Spanish is among the most widely spoken languages in the world today. In the United States, and especially in California and the Southwest, it is the first or second language for millions of people. Knowledge of Spanish gives you access to the rich literature and diverse cultures of Spain, South America, Central America, the Caribbean, Mexico and an important sector of the United States. Students who choose to major in Spanish have a lively interest in language in general, and a curiosity about the cultures, language and literature of the Spanish-speaking world in particular.
Skills gained from the major serve as background for graduate work in the language and its literature, for teaching the language, for translating or interpreting and for working with the Spanish-speaking public in a variety of roles and professions. Graduates also enter the fields of international business, state or federal government, social services and a number of para-professional occupations in the areas of medicine and law. One recent graduate now works for the Joint Economic Committee of Congress in Washington, D.C.
A major in Spanish allows you to develop fluency in written and spoken Spanish as well as gain familiarity with the literature and culture of the Hispanic world. Elementary and intermediate courses hone your skills and prepare you for advanced study of the language and of major Spanish-language literary works. You are encouraged to enrich your experience with study in a Spanish-speaking country through the Education Abroad Center. You may also choose to double major with another program such as Chicana/o studies, linguistics, international relations, comparative literature or economics.