Being a Spanish Major (or Spanish Education Major) at St. Olaf has multiple components:
- Successful completion of a minimum of 8 (9 for Spanish Education) courses beginning with Spanish 250 with a grade above C- in 6 courses
- An extended period of study abroad (one semester) is highly recommended. (Occasionally a student may opt to spend a whole year abroad.) The linguistic practice and first-hand cultural knowledge you will gain abroad cannot be duplicated on campus. Study abroad is greatly facilitated by early planning. You may count up to two courses taken abroad for your Spanish Major or up to three courses for your Spanish Education Major, depending on your choice of program.
- Carrying out a program of experiential activities designed to compliment in-class learning and expand your ability to use Spanish in a variety of non-academic situations. (See Activities for examples)
All components are essential for a well-rounded major. Although successful completion of course work is the basis for “certification” of the major for graduation, completion of course work is just the start. To prepare yourself to be able to interact appropriately with Spanish-speakers in the U.S. and abroad, to compete successfully in the job market if you wish to use your Spanish skills and cultural knowledge in a professional field, and to really be able to make the Spanish language and Hispanic cultures a part of your life and not just a field of study, you need to make a personal commitment to enhance your in-class learning with out-of-class experiences.
Your complimentary experiential activities are what will make you stand out in comparison to other majors, from St. Olaf and other institutions, when opportunities for awards, scholarships, admission to graduate school, and/or jobs present themselves. Completion of courses with good grades is standard; going beyond that standard is your commitment to excellence.
Notes for you and your adviser:
-It is helpful to plan out a four-year schedule with your adviser and/or a faculty member in Spanish at an early stage in your career, especially if you plan to study abroad.
-If your academic adviser is not a member of the Spanish faculty, please feel free to consult any permanent Spanish faculty members who will gladly serve as informal “second advisers”. A list of faculty is available in Tomson Hall.
Requirements for a Graduation Major:
Spanish 250, 275, 276; either 313 or 314, one additional 300-level course, plus three electives above the 250 level (of these five courses, at least one must focus on Spain and one on Latin America). A maximum of two courses above the 250 level may be counted from off-campus study. Independent study or research may not be counted in lieu of any of the courses referred to above.
You should take all courses sequentially available to you, without skipping semesters. “Stopping out of Spanish” for a semester or dropping a course may pose serious obstacles to completing your major in four years.
-As you choose GE or elective courses, you may wish to consider courses that will support your major. (e.g., History 241: Historical Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity in Latin America; History 242: Modern Latin America; History 243: 20th Century Cuba; History 244: Revolutionary Cuba (Abroad) or Political Science 257: U. S.- Latin American Relations; or Political Science 264: Latin American Politics).
-You may want to consider a second major in Hispanic Studies; if interested in this option, please consult the Director of Hispanic Studies. The following Spanish courses count for a major in Hispanic Studies: Spanish 270 or 271; Spanish 272, 273, or 274 (or a substitute course approved by the director of Hispanic Studies).
-Some courses that focus on the Spanish-speaking world (History 242, for example) are offered with FLAC components in Spanish. By completing two FLAC courses, you receive Applied Foreign Language Certification in Spanish on your transcript. For information on FLAC offerings in Spanish, please consult the Director of St. Olaf’s Languages Across the Curriculum Program.