College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

Bachelor's Degree Programs

Spanish (B.A.)

Admission to major: Completion of SPN 102 or equivalent

Minimum hours required for major: 36

Minimum hours required for minor: 18

Special tracks: The Spanish major integrates the study of Spanish Peninsular and Latin American areas of literature, linguistics and culture. Students can also concentrate in language studies or combine any of the above areas for teaching or other professional careers.

Advising: Faculty advisers for majors, minors and prospective students. Phone 216-687-4645

Student organizations:Phi Sigma Iota Honorary Society, Spanish Club/El Club de Español

Transfer Students. Transfer students are required to complete at least 18 credit hours while in residence at Cleveland State University in order to earn a degree.

Additional information: Study-abroad programs in Mexico, Costa Rica and Spain

The sequence of courses in Spanish leads from competence in Spanish language skills to thorough understanding of Hispanic language, civilization, and literature. Programs concentrate equally on Spanish and Latin-American content through a cyclical offering of courses. Programs in the Spanish minor, major, and graduate studies are available, including the B.A. with Honors in Spanish. Spanish is also a valuable adjunct skill to many other major programs or careers. Over the next few decades virtually every area of professional activity in this country will become more involved with Spanish-speaking Americans and with corporations in Spanish-speaking countries.

Course Information: A student majoring in Spanish will find career opportunities in teaching, foreign service, industry, or communications. Language study involves mastery both of performance skills (speaking, reading, writing, understanding) and of a subject matter. The subject matter may be the language itself, its literature, culture, or pedagogy.

Courses numbered from 100 to 114 in Spanish generally emphasize development of performance skills, as do those at higher levels, in courses numbered 200 to 214, 300 to 314, and 400 to 414. Courses numbered 115 to 134 (and corresponding numbers at the upper levels) generally emphasize the nature of language. Courses numbered 135 to 164 (and corresponding numbers at the upper levels) generally emphasize the culture and history of specific languages. Courses numbered 165 to 189 (and corresponding numbers at the upper levels) generally emphasize the literatures of the specific languages. Courses numbered 190 – 199 (and corresponding numbers at the upper level) are independent and specialized courses.

Language Skill Courses: A student who has completed Spanish course work in high school or at another institution who wishes to continue the study of Spanish must begin course work for credit at the level consistent with academic background. A placement test is required for all students with less than three years of high-school Spanish or the equivalent. Students who have had three or more years of previous study must consult with an adviser in the foreign language department to determine the appropriate level.

Native speakers: As a general guideline, students who read and write Spanish fluently must begin course work for credit at the 300-level or higher. Students considering a major in Spanish should consult an adviser in the Department of Modern Languages as early as possible to plan an effective course of study.

Retroactive Credit. Students are eligible to earn up to 14 "retroactive" credits for previous knowledge of Spanish. This policy is for students who have completed a foreign language skills course and who earned a B or better in that course. For example, if your first Spanish skills course is SPN 102 and you receive an A or B, you can receive credit for SPN 101. Consult the Department of Modern Languages 216-687-4645 for further information.

Credit by Examination. Students who successfully pass the College Level Placement Examination (CLEP test) in Spanish may earn 14 credit-hours for previous knowledge of Spanish. For information about the examination, eligibility, and dates when it is given, contact the Cleveland State Testing Center 216-687-2277. Students who receive a score of 3, 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement Spanish language examination may earn 18 credit hours for SPN (101, 102, 201, and 202).

Note that only credits at the 200-level and above may count toward the Spanish major or minor.  See major and minor requirements below.

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Major-Field Requirements

Students seeking a major in Spanish must complete 36 credit hours in Spanish above the 100 level, distributed as follows:

  • Core A: Composition and Conversation Requirements:
    Sixteen credit hours of courses in composition and conversation: SPN 201, 202, 203, 207, 301, 302, 303, 393 (Business Spanish); 402; or equivalent as determined by the Spanish faculty, of which no more than 8 credit hours can be at the 200 level. Students beginning at the 300 level will take 8 credit hours at the 300- and 400-level.
  • Core B: Distribution Requirements:
    One course each in linguistics (SPN 315), in literature (SPN 371 or SPN 372), and in culture and civilization (SPN 345 or SPN 346) is required (three courses total).
  • Capstone:4 credits, one of the following:

    SPN 494 Spanish Capstone or SPN 495 Spanish Field Study Capstone

Notes: No more than 8 credit hours at the 200 level will be counted. At least 9 credit hours must be at the 400 level. At least 28 credit hours must be in upper-division courses at the 300- or 400-level. Up to 6 credit hours of practicum in Spanish or independent study may count toward the major. These credits must be approved by the Spanish faculty. No grade below C may count toward the major.

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Minor-Field Requirements

A minor in Spanish consists of 18 credit hours beyond the 100 level, of which 9 credit hours must be at the 300-level or above. Transfer students must complete 9 hours of the 18 required for the minor in residence at Cleveland State University. Students seeking a minor in Spanish must have an adviser in Spanish to assist in the selection of courses. No grade below C in a minor course may count toward the minor.

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Study Abroad

Majors are encouraged to arrange for study in a Spanish-speaking country. The department administers summer programs in Mexico, Costa Rica and Spain. Credit earned on these programs is considered part of the Cleveland State University Spanish sequence.

Students may also undertake independent study abroad at other institutions. Normally, up to 16 hours of independent study abroad may count toward the major requirements (additional credit may count toward the total hours needed for graduation). Majors should seek departmental approval of foreign-study plans before departure, and must complete at least two 300-level or 400-level courses in Spanish after return from independent study abroad. (See also the Study Abroad section listed under "College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.")

For further information regarding the possibility of foreign study and summer programs available through the Department of Modern Languages, contact the department office, 216-687-4645.

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Teacher Licensure

Students preparing to teach will fulfill the requirements for the B.A. in Spanish and the licensure sequence in the College of Education and Human Services for the Specialization in Multi-Age Foreign Language Education (PreK-12). They must also pass national examinations and fulfill state requirements.

The PreK-12 licensure sequence includes courses in elementary and secondary foreign-language methods. Students will need to follow the sequence as described in the College of Education and Human Services. Before admission to student teaching, students must pass a Praxis II Principles of Learning and Teaching Test (K-6 or 5-9 or 7-12), the Praxis II Content Knowledge test, and demonstrate oral proficiency at the ACTFL “Advanced-Low” level. Students will need to have their skill level assessed as early as possible in the program and then work with their advisers to plan study experiences that provide appropriate opportunities for improvement. Modern Language methods courses must be completed the semester preceding student teaching.

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Mailing Address
Office of Undergraduate Studies
Cleveland State University
2121 Euclid Avenue, MC 107A
Cleveland, OH 44115-2214
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