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General Education Requirements

The Spanish and Hispanic Studies Department offers two tracks that meet the Language component of the Perspectives on Diversity - Language Requirement: (1) SPAN 101 and 102, a yearlong beginning level program; and (2) SPAN 105, SuperSpanish, which completes the requirement in one semester. SPAN 201 may fulfill the Language component of the Perspectives on Diversity Requirement as it applies to particular student cases.

Because our upper-level courses are topic based, some may fulfill either the Domestic or International component of the Perspectives on Diversity Requirement. Other general education requirements may occasionally be fulfilled by courses offered by Spanish and Hispanic faculty. Students should consult the course offerings for up-to-date information about particular classes.

The Major

Majors design their courses according to personal interests and goals, and in consultation with Spanish and Hispanic Studies faculty and their individual major adviser.

Spanish and Hispanic Studies majors are required to complete a minimum of 32 hours at the 300-level or above including:

  • SPAN 301 Introduction to Text Analysis
  • Three courses at the 400-level, two of these courses must be taken on campus and one must be from the following list:
    • SPAN 416 Topics in Cultural Studies
    • SPAN 418 Topics in Latino/Latin American Studies
    • SPAN 425 Topics in Criticism and Theory
    • SPAN 426 Topics in Literature and Text Analysis
  • A language proficiency examination (generally taken for the first time during the Spring Semester of the Junior year).
  • SPAN 488 Senior Capstone Experience (seminar with extensive paper)
  • Complete a semester-long off-campus program in a Spanish-speaking region of the world. (Up to 10 credit hours from an approved off-campus program may be applied to the Major).

The design of the Major may include two courses taken outside of the Spanish and Hispanic Studies Department that complement a student's course of study.

The Minor

Students choosing to minor in Spanish and Hispanic Studies are required to:

  • Complete 20 hours of coursework at the 300-level or above including:
    • SPAN 301 Introduction to Text Analysis
    • Two courses at the 400-level
    • A language proficiency examination (generally taken for the first time during the Spring Semester of the Junior year)

With few exceptions, minors also participate on a semester-long off-campus program in a Spanish-speaking country for which up to six credit hours are awarded toward the Minor.

Off-Campus Opportunities


It is essential for our students to be exposed to and educated about other peoples and cultures. On off-campus study, students learn not only in a classroom setting, but also through lived experiences. We offer both semester-long programs and the shorter, intensive May Term classes in a variety of Spanish-speaking parts of the world.

Semester Programs:  During semester programs, students take a full range of classes, from history to art to language to politics, live with families, and engage in some type of internship or field study research. Our semester programs include:

  • Ecuador — every fall
  • Spain — spring in odd-numbered years
  • U.S./Mexico Border — fall and spring programs

May Terms: Following the Spring Semester (in May), students have the opportunity to participate in intensive May Term courses. Some courses are offered on-campus, but many require travel to on-site locations. A sample of recent off-campus May Term courses includes:

  • Intensive language and cultural education in Costa Rica
  • Walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain
  • Culture and Language in Curaçao

Experiential Education

Earlham's Spanish and Hispanic Studies Department believes that education must be experiential and it must be socially responsive and responsible. To support those ideals, the College offers a variety of opportunities, both on- and off-campus.

Majors and minors may choose to participate with a faculty member in a collaborative student/faculty project, in which a small group of students and a professor work together to research a topic and present it to the community. Recent projects have included:

  • Political Performance in the Americas
  • Minority Discourse in Spain
  • Creole language and culture in the Caribbean

During semester and May Term off-campus programs, all students participate in a class-required hands-on project in the community in which they are living. Some of these recent field study or internship projects have included:

  • Volunteering in neighborhood organizations in Spain
  • Working with border human rights groups such as Derechos Humano or Tierra y Libertad
  • Working with a doctor in rural Nicaragua

Extracurricular Opportunities

Education in Spanish and Hispanic Studies happens outside of the classroom as well. Students at Earlham may find several extracurricular activities that can augment their studies. Some may be scholarly in nature, such as a lecture by a well-known author or social activist. Others may be more spontaneous, such as a pick-up soccer game on a Saturday afternoon. Examples include:

  • Living at the Spanish House (La Casa Hispana) — a College-owned residence where students with a similar interest in Spanish and Hispanic Studies live. Residents need not be majors.
  • Belonging to the Sociedad de Estudiantes Latinos — an on-campus student group based in Earlham's Latino cultural center
  • Participating in the Latino Festival — a campus-wide celebration in April every year.
  • Going to campus lectures and performances — visiting writers and artists come to campus regularly. Some recent events have included Guatemalan human rights activist Carlos Escalante, writer Ana Castillo, performing artists Lila Downs, Coco Fusco and Rebel Díaz, Creole linguist Nick Faraclas; and Earlham graduates Daniel Hernandez, Minister of Immigration outside of Mexico, and Andres Thomas, activist and Democracy Now collaborator in Central America.