Spanish Major

Sixty-six credits in Spanish including the following: no more than eighteen credits in the sequence 204-219; and no more than eighteen credits from courses numbered 220-299. In addition to these sixty-six credits, six credits in literature other than Spanish are required. At least three courses in Latin American literature and three courses in Peninsular literature must be completed before winter term of the senior year. All courses from the Spanish Department off-campus studies programs, numbered above 219, may count toward the major. Six credits for work in integrative exercise are also included in the required 66 credits.

Our majors can apply no more than 12 credits toward the major from among the language and composition courses (205-210). These range from Span 208 “Coffee and the News” on campus to Span 209 “Madrid Program: Current News” and Span 210 “Mexico Program: Grammar and Writing.”

Majors must complete at least three courses in Latin American literature and three courses in Peninsular literature (Spain) among their 66 credits in the department before winter term of the senior year.

A limit of three 200-level literature courses (those above the 205-209 range) guarantees that our students will proceed in a timely fashion to the upper division seminars and yet allows both flexibility and transition. All our courses demand that students learn and apply critical skills for literary and cultural analysis. However, it is at the 300-level that our majors complete a paper that can often form the basis for the senior comprehensive project, the capstone experience in our major. 

The spring of our majors’ junior year, students consult with faculty and begin the process of their “comps” or “senior comprehensive exercise.” The “comps” is completed spring term, senior year.


“Majoring in Spanish allowed me to fully take advantage of Carleton College’s liberal arts education.  Although the central focus of the major is literature, I spent many trimesters studying history, art, film, and urban development within the Spanish department.  As a junior, I spent three months in Madrid learning the nuances of Spanish culture and achieving fluency.  Being a pre-med student, I enjoyed being able to take both organic chemistry and Latin American love stories during the same trimester.  The detail-oriented analytical skills that I learned in the Spanish department will be a useful skill set as I begin my career as a bilingual physician.” (Ethan Bernstein '11)

“The Spanish Major at Carleton gave me the freedom to explore topics and texts that were exciting to me, and the confidence and critical skills I needed to succeed in a graduate program in Spanish literature. Although I did not have the same background as many of the other students in my Ph.D. program, many of whom were native Spanish speakers, Carleton's Spanish major provided me with the language, writing, and analytical skills that I needed.” (Britta Anderson '09)