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The Spanish program at Saint Louis University concentrates on advanced language training, culture and literary studies. Our undergraduate degree prepares students for careers that require proficiency in Spanish or for graduate work in Spanish.

Major in Spanish

If you major in Spanish at SLU, you’ll take part in regularly scheduled extracurricular activities such as movie nights, cultural talks, social service workshops, dance demonstrations, dinners and parties to gain cultural awareness of Spanish and Hispanic cultures. You’ll also present a senior thesis at an annual student symposium that attracts students from neighboring colleges and schools, as well as the University. Students are also encouraged to join SLU's chapter of Sigma Delta Pi, the National Spanish Honor Society.

All students majoring in Spanish are encouraged to spend one year studying abroad in a Spanish-speaking country. Saint Louis University-Madrid is a good fit for many students pursuing a degree in Spanish. Besides the traditional courses in Spanish language, culture and literature, students at the Madrid campus may select from a wide variety of offerings in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences — many of which are taught in English. Other study abroad opportunities include programs in El Salvador, Mexico, Chile and Ecuador.


The Spanish major requires 30 credit hours of coursework, with 12 of those credits in advanced Spanish language instruction. The remaining 18 hours of coursework must be upper-division literature, linguistics or culture in Spanish.

You’ll complete your degree with either an additional upper-level Spanish course or a senior thesis. Students majoring in Spanish may take six credit hours of Spanish courses taught in English.

Total number of credits required: 30 (10 courses)

  • 12 advanced language credits: SPAN 3010, SPAN 3020, SPAN 3030, SPAN 3040
  • 18 upper division credits (above SPAN 3040) in SPAN courses. These may be taken in literature, linguistics or culture.
  • Students who begin with SPAN 3030 and SPAN 3040 must complete 24 credit hours of upper-division courses to fulfill the 30 credit hours required for the major.
  • If you major in Spanish, you may take six credit hours of SPAN courses taught in English.
  • Study abroad courses may be accepted toward the major if they have been pre-approved by your faculty mentor in consultation with the Spanish major coordinator.

In addition to the 30 credits, you must choose one of the two following options to complete the requirements for the major:

  • An additional upper level SPAN course (three credit hours)

  • SPAN 4960: Senior Inquiry Research Paper (zero credit hours) with the following requirements:
      • Be 12 pages long with a five-page version to be presented at the department’s annual undergraduate symposium celebrated each spring.
      • Be written in Spanish.
      • Be written in MLA format.
      • Be supervised and approved by a mentor (professor in the Spanish division) to qualify for completion of the senior inquiry requirement.
      • Be approved by mentor to qualify for submission to the undergraduate symposium.
      • Topic can be any aspect of the Hispanic literature, language or culture. Topic may originate on a paper written for a class, judged as meriting expansion by the student’s mentor.
      • If written for a course, that course professor is the most sensible choice to act as research paper mentor for the student.
      • Both student and mentor must sign a contract specifying timetable for completion of the paper.
      • If graduating in the fall, the student will complete his/her senior inquiry research paper the previous spring. Registration will be done, however, in the fall of the student’s graduation year.

You must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 and complete each course with a C or better.

Internships and Careers

Spanish students at SLU can complete an internship that uses their knowledge of the language at one of many businesses, companies or community outreach facilities in St. Louis.

A major in Spanish, especially when complemented by a second major such as international studies, uniquely qualifies students to compete in careers with an international orientation. Graduates may pursue careers in international law, business, economics, government work, foreign service or scientific research.


Scholarly interests of SLU’s Spanish faculty include linguistics (first- and second-language acquisition, the interaction of technology in learning processes), Latin American studies (language, literature, culture and history), and peninsular studies (language, literature, culture and history).

Tuition and Fees

Saint Louis University takes pride in being one of Barron's Best Buys in College Education and Kiplinger's Best Values in Private Colleges.

For information regarding the upcoming academic year’s tuition rate, fees and financial aid, visit SLU Financial Services.

2018-2019 Tuition and Fees
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Minor in Spanish

SLU's Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures also offers a Spanish minor. It requires 18 credit hours of coursework at or above the 3000 level. A typical plan of study is as follows: SPAN 3010, SPAN 3020, SPAN 3030 and SPAN 3040, plus two upper-division (4000-level) courses. Each of these courses is worth three credit hours. Students who begin with SPAN 3030 and SPAN 3040 must complete 12 credit hours of upper-division courses to fulfill the 18 credit hours required for the minor.

All Spanish courses to be counted toward the minor must be completed with a grade of C or better, and you must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.0. Transfer students must complete at least two courses in residence at SLU. All courses must be taken in Spanish, except under extraordinary circumstances with the approval of both the course instructor and the student's Spanish mentor.

If you would like to study abroad as a Spanish minor, you must have all non-SLU courses approved prior to taking them. All non-SLU Spanish courses must be pre-approved by the Dean's Office of the College of Arts and Sciences. If the class is to count for the Spanish minor, the College of Arts and Sciences requires that the department also approves the course(s).

Campus Resources

Language Resource Center

Students studying language at SLU have access to our Language Resource Center, which offers live satellite transmissions of international news broadcasts, interactive video, film and multimedia, and computer programs, all of which can help develop your Spanish language culture proficiency.