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Spanish Major Guide for 2010-2011

What is Spanish

Spanish studies encompasses all aspects of Hispanic life and culture: literature, language, culture, history, film, art. Students should consider a Spanish major if they are interested in other cultures, would like to have a career with an international component, enjoy learning and speaking foreign languages, and like to travel.

Career Opportunities in Spanish

A major in Spanish, perhaps with a concentration in Language and World Business, can be an advantage in gaining employment in many fields: teaching, translation, interpreting, journalism, international business or law, foreign service, travel industry jobs, etc. The ability to speak, read and write with precision in a second language is an increasingly desirable skill in the United States. In addition, a job applicant with study abroad experience on her or his resume attracts an employer’s attention, for studying abroad demonstrates adaptability and resourcefulness.

Salary Trends in Spanish

An Arts and Sciences degree can propel students into limitless directions. Majors are not always the deciding factor as to what career path is followed. As with any degree, pre-professional experiences (volunteerism, work experience, internships, etc.) enhance the chances of obtaining desired employment and further, affect the projected salary.

High School Preparation

In addition to language classes that will permit the high school student to begin classes in the major as a freshman, classes in history and literature are recommended to students planning to major in Spanish. Studying languages other than Spanish is also helpful, especially another contemporary Romance language or Latin. Travel or study abroad, short or long term, is useful preparation for future experiences with other cultures.

How to Major in Spanish

A Spanish major can choose among concentrations in literature, Hispanic studies, or Language and World Business (LWB). Students interested in a Spanish major should contact an undergraduate Spanish advisor in the Department of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures as soon as possible.

Requirements for Spanish

Literature Concentration
The Literature concentration consists of 30 hours in courses numbered above 300, including Spanish 323, 330, 331, 332, 333, 334, four additional 400-level courses, at least two of which must be in literature.

Hispanic Studies Concentration
The Hispanic Studies concentration consists of 30 hours in courses numbered above 300, including Spanish 323, 330, and 331; one course from 332, 333, or 334: six additional courses in language, literature or culture, at least four of which must be from the 400 level.
Students whose level of proficiency in Spanish is superior as defined by the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines may substitute a 400-level course for 323 with consent of the department.

Language and World Business Concentration
Students who wish to prepare for careers in international business may complete a special major in Spanish, a professional emphasis in International Business, International Retail Merchandising, or International Agricultural Economics, and some form of practical experience related to the concentration. Admission to this concentration is by permission of the program director. For more information see the major guide entitled Language and World Business.

Special Programs, Co-ops, and Internships

The Language and World Business program of the Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures Department sponsors co-ops and internships for students, both in the United States and abroad. Contact the head of the L&WB program for more information (

Highlights of Spanish

The Spanish Table or La Tertulia provides an opportunity for students to socialize with native Spanish-speakers and others who are interested in learning more about Spanish and Latin American culture in a friendly and informal atmosphere. Interested students should check the Spanish Department website for the times and location for these weekly meetings.
Other activities of the Spanish program include film festivals, dinners, and guest speakers.
In addition, Spanish majors can get involved in Sigma Delta Pi, the national Spanish Honor Society, which invites applications for membership from interested students. To be eligible, students must have completed 18 semester hours of Spanish (including hours received by placement examination), including at least 3 semester hours of Hispanic literature, culture, or civilization at the 300 or 400 level, and must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in Spanish. In addition, eligible students must have an overall minimum GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale. Interested students are encouraged to contact Dr. Luis Cano,, for more information and for applications.

Ready for the World logoReady for the World

There are numerous travel abroad opportunities through the Spanish program at UT, such as the summer UT in Spain, UT in Mexico, and the semester or year long International Student Exchange Program (ISEP). Contact the Center for International Education (CIE) for more information on these programs.

UT Spanish programs abroad:

  • Spain Program (summer 1st session): Spanish 211-212 (6 credits)
  • Alicante (Spain) Program (summer 1st session): Spanish Upper Division (6 credits)
  • Puebla (Mexico) Program (summer 2nd session): Spanish Upper Division (6 credits)
  • Guayaquil  (Ecuador) Program (fall semester): several options

Learn more about UT's Ready for the World initiative to help students gain the international and intercultural knowledge they need to succeed in today's world.

Sample Curriculum

Freshman Year Credit Hours
English Composition 6
Spanish 211-212* or 217, 218** 6
Natural Science Lab Sequence 8
Quantitative Reasoning 6-8
Social Sciences 3
Elective 0-2

Sophomore Year Credit Hours
Non-US History Sequence 6
Natural Science 3
Arts and Humanities 6
Social Sciences 9
Spanish 300 (unless B or better in Spanish 218)
Spanish 323 3
Spanish (major) 3

Junior Year Credit Hours
Spanish 330 3
Spanish 331 (offered spring semester)
Arts and Humanities 3
Upper Level Distribution 6
Spanish (major) 6
Communicating Orally 3
General Electives 6

Senior Year Credit Hours
Spanish (major) 12
Upper Division Electives 3-6
Communicating Through Writing 3
General Electives 8

GRAND TOTAL (minimum) 120

*After completing Spanish 211-212, Spanish 300 is required before taking Spanish 323.
**Spanish 217-218 is by placement exam.  A grade of A or B will give credit for 300.

For More Information

Luis Cano
Associate Professor of Spanish
701 McClung Tower
University of Tennessee Knoxville, TN 37996



The information on this page should be considered general information only. For more specific information on this and other programs refer to the UT catalog or contact the department and/or college directly.