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Newsletter: Spanish at UMD

Hispanic Studies Program

The Hispanic Studies Program provides language instruction in line with the national standards of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages proficiency guidelines. In accordance with these guidelines, our curriculum prepares students to communicate in all four modalities: reading, writing, speaking and listening. An oral proficiency exit exam is given to all of our majors at the end of their studies.

Furthermore, we provide instruction in literature, film and culture studies. Our goal and mission is to a) make students familiar with Spanish-speaking cultures (dominant and minority cultures and other global cultures b) provide students with an overview of “high” and “low” literary, visual and cultural texts, and c) to provide them with tools valuable for critical thinking and analysis.

Our goal is for students to comprehend (via listening and reading), to speak and to write the target language in an advanced U.S. academic setting, so that they can meet the learning objectives and become critical thinkers and informed citizens of the world.

Students wishing to seek teaching licensure are encouraged to finish the liberal arts degree in Hispanic Studies and then pursue licensure in a graduate program. The Department will work with students to suggest likely programs.

An Oral Proficiency Exam is required for all majors. Usually it is recommended that students take this exam several semesters before they are about to graduate. For more information, please click here for all necessary information about the exam.

Looking to declare? Check out some of our information! We have some advisement information concerning the program itself. Also, for students who are looking to declare Hispanic Studies as their second major and have an existing major in another college (CEHSP, LSBE, etc.), see the CLA Advising website. For more information on declaring a major (or double major) in Hispanic Studies, please contact any Spanish instructor for more information.

Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements (major and minor)

Enrolling in the Right Course

This table provides you with suggested courses based on your language background. PLEASE NOTE: If there has been a significant lapse in your language education (for example, you took three levels of Spanish, but that was five years ago), please take this into consideration when signing up for language classes. Many students find that after several years out of the language classroom, entering at a lower level is beneficial. If you have any additional questions concerning what course you should take, please contact a Spanish instructor.

Take this...
if you've...

Beginning Spanish I


never before studied Spanish, or taken one year of a Spanish language course in high school.

Beginning Spanish II


taken two years of recent high school Spanish language courses.

Intermediate Spanish I


taken three years of high school Spanish language courses.

Intermediate Spanish II


taken 4 years of high school Spanish language courses.

Advanced Spanish


taken 4-5 years of high school Spanish language courses. If it's been



If some time has passed since your last Spanish class, consider moving down one level from the recommendations above. If you still aren’t sure what class you should take, please contact the instructor of the course you are considering or any Spanish professor.


Credit by Exam

Opportunities for Hispanic Studies Students

Study Abroad

Students may wish -- and are encouraged -- to study abroad during the summer, during an academic semester, or for an entire year.

Students may enroll in study abroad courses (for zero tuition) while they are away. This allows students to maintain their UMD enrollment and to use their financial aid. To check if your credits abroad will transfer back to UMD, check here.

Please check with the International Education Office to learn about specific programs. The Department does offer one program, as seen below:

Our Study Abroad Program - a four-week program offered in June to Salamanca, Spain; contact Professor Maureen Tobin Stanley or Andrew Snustad for more information.

Students who go to Salamanca, Spain can enjoy time in the Plaza



For Spanish speakers of all levels, the program offers a monthly Tertulia, a fun, low-key, off-campus gathering of students and staff members that is conducted entirely in Spanish. Students are expected to converse freely about the topics of their choosing. The Tertulia coordinator circulates among the student groups, providing assistance and conversing with students.

Tertulias are usually conducted at a nearby cafe, Bixby's from 4-5pm on the dates listed below. Students in Intermediate Spanish I and II receive credit for their Tertulia attendance, as it is a class requirement. These students should sign in upon arrival. Hour-long attendance is required for credit.

Spanish Club

Please contact Hispanic Studies faculty for more information about upcoming events.

Library Resources

If you're looking for books either written in Spanish or that deal with topics in Spanish culture, literature, etc, please see our library link. This will take you to the UMD library's page for our program.

Departmental Honors

Students who have achieved a grade point average of 3.30 in all major courses may be invited by faculty to submit a sample of their work, in order to be considered for departmental honors and to receive a degree with distinction. Please contact the department for further information.

Career Opportunities

Our students who have majored or minored in Hispanic Studies enjoy a large variety of career options, including graduate programs in licensure K-12. Please see the Department for further information.

If you are interested in seeing some individual profiles of alumni who have benefitted in both their careers and personal lives because of their degrees, check out our Featured Alumni on our Alumni page.


Tutoring is often available through the UMD Tutoring Center. Check out their site for more information.



Participation in UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program) is encouraged so that students can work jointly on research topics of mutual interest with a faculty member.

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