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MLL Spanish

Students interested in Spanish Studies at Fordham have two major options, Spanish Language and Literature (SPLA) and Spanish Studies (SPST). Those interested in either major or the Spanish minor should prepare their schedules in consultation with a faculty advisor. To declare the major or the minor and be assigned an advisor, please contact the Department Associate Chair in your college.


The Spanish Language and Literature major (SPLA) consists of 10 courses which provide students with a comprehensive knowledge of Hispanic literature and culture from the Middle Ages to the contemporary era. All 10 courses are to be completed in Spanish. Through this major, besides achieving fluency and correct grammar usage in written and spoken Spanish, students are expected to develop a thorough understanding of Hispanic literatures and cultures. Classes focus on close textual analysis, historical contextualization, and the use of current critical perspectives. SPLA majors will become familiar with the major authors and issues defining the diverse cultural traditions of the Hispanic world. In addition to their written work, students are required to participate actively in class discussions and/or make oral presentations.

Students pursuing the SPLA normally begin the major with SPAN 2001 (Spanish Language and Literature), SPAN 2201 (Spanish Community Engaged Learning),  or SPAN 2301 (Advanced Spanish for Spanish Speakers), followed by SPAN 2500 (Approaches to Literature), which is a requirement for all courses numbered 3000 and above. Please note that students may only count one of the following towards the major: SPAN 2001, SPAN 2201, or SPAN 2301. Students may choose to take additional 2000-level courses, such as SPAN 2305 (Spanish Conversation and Composition), SPAN 2620 (Spanish Phonetics), SPAN 2650 (Business Spanish), SPAN 2405 (Healthcare Spanish), or others. These advanced language courses are not required but are available for students who would like to hone their language skills before proceeding to the 3000-level courses. For the SPLA a minimum of six 3000-level courses must be completed, including SPAN 3001 (Introduction to Spanish Literatures and Cultures) and SPAN 3002 (Introduction to Spanish American Literatures and Cultures), which are requirements and must be taken at Fordham. Please note that 3000-level courses do not need to be taken in numerical order; SPAN 3001 and 3002 are requirements for the major but not prerequisites for other 3000-level Spanish electives.


The Spanish Studies major (SPST) is an interdisciplinary major that allows students to combine their Spanish-language interests with their interests in other fields covered by Fordham’s extensive curriculum. Students pursuing the SPST normally begin the major with SPAN 2001 (Spanish Language and Literature), SPAN 2201 (Spanish Community Engaged Learning), or SPAN 2301 (Advanced Spanish for Spanish Speakers), followed by SPAN 2500 (Approaches to Literature), which is a requirement for all courses numbered 3000 and above. Please note that students may only count one of the following towards the major: SPAN 2001, SPAN 2201, or SPAN 2301. At least 7 courses are to be completed in Spanish. As such, SPST majors have an opportunity to both further enhance their fluency and correct grammar usage and to further develop their understanding of Hispanic literatures, cultures and linguistics. Mindful of contextualization and the importance of interdisciplinarity, students in the SPST major may take up to three courses in English, whether in other departments or in our department (i.e., with MLAL or LING prefixes), as long as they are related to Hispanic or Latinx topics. Consultation with the SPST major advisor regarding these three courses is highly desirable. For the SPST major, a minimum of three 3000-level courses must be completed, including SPAN 3001 (Introduction to Spanish Literatures and Cultures) or SPAN 3002 (Introduction to Spanish American Literatures and Cultures) which are requirements and must be taken at Fordham. Please note that 3000-level courses do not need to be taken in numerical order. While SPAN 3001 or 3002 is a requirement for the SPST major, it is not a prerequisite for taking other 3000-level Spanish electives.


The Spanish Minor normally starts with SPAN 2001 (Spanish Language and Literature), SPAN 2201 (Spanish Community Engaged Learning), or SPAN 2301 (Advanced Spanish for Spanish Speakers), and consists of six courses in Spanish. These courses must include SPAN 2500 (Approaches to Literature, a prerequisite for all SPAN 3000-level courses), SPAN 3001 (Introduction to Spanish Literatures and Cultures) or SPAN 3002 (Introduction to Spanish American Literatures and Cultures), and at least three 3000-level SPAN courses. As with the SPLA and SPST majors, please note that students may only count one of the following towards the minor: SPAN 2001, SPAN 2201, or SPAN 2301.


A Senior Thesis is an option for students pursuing the SPLA and SPST majors with a GPA of 3.67 or higher who exhibit exceptional level in their coursework and who wish to be considered for honors. The thesis is a research paper of approximately 25 to 30 pages to be completed during the senior year and presented with a defense. A committee of three faculty members, including the thesis advisor, will be present at the defense. During the fall of their junior year, the student will choose a thesis advisor from the Spanish faculty of either campus, depending on the topic selected, and secure their consent. In addition, the student and the thesis advisor are encouraged to discuss both the topic of the thesis and a preliminary bibliography. Throughout the year, the student will begin writing the thesis in a tutorial/ independent study numbered SPAN 4998, which can count as one of the 10 courses for the major and complete a draft, work on corrections and submit a finalized version of the thesis by April 15. The defense will be scheduled after the student has submitted the thesis. Tutorial forms for FCRH and FCLC can be found here.


Study Abroad Policy: All majors and minors are strongly encouraged to study abroad. For SPLA majors, a maximum of four courses taken abroad for one semester and a maximum of five courses taken abroad for one year may apply toward the SPLA major. For SPST majors, a maximum of three courses abroad for one semester and a maximum of four courses abroad for a year may apply. For minors, a maximum of two courses taken abroad for one semester and a maximum of three courses taken abroad for a year may apply. Please know that students who want to apply study abroad credits toward their major must have their abroad courses approved by their Spanish faculty advisor prior to going abroad. Note also that SPAN 3001 and SPAN 3002 must be taken at Fordham and cannot be fulfilled by study abroad classes. You may consider our Fordham in Granada summer and semester programs as well as Fordham’s Exchanges at Jesuit universities in Bilbao (Deusto), Buenos Aires (San Salvador), Bogotá y Cali (Javeriana), and México City (Iberoamericana).

Internships: All Spanish majors have the option of signing up for an internship instead of taking a 10th course, provided that they submit a written proposal to their advisor before the beginning of the internship, they meet with their advisor at least once a month to discuss the relevance of their work, and submit a final research paper on a topic related to the internship at the end of the semester. The only internships that will be accepted will be those directly connected to Hispanic/Latino issues, and they will always be counted as a 2000-level course. Internship participants must demonstrate that they use Spanish on a weekly basis and that the internship can be considered a valuable part of their education and course of study.

Community Engaged Learning: All Spanish majors and minors are strongly encouraged to incorporate community engaged learning in any of their courses. SPST and SPLA majors and Spanish minors can take SPAN 2201, a community-engaged learning course at Lincoln Center, as part of their major/minor studies.

Double Counting: SPLA and SPST majors and Spanish minors can count up to two courses towards their Spanish major/minor and another major or minor at Fordham.