Spanish Composition and Conversation II Abroad. (4)

Courses (HISP)