Spanish and Portuguese
The department offers a major and a minor in Spanish through a wide selection of courses in the language, civilization and literature of Spain, Latin America and United States Hispanic populations. In addition, independent study and research are available every semester. Unless otherwise indicated, all courses are conducted in Spanish. Study abroad is strongly encouraged. Students, including First-Years, planning to major in Spanish should consider studying in Dickinson programs in Málaga, Spain; Medoza Argentina; or Cuenca, Ecuador their Junior year. Generally, students study abroad their Junior year, although with special permission, a student may: 1) study in Málaga the Fall of their Senior year, or 2) study a semester or full year in their sophomore year. Spanish majors and minors often find it desirable to acquire a supporting field of expertise through their candidacy for the Latin American Studies Certificate.
Courses appropriate for prospective majors
All students who wish to take Spanish at Dickinson should follow the
placement exam link on the Orientation page for instructions on taking the on-line placement exam. The
department, upon having received the test score, will place each student in the
appropriate Spanish class and will let each student know by email where he/she
has been placed. Students should take the test online before July 1, 2013.
Test scores and credits that may affect course selection
Advanced Placement scores: course credit and/or placement
A student who has achieved a grade of 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement
test in Spanish will be granted credit for SPAN 116. Those students who wish to continue the study
of Spanish at Dickinson MUST take the Dickinson College placement exam to
determine appropriate course placement.
Courses that fulfill distribution requirements
Completion at the
intermediate level, SPAN 116 or above.
One course in Spanish
literature, OR Latin American literature OR Latino literature.
239: Spanish for Health Professionals
Spanish 350: Latino,-a Literature
Writing Intensive Courses:
231: Spanish Composition
305: Introduction to Literary Analysis and Theory
For course descriptions and
requirements for the major, refer to the Academic Bulletin: Spanish and Portuguese.
The department's co-curricular activities in Spanish include: (1) a
Spanish Club, which is open to majors and non-majors alike and sponsors
parties, field trips and other cultural activities, (2) the Spanish Table, held
once a week in a private dining area of the Holland Union Building, where
students and professors meet over dinner for conversation and informal
discussions in Spanish, and (3) the Casa Luso-Hispánica, which offers a unique
opportunity for the students to live in a Spanish-speaking environment, using
the Spanish language as the main vehicle for daily communication.
A key role in such activities is played by three foreign students who
are brought every year by the department, in collaboration with the Center for Global Study and Engagement. These Overseas Student
Assistants, native speakers from Málaga, Spain, and Querétaro, Mexico, live in
the Casa Luso-Hispánica during the school year, are in charge of the Spanish
Table, and assist faculty with language courses in the department.
This is an opportunity to explore individually an area of special
interest to the student within the discipline.
It is normally arranged through individual contact between the student
and the professor involved in the semester preceding the actual project, and
approved by the Department Chair, Elise Bartosik-Velez. However, an independent study is not a
tutorial designed to replace courses regularly offered by the department but
rather an opportunity to do in-depth study in areas not covered by regular
Two other considerations should be taken into account in this regard:
(1) the student should not impose on a professor to offer an independent study
that is outside the professor's area of expertise within the discipline, and
(2) the student should have acquired a sound general background in the given
area of interest before engaging in the study of a specialized topic within
such area. A study of the poetry of
Garcia Lorca, for instance, would be undertaken by a student who has already
acquired a background on 20th century Spanish poetry.
Opportunities for off-campus study
The 1985-86 academic year marked the inauguration of Dickinson's first
full year or fall semester program at the University of Málaga in Málaga,
Spain. A Dickinson director is in
residence and the program there is intended to enhance and enrich the strong
Spanish major the student has initiated on the Carlisle campus.
The Department of Spanish and Portuguese strongly encourages qualified
students to participate in our programs in Málaga, Medoza, or Cuenca. Although not required, it is generally
expected that Spanish majors will spend at least one semester, and preferably
the entire junior year, at one of our centers. Exceptional students who begin
Spanish at the 200 level should consider doing this during their sophomore
Students who have completed SPAN 116 are encouraged to participate in
the summer immersion program in Málaga (SPAN 200).
are two partner programs affiliated with Dickinson, one in Buenos Aires,
Argentina (IES) in the fall, and one in São Paulo, Brazil (CIEE). Consult the Center for Clobal Study and Engagement for more
Careers: Knowledge of the Spanish
language and culture can be a major asset in professional schools and many
positions in business and government. Most recent graduates in Spanish are
currently employed in teaching, government agencies, social work, and private
business. A number of our alumni are now doing graduate work in Spanish, and
some have held short-term teaching positions abroad. A list of careers of
former Spanish majors is available in the Career Center.
Flowchart for Placement Information
Flowchart for Those Retaking Placement Exam
At this point neither a major nor a minor program is offered in
Portuguese (though this is subject to change pending committee approval). Students may take significant course work on
the language, culture, and literature of the Luso-Brazilian world through
occasional courses, tutorial, and independent studies. Any student who has studied Portuguese should
contact the department for appropriate placement.
Students interested in taking Portuguese should consult with
Professor Carolina Castellanos.