Spanish and Hispanic Studies
The Spanish and Hispanic studies program at Earlham teaches you to analyze the cultural production of the Spanish-speaking world and navigate the diverse perspectives of Spanish speakers in the US and abroad. While most programs teach you to communicate in Spanish, we will teach you to think in Spanish!
Regardless of your initial level of Spanish, we will help you develop cultural and linguistic competence in the language through semester-long immersion programs, research experiences, and interactions with the Spanish-speaking community here in Richmond.
Many of our graduates have gone on to become lawyers, some specializing in immigration; work in human service positions such as community organizing, psychology, child care or medicine; or attend graduate school.
“As an undergraduate, I conducted a case study on the cultural factors that impacted students’ academic outcomes. … This research inspired me to develop a bilingual conference focused on educating low-income and future first-generation college students about the college process.”
Dennis Vera ’19
Spanish and Hispanic studies and public policy major
Doctoral student in public policy
“I think my decision to go to Earlham was based on a desire to do something more than just be successful in my life, but to give back in some way. Earlham helped instill in me a desire to not only do something that is interesting but to take a swing at saving the world.”
Seth Herr ’10
Spanish and Hispanic studies major
Explore the rich diversity of the Spanish-speaking world
You will participate in and also create for yourself numerous opportunities to develop your cultural and linguistic competence. These experiences prepare you to conduct research in Spanish and navigate bilingual settings in the U.S. or monolingual Spanish-speaking contexts as interns or employees.
There are numerous internship and volunteer opportunities for Spanish speakers in our local community. Amigos, the Richmond Latino Center, also offers leadership positions to bilingual students who demonstrate commitment to their programs.
Through off-campus study, you’ll learn not only in a classroom setting but also through immersive experiences in the region you visit. We offer both semester-long programs in Ecuador, Spain, and the US/ Mexico border. Shorter research-focused programs have been held in Bogotá, Colombia and along the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain.
Our faculty are from the U. S., Colombia, Dominican Republic and Venezuela. We will teach you how to be culturally and linguistically competent to ensure you are equipped to successfully communicate in a foreign language.
Earlham’s Department of Spanish and Hispanic Studies believes that education should be experiential, socially responsive and responsible. Through collaborative student-faculty research, internships, off-campus study and other extracurricular opportunities, you will gain abroad and deep understanding of Hispanic culture and society.
As a liberal arts college, Earlham offers multiple disciplinary and interdisciplinary majors and minors in which students cultivate deep and specific knowledge and experience. Equally important, the College expects every student to develop broad, general skills and proficiencies across the curriculum.
As part of their general education, students complete six credits in each academic division of the College: humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and visual and performing arts. In addition, students meet requirements for first-year courses, analytical reasoning, perspectives on diversity and wellness.
To earn a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Hispanic Studies, you must complete the following courses, in addition to general education requirements:
You will design your courses according to personal interests and goals and in consultation with Spanish and Hispanic studies faculty and your 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 your 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 Department of Spanish and Hispanic Studies that complement your course of study.
Yes! To earn a minor in Spanish and Hispanic studies, you must complete the following courses:
- 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 your 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.
Yes! In fact, we strongly encourage you to plan for off-campus study in order to make the most of the major. We offer both semester-long programs and shorter, intensive classes in a variety of Spanish-speaking parts of the world.
After one year of Spanish, you have the option to study a semester abroad. During that semester you will continue language training, while also taking part in volunteer work, extracurricular activities, living with a host family, going to events with your host family and taking a basic history class with an Earlham faculty member.
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
Summer experiences: Some of these courses are offered on-campus, but many require travel to on-site locations. A sample of recent off-campus summer courses includes:
- Walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain
- Archival research in Bogotá
Learn more about available programs via our Center for Global and Career Education.
Through our 3+1 Education Program, you can earn a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) and teaching license—all in just nine semesters.
You’ll leave Earlham with two degrees, licensed to teach grades 5-12 in Indiana. (And it’s easy to transfer your license to other states—many of our graduates do!)
Commanding a second language is not only a skill every Spanish and Hispanic studies major, minor or occasional visitor will use throughout their life but is also an opportunity to experience different cultures and societies that will enrich and expand one’s own perspective of the world.
If you want to acquire a sophisticated level of writing, critical thinking and text analysis in Spanish and want to become fully bilingual, this program will be a great fit for you.
In the Department of Spanish and Hispanic Studies, you may have the opportunity to share your knowledge and experience with the language through the exciting adventure of being a teaching assistant.
What are the requirements to be a TA?
- Possess an advanced knowledge of Spanish as either a senior Spanish major or native speaker of Spanish
- Participate in an oral interview with a member of the Spanish department faculty
- Be enthusiastic about guiding other students in their study of Spanish language and Spanish-speaking cultures
- Submit an application via Handshake
What are the responsibilities of a TA?
- Supporting professors in their classes:
- Making presentations.
- Helping students with exercises.
- Grading papers and homework assignments.
- Holding TA conversation hours, serving to help students with grammar as well as pronunciation.
- Sharing your experience with the language and the challenge it represents to learn a second language.
What are some benefits of being a TA?
Besides having the chance to enhance and deepen your understanding of the language, you will be able to develop fundamental soft skills that would serve you in any setting at any time. As a TA you’ll:
- Manage your time more efficiently.
- Polish your public speaking skills.
- Develop empathy.
- Work and perceive nonverbal communication cues.
- Receive and listen to constructive feedback for the bettering of your skills.
How do I get started?
For additional information or/and questions regarding TA employment, contact Cynthia Grinspan.