The major in Spanish provides students with a strong foundation in literature, linguistics, visual culture, and educational practices of Spanish-speaking communities across Europe, Latin America, and the United States. Students advance their Spanish proficiency across listening, reading, speaking, and writing modalities while acquiring critical thinking skills, sociopolitical awareness and intercultural competencies that are valuable to a variety of professional and academic careers. For students interested in interdisciplinary concentrations, the B.A. in Spanish is tailored for the possibility of declaring a double major in Spanish and other disciplines, particularly for students interested in teaching careers in K-12 settings, including dual immersion programs. The plan of study is composed of five mandatory core courses and seven elective classes. Upon completion of the Spanish major, all students will have met the following core learning outcomes:
- Students convey information and formulate opinions in Spanish across oral and written modalities while demonstrating control of grammatical structures, register, and style in Spanish.
- Students analyze and interpret the production of literary and cinematographic works from Spanish-speaking writers and filmmakers while understanding the historical and sociopolitical contexts of these works.
- Students identify and describe linguistic phenomena (e.g. sound system, word order, acquisition) that pertain to the Spanish-speaking world while taking into account speaker, regional, and situational variations.
- Students distinguish and describe cultural practices and diverse social and ethnic perspectives from the Spanish-speaking world (including Iberian, Latin American, and U.S. Latino communities).
Enrollment in introductory level Spanish courses is determined based on the following categories of Spanish language experience:
No previous experience in Spanish: Students with no previous background in Spanish must submit their high school transcript to their academic counseling office to activate their eligibility to enroll in SPANISH 1A or SPANISH 1AB.
High school courses in Spanish: Students with a previous high school background in Spanish must take UCI’s placement test. Eligibility to enroll will be based on the result of that placement test (see the UCI Academic Testing Center's website for more information).
College or University courses in Spanish: Students with a previous course (or courses) in Spanish from another college or university must take UCI’s placement test. Eligibility to enroll will be based on the result of that placement test (see the UCI Academic Testing Center's website for more information).
Graduation from a high school in a Spanish-speaking country or Spanish Academy: Students who graduated from a high school or academy where the primary language of instruction was Spanish must take a copy of their transcripts to the Language Curriculum Director, Humanities Hall 322, to determine where they should be placed.
Students with GE VI-satisfying SAT Subject Test scores, International Baccalaureate (IB) scores, or Advanced Placement (AP) examination scores: Students who have completed one of the previously listed exams who plan to enroll in a Spanish course at UCI are still required to take UCI’s Spanish placement test. Students cannot earn units or grade points at UCI in courses from which they have been exempted on the basis of IB or AP credit, even if the placement test result recommends enrollment in such a level. (see the UCI Academic Testing Center's website for more information).
Progression in Spanish at UCI
Students who earn a C or better in Spanish language courses at UCI will be allowed to enroll in the next course in the language sequence without taking a placement exam.
SPANISH 3H is designed for students who grew up speaking Spanish at home, and need to work on their writing skills. To enroll in this course, a student must have earned a placement exam score qualifying for enrollment into SPANISH 3H.
Placement testing is offered throughout the academic year (summer included). For details about registering for a placement test, contact the Academic Testing Center:
3040 Anteater Instruction and Research Building
Placement test results are valid for one calendar year.
UC Irvine offers students the opportunity to live in an on-campus housing unit in Arroyo Vista where Spanish can be spoken on a daily basis. The name of this Spanish-only housing unit is La Casa Nuestra.
La Casa Nuestra is a residential Spanish language immersion program that relies on participants to comply with the Spanish-Only Language Rule that applies to all shared living spaces within the Casa. The rule applies at all times, including evenings and weekends. Residents may choose to speak English (or other languages) in their bedrooms, but, in the spirit of the Casa, are encouraged to make an effort to speak Spanish, even in their rooms, whenever possible. The program is open to all UCI students with 2-3 years of high school Spanish and/or 1 year of college Spanish. Visit the La Casa Nuestra information on the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Undergraduate Program website.
Requirements for the B.A. in Spanish
All students must meet the University Requirements.
All students must meet the School Requirements.
All students must meet the Language Other Than English Placement and Progression policies.
Departmental Requirements for the Major
|SPANISH 101A||Introduction to Iberian Literature and Culture|
|SPANISH 101B||Introductory Studies to Latin American Literature and Culture|
|SPANISH 113B||Introduction to Spanish Linguistics|
|SPANISH 119||Textual Analysis and Interpretation|
|B. Complete seven additional Spanish courses by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese 1,2,3,4|
No other lower-division courses are permitted.
A maximum of one upper-division course taught in English may apply. This course may be taken outside the Department of Spanish and Portuguese as long as the course is relevant to topics of U.S. Latino communities, Latin America, or Spain and it is approved by the Undergraduate Director of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.
Residence Requirement for the Major: At least five upper-division courses required for the major must be completed successfully at UCI. By petition, two of the five may be taken through the UC Education Abroad Program, providing course content is approved by the Humanities Office of Undergraduate Study and the Undergraduate Director of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.
Students are encouraged to study abroad, possibly satisfying a significant portion of their major requirements abroad. For the maximum number of courses allowed and other pertinent details, see the Spanish Undergraduate Program website.
All courses taken abroad must be approved. Approval typically involves the following: (1) presentation of syllabi and other pertinent course materials (term papers, exams, etc.) from the host university, and (2) submission of a UCI Humanities Petition form (available online, and to be completed after the student’s return to UCI) to the Undergraduate Director of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, and to the Humanities Office of Undergraduate Study (HIB 143). Students are advised to consult with the Undergraduate Director and the Humanities Office of Undergraduate Study, both before and after their stay abroad. See also the Residence Requirement above.
With over 400 million speakers, Spanish is the third most widely spoken language in the world, which explains in part why Spanish has such a growing global reach and rapidly increasing national and international appeal—in business, education, the media, sports, as well as elsewhere. Knowledge of the Spanish language and cultures has thus become highly marketable in many professions (nursing, the entertainment and/or travel industry, tourism, among others).
The Spanish B.A. degree prepares students to have ready access to careers that require advanced knowledge of the Spanish language and the multiple cultures associated with it. At the same time, competitive students in the program obtain a solid preparation for graduate school. The students’ graduate career paths vary widely and include literary and/or cultural studies, teaching, nursing, law/ business, nonprofit organizations, medicine, sociology, and other specialties.
The UCI Division of Career Pathways provides services to students and alumni including career counseling, information about job opportunities, a career library, and workshops on resume preparation, job search, and interview techniques. For additional information, visit the Division of Career Pathways and the Department's Careers in Foreign Language websites.