Laura Middlebrooks, Ph.D.
Instructor and program coordinator, Spanish

worldstudies.vcu.edu/spanish

The foreign language program offers a varied interdisciplinary humanities curriculum, global in scope and designed to increase students’ knowledge about the cultures and traditions, languages, literature and media, history, values, concerns, and aspirations of peoples in different countries and regions of the world. The goal of the program is ultimately also to both broaden students’ comparative intercultural perspectives and develop their cross-cultural communication abilities. Students have the option to pursue a focus or even combination of concentrations in foreign language(s), area studies and/or global issues (in either cinema and/or social justice), depending upon their interests and career plans. Within each chosen concentration or minor, the range of offerings allows for flexibility in configuring each individual’s course of study, which can be organized in a manner that best suits a student’s particular needs.

The Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Language will qualify students to pursue any of a number of career paths, including international communications, business and marketing, aid and development, journalism, or education; government foreign service, international affairs, immigration service or the Peace Corps; nongovernmental organizations involved in development, relief programs, immigration or human rights advocacy; or public relations in a multicultural environment. Graduates of our program will also find opportunities in teaching at home or abroad, as well as in work with a variety of public-service organizations. In addition, an undergraduate degree in foreign language provides excellent background and qualifications for admittance to graduate degree programs in a number of humanities disciplines, including foreign languages and international studies, as well as in international law, business or journalism.

Learning outcomes

  • Development of written communication skills
  • Development of oral communication skills
  • Development of reading and analytical skills
  • Cultural competence

Upon completing this program, students will know and know how to do the following:

  • The goal of the program is ultimately to both broaden students’ comparative intercultural perspectives and develop their cross-cultural communication abilities.
  • Students gain proficiency in speaking, listening, reading and writing in Spanish.
  • Students gain knowledge and a set of cognitive, affective and behavioral skills and characteristics that support effective and appropriate interaction in a variety of cultural contexts. These range from Spain to the Spanish-speaking Americas to Hispanic U.S. populations.

Special requirements

To earn a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Language, students must complete 39 credits within the major, 36 credits of which must be upper-level (300-level or above), with a minimum GPA of 2.25 within the major.

Majors in foreign language are encouraged to choose a minor that will broaden their global and cultural perspectives. Foreign language majors are encouraged — but not limited — to complete the course requirements for a minor in one of the following fields: African studies, Arabic and Middle Eastern studies, anthropology, Chinese and Asian Studies, economics, business (general business minor), French, geography, German, history, Italian studies, Mediterranean studies, political science, religious studies, Russian studies, sociology, Spanish, or urban and regional studies. Students also may want to consider a double major. The School of World Studies Advising Office will work with students to explore the benefits of a double major and/or a minor.

All foreign language majors, students transferring credits from study abroad and transfer students who intend to major in a foreign language must take a minimum of two 400-level courses (in literature, civilization or cinema) at VCU in the chosen language area. Both credit and distribution requirements (minimum of 10 courses) for the concentration must be satisfied.

Degree requirements for Foreign Language, Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) with a concentration in Spanish

General Education requirements

University Core Education Curriculum (minimum 21 credits)
UNIV   111 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry IFocused Inquiry I3
UNIV   112 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry IIFocused Inquiry II3
UNIV   200Inquiry and the Craft of Argument3
Approved humanities/fine arts3
Approved natural/physical sciences3-4
Approved quantitative literacy3-4
Approved social/behavioral sciences3-4
Total Hours21-24
Additional College of Humanities and Sciences requirements (11-23 credits)
HUMS   202Choices in a Consumer Society1
Approved H&S diverse and global communities3
Approved H&S human, social and political behavior (fulfills University Core social/behavioral sciences)
Approved H&S literature and civilization (fulfills University Core humanities/fine arts)
Approved H&S science and technology (fulfills University Core natural/physical sciences)
Approved H&S General Education electives6-8
Experiential fine arts 11-3
Foreign language through the 102 level (by course or placement)0-8
Total Hours11-23
1

Course offered by the School of the Arts

Collateral requirements

Experiential learning
Select one of the following:0-3
Major-specific service-learning course
Study abroad program
Approved internship: Select one of the following:
World Languages Internship
World Cultures Internship
International Studies Internship
Or other preapproved internship opportunities
Foreign language requirement
In order to begin upper-level course work in any foreign language, students must have consecutively completed the following courses or prove the equivalent proficiency level through placement testing:0-6
Intermediate Spanish
Intermediate Spanish Readings
Intermediate Spanish Conversation
World Passport
Students must complete the School of World Studies World Passport
Total Hours0-9

Major requirements

INTL/WRLD 203Cultural Texts and Contexts: ____3
SPAN   300
SPAN   301
Advanced Grammar and Writing
and Advanced Grammar and Writing
6
Select one of the following advanced conversation courses: 13
Spanish Conversation
Spanish Conversation and Film
Spanish Through the Media (advanced conversation course)
SPAN   320Civilization of Spain I (civilization course)3
or SPAN   321 Latin American Civilization I
SPAN/INTL 331Survey of Latin American Literature (survey of literature course)3
or SPAN   330 Survey of Spanish Literature
Select two additional SPAN courses from the 300-level electives list below.6
Select three additional SPAN courses from the 400-level electives list below.9
WRLD   302Communicating Across Cultures3
WRLD   490Seminar in World Cultures and Languages (capstone)3
Total Hours39
1

Among the three advanced conversation courses (SPAN   305, SPAN   307 and SPAN   311), students can take only one of the three to meet core major and minor requirements.

Open electives

Select 25-48 open elective credits25-48

Total minimum requirement 120 credits

SPAN electives

300-level courses 1
SPAN   320Civilization of Spain I3
SPAN   321Latin American Civilization I3
SPAN   322Hispanic Immigrants in the U.S.3
SPAN   330Survey of Spanish Literature3
SPAN   331Survey of Latin American Literature3
SPAN   332Latino Writers in the U.S.3
400-level courses 2
SPAN   402Language Issues in the Spanish-speaking World3
SPAN   403History of the Spanish Language1-3
SPAN   414Commercial Spanish1-3
SPAN   420Civilization of Spain II1-3
SPAN   421Civilization of Latin America II1-3
SPAN   422Spanish and Latin American Cinema1-3
SPAN   430Literary Genres1-3
SPAN   431Literary Periods1-3
SPAN   432Hispanic Culture Through Literature3
SPAN   433Don Quixote3
SPAN   485Spanish Study Abroad1-12
SPAN   491Topics in Spanish1-3
SPAN   492Independent Study1-3
1

SETI 400 may be selected to fulfill one 300-level SPAN elective.

2

One of SETI 400, SETI 410 or SETI 420 may be selected to fulfill one 400-level SPAN elective.

What follows is a sample plan that meets the prescribed requirements within a four-year course of study at VCU. Please contact your adviser before beginning course work toward a degree.

Freshman year
Fall semesterHours
SPAN   101 Elementary Spanish 4
UNIV   101 Introduction to the University 1
UNIV   111 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry I Focused Inquiry I 3
WRLD   203 Cultural Texts and Contexts: ____ (fulfills approved literature and civilization) 3
Approved quantitative literacy 3-4
 Term Hours: 14-15
Spring semester
HUMS   202 Choices in a Consumer Society 1
SPAN   102 Elementary Spanish 4
UNIV   112 Play VideoPlay course video for Focused Inquiry II Focused Inquiry II 3
Approved diverse and global communities 3
Approved human, social and political behavior 3
 Term Hours: 14
Sophomore year
Fall semester
SPAN   201 Intermediate Spanish 3
UNIV   200 Inquiry and the Craft of Argument 3
Approved general education electives 6-7
Approved science and technology 3-4
 Term Hours: 15-17
Spring semester
SPAN   202 Intermediate Spanish Readings 3
WRLD   302 Communicating Across Cultures 3
Experiential fine arts 1-3
Open electives 9
 Term Hours: 16-18
Junior year
Fall semester
On-campus or study abroad semester:  
SPAN   300 Advanced Grammar and Writing 3
SPAN   305
Spanish Conversation
or Spanish Conversation and Film
or Spanish Through the Media
3
Open electives 9
 Term Hours: 15
Spring semester
On-campus or study abroad semester:  
SPAN   301 Advanced Grammar and Writing 3
SPAN   330
Survey of Spanish Literature
or Survey of Latin American Literature
or Survey of Latin American Literature
3
Open electives 9
 Term Hours: 15
Summer semester
Study abroad (recommended):  
SPAN elective (300-level) 0-3
Select one of the following: 0-3
SPAN   320
Civilization of Spain I
or Latin American Civilization I
-
 Term Hours: 0-6
Senior year
Fall semester
FRLG   493 World Languages Internship (or SPAN elective 400-level or above) 3
SPAN   320
Civilization of Spain I
or Latin American Civilization I
3
WRLD   490 Seminar in World Cultures and Languages (or open elective) 3
SPAN elective (300-level) (if not taken abroad) 3
SPAN elective (300-level) 3
Open elective 1-3
 Term Hours: 16-18
Spring semester
FRLG   493 World Languages Internshipor SPAN elective 400-level or above) (whichever not completed in Fall 3
SETI   400 Spanish-English Comparative Grammar (or SPAN elective 400-level or above) 3
WRLD   490 Seminar in World Cultures and Languagesif not already taken) (or open elective 3
SPAN elective (400-level or above) 3
Open elective 3
 Term Hours: 15
 Total Hours: 120-133

SPAN   101. Elementary Spanish. 4 Hours.

Continuous courses; 5 lecture/recitation hours. 4-4 credits. Prerequisite: completion of SPAN   101 to enroll in SPAN   102. Elementary grammar, reading and oral drills.

SPAN   102. Elementary Spanish. 4 Hours.

Continuous courses; 5 lecture/recitation hours. 4-4 credits. Prerequisite: completion of SPAN   101 to enroll in SPAN   102. Elementary grammar, reading and oral drills.

SPAN   201. Intermediate Spanish. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SPAN   102. Continuation of the essentials of grammar, with emphasis on achieving proficiency in aural comprehension, speaking, reading and writing skills.

SPAN   202. Intermediate Spanish Readings. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SPAN   201. Designed to increase the student's proficiency through the study of selected cultural and literary texts.

SPAN   205. Intermediate Spanish Conversation. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SPAN   201. Designed to increase the student's proficiency in the spoken language through audio-oral exercises, dialogues and free conversation.

SPAN   300. Advanced Grammar and Writing. 3 Hours.

Semester courses; 3 lecture hours. 3, 3 credits. Prerequisite: SPAN   202 or 205. Prerequisite for SPAN   301: SPAN   300. A systematic review of Spanish grammar with emphasis on the elements of style and vocabulary building, translation and composition.

SPAN   301. Advanced Grammar and Writing. 3 Hours.

Semester courses; 3 lecture hours. 3, 3 credits. Prerequisite: SPAN   202 or 205. Prerequisite for SPAN   301: SPAN   300. A systematic review of Spanish grammar with emphasis on the elements of style and vocabulary building, translation and composition.

SPAN   305. Spanish Conversation. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SPAN   202, SPAN   205 or SPAN   300. Conducted in Spanish. Practice in the spoken language with emphasis on discussions relating to topics of current interest.

SPAN   307. Spanish Conversation and Film. 3 Hours.

Semester courses; 3 lecture hours. 3, 3 credits. Prerequisite: SPAN   202, SPAN   205 or SPAN   300. Designed to develop the student's conversational skills, oral comprehension ability and knowledge of contemporary culture through discussion of selected Spanish and Latin American films. Emphasis is also placed on vocabulary development and writing practice.

SPAN   311. Spanish Through the Media. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SPAN   202, SPAN   205 or SPAN   300. Further development of listening, reading, writing, speaking and cultural skills through a focus on mass media in Latin America and Spain. Spanish language and current events will be taught through direct contact with newspapers, journals, television and radio programming, and online media. Students will view programs outside of class, participate actively in class discussions, create presentations and conduct research.

SPAN   320. Civilization of Spain I. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: SPAN   300; SPAN   305 or 307 or 311; corequisite: SPAN   301. Conducted in Spanish. A treatment of salient manifestations of Spanish culture and civilization from its origins to the present.

SPAN   321. Latin American Civilization I. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: SPAN   300; SPAN   305 or 307 or 311; corequisite: SPAN   301. Conducted in Spanish. A treatment of salient manifestations of Latin American culture and civilization from pre-Columbian times to the present.

SPAN   322. Hispanic Immigrants in the U.S.. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: SPAN   300; SPAN   305 or 307 or 311; corequisite: SPAN   301. Conducted in Spanish. Analysis, research and discussion of the life and history of Hispanics in the U.S. Topics such as identity, assimilation, immigration laws, education, jobs, housing, health, religion and politics will be covered. Students will apply their course learning through 15 hours of community service for Hispanics.

SPAN   330. Survey of Spanish Literature. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SPAN   300; SPAN   305 or 307 or 311; corequisite: SPAN   301. Conducted in Spanish. A survey of Spanish literature up to the present.

SPAN   331. Survey of Latin American Literature. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: SPAN   300; SPAN   305 or 307 or 311; corequisite: SPAN   301. Conducted in Spanish. An introduction to major authors and trends up to the present. Crosslisted as: INTL   331.

SPAN   332. Latino Writers in the U.S.. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: SPAN   300; SPAN   305 or 307 or 311; corequisite: SPAN   301. Conducted in Spanish. Explores Latino cultural identity and the Latino contribution to U.S. cultural life through a variety of works in the different literary genres produced by Latino writers, both immigrants and those raised in the U.S.

SPAN   400. Spanish Translation. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; 1-3 lecture hours. 1-3 credits. Course can be repeated with different topics up to a total of 6 credits. Prerequisites: SPAN   301; SPAN   305 or 307 or 311; SPAN   320 or 321 or 330 or 331. Conducted in Spanish. Integrates the basic theoretical and practical aspects of translation, focused from a perspective of applied linguistics. The course includes a workshop component and students will practice both written and oral translation of diverse texts. See the Schedule of Classes for the specific topic to be offered each semester.

SPAN   401. Comparative Structures. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; 1-3 lecture hours. 1-3 credits. Course can be repeated with different topics up to a total of 6 credits. Prerequisites: SPAN   301; SPAN   305 or 307 or 311; SPAN   320 or 321 or 330 or 331. Conducted in Spanish. A comparison of English and Spanish, with emphasis on pronunciation and problems encountered in the teaching of Spanish. See the Schedule of Classes for the specific topic to be offered each semester. Crosslisted as: LING   401.

SPAN   402. Language Issues in the Spanish-speaking World. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 1-3 lecture hours. 1-3 credits. Course can be repeated with different topics up to a total of 6 credits. Prerequisites: SPAN   301; SPAN   305 or 307 or 311; SPAN   320 or 321 or 330 or 331. Conducted in Spanish. Through a variety of topics this course explores the links between language and human behavior as exemplified by language phenomena in the Spanish-speaking world. Topics will be drawn mainly from sociolinguistics, language and culture, and education and applied linguistics. See the Schedule of Classes for the specific topic to be offered each semester. Crosslisted as: LING   402.

SPAN   403. History of the Spanish Language. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; 1-3 lecture hours. 1-3 credits. Course can be repeated with different topics up to a total of 6 credits. Prerequisites: SPAN   301; SPAN   305 or 307 or 311; SPAN   320 or 321 or 330 or 331. Conducted in Spanish. A study of the evolution of Spanish from Latin through the Middle Ages to the Modern era. Historical phonology, etymology, morphology, orthography, semantics and syntax of standard Castilian. See the Schedule of Classes for the specific topic to be offered each semester.

SPAN   404. Spanish Interpretation. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: SPAN   301; SPAN   305 or 307 or 311; SPAN   320 or 321 or 330 or 331. This course covers theoretical and practical aspects of interpretation, including simultaneous and consecutive interpretation, as well as sight translation. The course also includes a workshop component in which students will put into practice these types of interpretation.

SPAN   414. Commercial Spanish. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; 1-3 lecture hours. 1-3 credits. Course can be repeated with different topics up to a total of 6 credits. Prerequisites: SPAN   301; SPAN   305 or 307 or 311; SPAN   320 or 321 or 330 or 331. Conducted in Spanish. This course will develop the student's ability to use the Spanish language as a means of oral and written communication in the business world. See the Schedule of Classes for the specific topic to be offered each semester.

SPAN   420. Civilization of Spain II. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; 1-3 lecture hours. 1-3 credits. Course can be repeated with different topics up to a total of 6 credits. Prerequisites: completion of 9 credits of Spanish at the 300 level including SPAN   300 or 301. This course explores the cultural diversity and differences of Spain. Topics focus on a particular interdisciplinary theme, such as the formation of cities, ethnicity and on a particular area of Spain. See the Schedule of Classes for the specific topic to be offered each semester.

SPAN   421. Civilization of Latin America II. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; 1-3 lecture hours. 1-3 credits. Course can be repeated with different topics up to a total of 6 credits. Prerequisites: completion of 9 credits of Spanish at the 300 level including SPAN   300 or 301. This course explores the cultural diversity of Latin America and the social and political forces behind cultural change. Topics will focus on a specific interdisciplinary theme, such as urban life, the politics of identity and on a specific area of Latin America. See the Schedule of Classes for the specific topic to be offered each semester. Crosslisted as: INTL   421.

SPAN   422. Spanish and Latin American Cinema. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; 1-3 lecture hours. 1-3 credits. Course can be repeated with different themes, up to a total of 6 credits. Prerequisites: completion of 9 credits of Spanish at the 300 level including SPAN   300 or 301. Conducted in Spanish. Spanish and/or Latin American cinema from the 1940s to the present, including the works of important directors, such as Bunuel, Saura, Almodovar, Emilio Fernandez, Glauber Rocha, Solanas or Gutierrez-Alea. The formal and aesthetic issues of cinematic texts and the historical, cultural and social contexts of their production. See the Schedule of Classes for the specific theme to be offered each semester.

SPAN   430. Literary Genres. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; 1-3 lecture hours. 1-3 credits. Course can be repeated with different topics up to a total of 6 credits. Prerequisites: completion of 9 credits of Spanish at the 300 level including SPAN   300 or 301. Conducted in Spanish. An in-depth look at the development and expression of varieties of literature in Spanish. See the Schedule of Classes for the specific topic to be offered each semester.

SPAN   431. Literary Periods. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; 1-3 lecture hours. 1-3 credits. Course can be repeated with different topics up to a total of 6 credits. Prerequisites: completion of 9 credits of Spanish at the 300 level including SPAN   300 or 301. Conducted in Spanish. An in-depth synchronic look at movements and their context in literature in Spanish. See the Schedule of Classes for the specific topic to be offered each semester.

SPAN   432. Hispanic Culture Through Literature. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: SPAN   301; SPAN   320, SPAN   321 or SPAN   322; and SPAN   330, SPAN   331 or SPAN   332. Conducted in Spanish. An in-depth analysis of Hispanic texts dealing with cultural topics such as love relationships, death, family, religion, politics, gender and ethnicity, as well as their relationships to cultural values, behaviors, ideologies, beliefs and the histories of Spain and Spanish America.

SPAN   433. Don Quixote. 3 Hours.

Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisites: SPAN   301, and SPAN   320 or SPAN   330. Conducted in Spanish. An in-depth analysis of Miguel de Cervantes’s masterpiece. Focuses on questions of the literary, linguistic and cultural complexity of “Don Quixote.” Examines the work in the social and historical context of Early Modern Spain.

SPAN   485. Spanish Study Abroad. 1-12 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. Variable credit. Prerequisites: SPAN   301 and SPAN   321; SPAN   330 or 331 or 332. This course offers all students the opportunity to improve their oral and written proficiency in Spanish, to enhance their awareness of cultural diversity and to become independent learners of Spanish language and the cultures of its speakers.

SPAN   491. Topics in Spanish. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. 1-3 credits. May be repeated with different topics for a maximum of 9 credits. Prerequisites: SPAN   301; SPAN   305 or 307 or 311; SPAN   320 or 321 or 330 or 331. An in-depth study of selected topics in Spanish. See the Schedule of Classes for specific topics to be offered each semester.

SPAN   492. Independent Study. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; variable hours. Variable credit. Maximum of 3 credits per semester; maximum total of 6 credits for all independent study courses in Spanish. Prerequisites: SPAN   301; SPAN   305 or 307 or 311; SPAN   320 or 321 or 330 or 331. A course designed to give students an opportunity to become involved in independent study in a literary or linguistic area or subject in which they have an interest.

SPAN   494. Spanish Interpretation and Translation Internship. 1-3 Hours.

Semester course; 50-150 clock hours in local, national or international internship placement where Spanish language interpretation or translation is required. 1-3 credits. Repeatable for up to 6 credits. Prerequisites: SPAN   301; SPAN   305 or 307 or 311; SPAN   320 or 321; SPAN   400; and SPAN   401. Under the supervision of both a faculty member and a field supervisor, students will apply their linguistic skills in an approved work situation. Each internship will be specifically designed in accordance with the student's linguistic level and the placement site requirements.