Spanish Major

Sixty-six credits in Spanish including either 205-206 and no more than twelve credits in the 205-210 sequence. Courses 101, 102, 103, 204 do not count toward the major.  Students may not apply more than 18 credits from courses numbered 220-290 to the major. In addition to 66 credits in the major, six credits are required in literature outside the major.

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)