The Graduate and Undergraduate Programs in Spanish

The Graduate Program in Spanish

The Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese at Penn State offers the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Spanish, with specializations in Spanish Peninsular literature (Medieval through Modern), Latin American literature (Colonial through Modern), and Hispanic linguistics. A number of teaching assistantships are available to qualified applicants. Teaching assistants in the M.A. program are normally guaranteed four semesters of support; those in the Ph.D. program are usually guaranteed eight semesters of support beyond the M.A., contingent on satisfactory teaching and academic progress. A limited amount of fellowship support is also available.



The Undergraduate Program in Spanish

The Spanish Major at Penn State provides students with both linguistic proficiency and familiarity with the cultures and literatures of the Spanish-speaking world. Spanish is the official language of many countries as well as the native language of many people in the United States. In an increasingly global society, the Spanish degrees offered by Penn State help students to participate actively in today's interconnected world.

Career Directions

Combining a degree in Spanish with courses in fields such as economics, hotel-restaurant management, business administration, or Latin-American studies provides access to careers in a wide variety of areas. In recent years, the combination of Spanish with social work has also proven especially attractive because of the growing number of professinal positions that deal directly with the country's Latino community. The federal government employs liberal arts graduates with foreign-language skills in organizations including the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, the U.S. Information Agency, and the Department of Labor. Other opportunities exist in business and education; however, students who intend to teach in the public schools should contact the College of Education for specific teacher certification requirements.Students in Mexico

Related Opportunities and Study Abroad

Study abroad is an excellent way to become familiar with Hispanic cultures and to learn to use Spanish fluently. Penn State offers education abroad programs in Salamanca, Spain; Puebla, Mexico; and San German, Puerto Rico. Additional programs are also available through the Council on International Education Exchange and other organizations. For more information on Education Abroad Programs, contact either the Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese at (814) 865-4252 or the Office of International Programs, 410 Boucke Building, (814) 865-7681. You can also stop by Education Abroad Resource Room at 412 Boucke Building to speak with a peer adviser. and


IMPORTANT: Once you have visited the Office of International Programs and collected information about the program(s) that interest you most, make an appointment with a Spanish advisor to discuss your choice. Spanish advisors can help you to determine how courses taken abroad can fit into your academic plan and provide helpful advice for planning to study abroad.

The Spanish Club

Spanish Club offers activities at the University Park campus. Spanish majors, minors, or anyone else interested in learning more about the Spanish language and Hispanic/Latino culture is welcome. The Spanish Club is a student-run organization which engages in many exciting activities to promote the Spanish language and the Hispanic/Latino culture. It sponsors movies in Spanish, tertulias (conversation hours), cooking classes, activities with other university organizations, lectures, poetry readings, plays in Spanish, and much more.

The organization is open to any undergraduate or graduate student who knows or is learning the Spanish Language. Yet, it is also open to any person who desires to learn more about the Hispanic/Latino culture, and who wants to meet other interested undergraduate, graduate, foreign exchange students, and people from the community.


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Membership Information:

  • Members of the Spanish Club are entitled to free coffee at the tertulias. In order to become a member, please bring $10.00 (per semester) to any of our meetings or events.
  • Conversation Hour in Spanish. All the tertulias and meetings will be held at the Irving's Bagels (110 E. College Avenue) from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Note that we have changed the time and location of the tertulias in order to better accommodate our members. Please come and invite your Spanish-speaking friends!
  • Officer Meetings. These meetings will elect new officers and discuss semester plans and will not be open to all members. If, however, you are interested in becoming an officer of the Spanish Club, you must be at this meeting!


For more Information on the Spanish Club contact: The Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese:

Phone: (814)865-4252



For more information on the Spanish Major.


Spanish Minor

Students may add a Spanish Minor to any Bachelor major program of study, allowing them to create a sub-specialization within their respective majors. All students wishing to complete a Spanish Minor must take a minimum of 18 credit hours of Spanish at the Spanish 100 level and higher.


For more information on the Spanish Minor.


View a slide show about the Spanish Minor requirements and study abroad credits.


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