Spanish Studies


The interdisciplinary major in Spanish studies introduces students to the study of the cultural dynamics and expressive cultures produced by peoples of Hispanic origin residing in the United States, Latin America, and Spain at the time of globalization of those national societies.

Through a qualitative, humanities-based preparation, the major offers students the linguistic competence and cultural literacy required to understand the perspectives and productions of Spanish-speaking communities. The major will help give students a broad understanding of the historical and cultural developments of the countries in which Spanish enjoys status as a national language, as well as those regions in which Spanish is in contact with other minority and/or majority languages.

Degrees Offered

  • B.A.

Study and Research Opportunities

  • Concentrations/tracks offered in Languages and Linguistics, and Literature and Culture
  • Opportunities for study abroad in Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Spain through the UC Education Abroad Program

Information for First-Year Students (Freshmen)

In addition to completing the courses required for admission to the University of California, high school students who plan to major in Spanish studies at UC Santa Cruz should try to acquire as much proficiency in Spanish as possible before coming to UC Santa Cruz.

Information for Transfers

Transfer students planning to major in Spanish Studies should complete two years of intensive language study before coming to UCSC. Those who have not fulfilled these requirements may find it difficult to include study abroad in their schedule, as well as graduate in two years. In addition, they will find it helpful to have completed courses that satisfy campus general education requirements.

Transfer course agreements and articulation between the University of California and California community colleges can be accessed on the ASSIST.ORG web site.


Bilingual-multicultural education
Community organizing
Environmental science
Global economics
Government and community service
Health care
Higher education
International relations
Journalism and the media
Legal services
Library science
Public health
Public policy
Social work
Travel industry

These are only samples of the field's many possibilities.


Spanish studies encourages students to take advantage of the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP). EAP language and culture programs are focused primarily on language acquisition. Some programs do not require prior language study while others have language prerequisites. Many of these programs provide students with the language skills needed to participate in regular university courses taught in the language of the host country. EAP opportunities in Spanish include Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Spain, and Costa Rica.

Department Website

General Catalog Information

Requirements for the Major

There are a total of 45 credits. See Program Major Requirements below for a breakdown of the credit requirements.

Major Prerequisite Requirement

Six courses in the regular track Spanish 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; or three courses in the Spanish for Heritage Speakers (SpHS) track, SpHS 4, 5, 6; or equivalent proficiency and History 11A, Latin America: Colonial Period or History 11B, Latin America: National Period or History 12, U.S. Latino History and Linguistics 50, Introduction to Linguistics.

Four required Spanish studies core courses (20 credits total):

  • Literature: Literature (LIT) 189A, From the Conquest to Sor Juana; or Literature (LIT) 189B, Romanticism to Modernism (5 credits)
  • Spanish Studies: Literature 189C or Spanish 105*, Introduction to Spanish Studies (cross-listed course) (5 credits)
  • Linguistics: Spanish 150*, Topics in Hispanic Linguistics: Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics (5 credits)
  • Spanish Language: Spanish 114, Advanced Conversation and Composition or SpHS 115, El ensayo lecture, analysis y redaccion (5 credits)

*Literature 189C/Spanish 105 and Spanish 150 must be taken prior to enrollment in or in conjunction with concentration courses.

Choice of Concentrations (Choose One Concentration – 3 Courses, 15 Credits Total)

Languages and Linguistics Track (three courses) – Any 5-credit Spanish-language courses numbered 100-189, Spanish 199 and Languages 199 (except Spanish 114, Spanish 150, SpHS 115 and Literature 189C/Spanish 105) are accepted with the permission of the Spanish studies director (or faculty adviser).

Literature and Culture Track (three courses) – Any 5-credit Spanish literature course numbered 188-189 (except Literature 189A, 189B, or 189C).

Electives (one upper-division course, 5 credits total) – Choose from related 5-credit courses in anthropology, education, feminist studies, history, history of art and visual culture, Latin American and Latino studies, linguistics, sociology, or any upper-division Spanish literature or Spanish language concentration courses not taken for concentration credit or capstone requirement.

Capstone Requirement

(one upper-division course, 5 credits )

In their senior year, Spanish studies majors must satisfy the senior exit requirement as described below:

Successful completion of a senior capstone course (a designated upper-division course taught in Spanish, 5-credits total). The senior capstone should be in the student's chosen concentration: language and linguistics, or literature and culture. Students must have senior standing and have completed at least three out of four core courses. The capstone course is in addition to the three upper-division concentration courses.

Disciplinary Communication Requirement

The Disciplinary Communication general education requirement (DC requirement) is satisfied by successfully completing Spanish 114 or SPHS 115.

Declaring the Major in Spanish Studies

To qualify for the major in Spanish studies, students must have completed Spanish 4 or equivalent with a grade of C or better, or demonstrate equivalent proficiency.

Study Abroad

Students who participate in EAP may petition to apply up to 5 courses (up to 25 upper-division credits) from EAP toward the major.

More Information

Department of Languages and Applied Linguistics
218 Cowell College
University of California, Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, California 95064
(831) 459-2054