By studying Spanish at St. Edward’s, you’ll develop language skills that build cultural understanding and a global mindset.
Spanish is spoken by 37 million people in the United States. It’s the third most widely spoken language in the world and is the official or primary language in 25 countries. And it’s spoken every day in classrooms and workplaces across Austin — home to Spanish-language news organizations, a Mexican Consulate, political organizations reaching out to Spanish speakers, and nonprofits helping immigrants.
You’ll have the chance to study abroad at partner universities in Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Spain and develop fluency by immersing yourself in the language. When you graduate, you’ll be ready to make your mark in international business, work for the State Department or an NGO, or serve the community at a social-service agency that supports Spanish speakers. If you’re planning to pursue a field like journalism, medicine, law or social work, knowing Spanish will dramatically expand your job prospects.
What do our graduates do?
Spanish majors go on to a variety of careers and graduate schools from St. Edward’s. Here’s a sample.
- Reporter for Searchlight New Mexico, a nonprofit investigative journalism outlet
- Graphic designer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York
- Account executive at NWN Corporation, a technology solutions company
- Vice president of Sales for Brazilian Blowout
54 Alumni Who Inspire
St. Edward’s University counts more than 25,000 alumni around the globe. Some are making their mark in the job they started right after graduation. Others have excelled in multiple careers. Read about how they’re all building on the education they received at St. Edward’s.
Major Requirements: The BA in Spanish requires 36 hours of major coursework, which includes a combination of Spanish language, hispanic studies, linguistics, and cultural coursework. Our Majors are required to take SPAN 3330 (offered every fall), 3341 (offered every spring), 3322 and 4398. They must complete a total of 2 4000-level courses.
Electives: Students complete 3 additional hours of elective coursework from the following areas of study: cultures, communication, history, political science, religious studies, or history.
General Education Requirements: The degree requires 57 hours of general education courses that students complete over four years in addition to their major courses and electives.
View and download the full degree plan for the Spanish major (PDF).
A few examples of courses students in this major take:
- Mexican American Cultural Experience – This course looks at the ways in which authors have expressed their hybrid identity through legends, corridos, and short stories.
- Women, Gender & Sexuality in Medieval and Early Modern Spain – In this course students explore how female identity has evolved since Early Modern Spain by reading about nuns, witches, and priests.
- Spanish in the United States – Students enrolled in this course will discover how U.S. Spanish differs from other dialects and learn about code switching, language discrimination, and bilingual language acquisition.
Our Faculty and Student Support Services
"Learning new languages gives us the freedom to communicate and collaborate with people from different cultures. Come learn how Spanish can help you become a more compassionate, analytical, and effective communicator."
– Emily Bernate, Assistant Professor of Spanish
"Learning another language paves the way toward a deeper understanding of another culture, its history and unique ways of doing things. Command of another language also allows you to access otherwise closed professional opportunities. Whether to enhance your professional profile or for reasons having to do with travel and adventure, learning Spanish enriches your life by making Spain and nations across Central and South America accessible."
– Regina Faunes, Associate Professor of Spanish
"Ser bilingüe y poder viajar me abrió una ventana a otras culturas. Creo que es algo fantástico y me encanta compartir este interés en las culturas globales con amigos, colegas, estudiantes y todos los que tienen el deseo de ver el mundo."
– Georgia Seminet, Associate Professor of Spanish
Outside the Classroom
Study Abroad and Faculty-led Programs
Spend 6 weeks in Madrid, Spain during Summer 2018 on a faculty-led experience. You can Walk the medieval streets of Spanish cities, hike through the Peaks of Europe, contemplate Picasso’s most iconic painting in person, enjoy exquisite Spanish tapas, visit world famous museums, spend your afternoons on the picturesque beaches of northern Spain, and explore a culture that is 1500+ years in the making. All while earning credit for ULF 3330 (and/or) Spanish 3399 + Spanish 1 through 5. For more information, please contact Prof. Jason Stinnett: jstinnet [at] stedwards.edu
Students majoring in Spanish at St. Edward's have dozens of choices when it comes to study abroad. And our recent travelers to Spain prove that even a single country can offer a diversity of experiences.
Zaira Villa spent the spring of 2016 studying Spanish and medical sciences in Castellon de la Plana. She selected this program because she "fell in love with the campus, the location, and the idea of an exchange program." Her time on the Mediterranean coast allowed her to spend a semester immersed in Spanish language and culture, but also reevaluate her future goals. Zaira still plans on attending medical school, but is now also considering a degree in public health and a career with Doctors Without Borders. She adds she has "been thinking about [her] education more globally."
To students considering study abroad in the future, Zaira offers simple advice: "Do it."
Domonique Pearson opted for a program focused on behavioral and social sciences in Madrid, Spain's capital. Domonique not only chose courses that would focus on improving her language skills, but also opted to spend her semester living with a host family. "I wanted to live with a host family to force myself to practice speaking Spanish and to really experience the Spanish culture through the life of a family," Domonique says. She plans to find a career that allows her to use her Spanish skills and to work with families to improve access to educational resources for their children.
"[T]he experience I had changed my life."
Katherine Nixon, a double-major in Global Studies and Spanish, was initially unsure which study abroad program would be the best fit her for. After sitting down with an advisor at the Global Engagement Office, she chose a program offered through Academic Programs International. The program, which allowed her to spend a semester in Granada, gave her the option to take all of her courses in Spanish. The students were encouraged, she says, "to really immerse themselves in Spanish society." Katherine plans to go on to law school and later work with international clients. She notes that the studying abroad gave her experience with intercultural communication, a skill that "is an important aspect of the business world, the professional world, and our modern world in general."
"I would be lying if I said that it was never scary or intimidating. Remember, however, that happiness and fulfillment are frequently found just on the other side of fear. They were for me."
About the Minor
The study of the Spanish language provides a valuable and high-demand skill for every area of work and life, and aligns with any field of study. Student pursuing this minor will complete 18 hours of coursework
- SPAN 3330 Spanish Grammar in Context
- SPAN 3341 Effective Written Communication
- Intermediate language courses or equivalent
- 6-12 credit hours of electives
Are you a current student? Contact your advisor for next steps on declaring your major or minor.
Fulfilling the Language Requirement
What if I already speak Spanish?
If you have studied Spanish formally and did not grow up hearing the language, you are probably a second-language learner. You can take a placement test or receive credit through CLEP or AP exams. For information on receiving credit for your prior knowledge in Spanish, contact Georgia Seminet: georgias [at] stedwards.edu.
If you grew up hearing Spanish spoken by your parents or grandparents, you are probably a heritage learner. We have special classes designed to help heritage learners improve their grammar, vocabulary, and cultural knowledge. You can also take a placement test or receive credit through CLEP or AP exams. For more information, contact Emily Bernate: ebernate [at] stedwards.edu.