Spanish


Satisfy your curiosity for other cultures with a major in Spanish. At SAU, you can be a global citizen who learns from every person and every culture. Immerse yourself and see the world through new eyes, gain an edge in the job market, and fulfill your passion for learning.

Our graduates work at St. Norbert College, St. Thomas More High School, and attend prestigious graduate programs at the University of Iowa, DePaul University, Washington University, the University of Connecticut, and others,


Ambrose Advantages

  • Cultural Immersion Through Study Abroad
  • Creative Courses: Comics, Films, Pop Culture
  • Go Beyond Bilingual

students at whiteboard

professor and student

beehive

At SAU, being bilingual is not enough. As a Spanish major you become bi-cultural, too. Study language, customs, arts, social institutions and achievements – in classrooms here and abroad. Be fully immersed and deepen your respect for global perspectives.

See Our Spanish Major Program Fact Sheet (pdf)


More Information on the Spanish Language Program

What Will I Learn?

Studying language in a global context helps you become a bi-cultural citizen. At SAU, you'll achieve linguistic and cultural proficiency.

You will develop even stronger reading and writing skills, grammar, stylistics, and vocabulary, but there is so much more. Explore Spanish language and Hispanic and Latino cultures through pop culture, literature, and linguistics.

Our faculty teach creative and compelling courses and seminars on unique topics, including comics and sequential art, media representation of violence, popular culture, and film.

Because language helps develop critical thinking, memory, flexibility, and an awareness of global perspectives, it will also elevate your ability to live, work, and thrive in our diverse world.

Foreign language proficiency is a competitive advantage in the workforce, and it expands your options for employment. The ability to communicate in more than one language is highly valued in the field of education, healthcare, and criminal justice.

You can also consider a Spanish Secondary Education Major and minor in Hispanic Studies.

All Spanish majors are required to study abroad for one semester, and Spanish minors spend at least four weeks abroad. This gives you the opportunity to be fully and authentically immersed in the language and culture.

Study abroad in Argentina, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Spain, Chile, Mexico, and Uruguay. Click here to search our study abroad programs. Our Spanish and Latinx Studies Department offers scholarships to assist with study abroad expenses (see below).

Study Abroad

You've heard people say it before: "College will be the greatest time of your life!" With Study Abroad, you can add even more to your college years.

You can study in another country in a semester-long or short-term study abroad program (with a few offered during spring and winterim breaks). No matter the duration, these trips deepen your professional education while earning credit toward graduation.

There are also opportunities through an exchange program, an overseas internship, or volunteering. The limits for Study Abroad are only ones you set for yourself! SAU students have studied in Italy, Costa Rica, Australia, Korea, United Kingdom, Spain, Ecuador, Japan, Germany, Peru, Cyprus, Croatia, Belize, Canada, Chile, and more.

SAU students returning from their Study Abroad locations talk about their time away as life-changing – personally, emotionally, culturally, and academically.

Click here to search our Study Abroad programs, and for general information click here.

How can I expand my learning at SAU?
  • Spanish is a great major or minor, and we make it easy to pair the program with other majors. SAU graduates who dual major in language and another specialty – such as business, healthcare, social work, engineering – have been very successful. Contact the department chair on the right to learn more about a dual major.
  • Be active on campus and in the community. Join our collegiate chapter of the National League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). You can promote awareness of Latino culture through discussions, events, and community service projects, and all students can join.
  • Join Spanish Club, and/or Chi Phi, the SAU Chapter of Sigma Delta Pi. This National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society (Sociedad Nacional Honoraria Hispánica) honors students who complete three years of college-level Spanish or equivalent, including at least 3 credits in Hispanic literature or Hispanic culture and civilization.

Read why Arturo Meijide-Lapido, PhD, believes foreign languages provide a window to the greater world.

Peace Corps Prep

If service is included in your future plans, we are one of few universities in Iowa offering Peace Corps Prep, a program that can make you a stronger candidate for volunteer positions within the Peace Corps or other service programs. You'll gain skills and a cultural worldview that employers value and best of all, most students can earn the certificate - awarded by the Peace Corps - without taking extra courses. Peace Corps Prep is a competitive edge that sets you apart and broadens your opportunities, no matter what path you choose. Click here to learn more or contact your faculty advisor.

What are some potential career opportunities?

Foreign language majors can pursue careers in education, translation or interpreter, international sales, foreign media, diplomatic corps, social work, publishing, travel agencies, immigration and customs, and with international aid organizations.

Foreign language skills are in demand in government agencies, like the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Foreign Service Institute, CIA, Homeland Security, and all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2018), employment of interpreters and translators is projected to grow 18 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Globalization and large increases in the number of non-English-speaking people in the United States will drive this growth. The median annual wage for interpreters and translators was $49,930 in May 2018.

What have alumni of this program done?

Sharice Clough '15 is a graduate student in the University of Iowa Speech-Language program. Her undergraduate majors in Spanish and Behavioral Psychology helped build the foundation for this career.

Kayla Wills '12 is a MidMarket Account Executive, Sales Solutions, for LinkedIn.

Morgan Reyes '15 is studying Spanish Language and Literature at DePaul University as well as a research assistant.

Faculty

Brittany Tullis, PhD, Assoc. Professor and Chair

Maria Kouti, PhD, Assoc. Professor
Arturo Meijide Lapido, PhD, Assoc. Professor

Requirements

Bachelor of Arts Degree in Spanish (non-education)

Required (12 credits):
+SPAN 311 Advanced Spanish Grammar
+WI-SPAN 313 Writing in Spanish
SPAN 314 Introduction to Hispanic Cultural Studies
SPAN 317 Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics

Choose 2-3 (6-9 credits):
SPAN 316 Introduction to Hispanic Film Studies
+SPAN 332 Latin American Women Writers
+SPAN 335 Latin/x American Comics
+SPAN 340 Second Language Acquisition
SPAN 350 Topics in Hispanic Linguistics
SPAN 360 Topics in Hispanic Literature and Culture (350 and 360 may be repeated if topic is different)

Study Abroad
Study Abroad in a high-immersion program for at least one semester. During this semester, the student must take 9-12 credits in 300-level Spanish electives. The program and courses abroad must be pre-approved by the department. Students should consult with their Spanish advisor for information and planning.

Capstone
SPAN 400 Capstone Project, 1 credit

Please Note:

  • 15 credit hours of coursework in the major must be taken on the SAU campus.
  • 300-level electives taken abroad can count towards the elective credits for the minor, as long as the program and courses abroad are pre-approved by the department. Approved programs vary in length; students should consult with their Spanish advisor for information and planning.
Plan to Graduate

There are three Plans to Graduate in four years depending on courses you took in high school and/or your placement test results.

For majors with no previous Spanish coursework:

First Year
Fall - Elementary Spanish I
Spring - Elementary Spanish II

Second Year
Fall - Intermediate Spanish I
Spring - Intermediate Spanish II

Third Year
Fall - Advanced Spanish Grammar and Introduction to Hispanic Cultural Studies
Spring - Writing in Spanish and Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics

Winterim of Third or Fourth Year:
One 300-level Spanish elective

Fourth Year
Fall - Study Abroad (12 credits in pre-approved 300-level Spanish courses)
Spring - 300-level elective and Capstone

For majors with some previous Spanish coursework:

First Year
Fall - Intermediate Spanish I
Spring - Intermediate Spanish II

Second Year
Fall - Advanced Spanish Grammar
Spring - Writing in Spanish

Third Year
Fall - Intro to Hispanic Cultural Studies
Spring - Intro to Hispanic Linguistics

Winterim of Third or Fourth Year
One 300-level Spanish elective

Fourth Year
Fall - Study Abroad (12 credits in pre-approved 300-level Spanish classes)
Spring - 300- level Spanish elective and Capstone

For majors who place into 300-level courses:

First Year
Fall - Advanced Spanish Grammar
Spring - Writing in Spanish

Second Year
Fall - Intro to Hispanic Cultural Studies
Spring - Intro to Hispanic Linguistics

Third Year
Fall - 300-level Spanish elective
Spring - Study Abroad (12 credits in pre-approved 300-level Spanish classes)

Fourth Year
Fall - 300-level Spanish Elective
Spring - Capstone

Minor in Spanish (18 credits)

Required (9 credits):
+SPAN 311 Advanced Spanish Grammar
+WI-SPAN 313 Writing in Spanish
+SPAN 314 Introduction to Hispanic Cultural Studies

Choose 3 (9 credits):
SPAN 312 Spanish Electives Abroad
SPAN 316 Introduction to Hispanic Film Studies
SPAN 317 Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics
SPAN 332 Latin American Women Writers
+SPAN 335 Latin/x American Comics
+SPAN 340 Second Language Acquisition
+SPAN 350 Topics in Hispanic Linguistics
+SPAN 360 Topics in Hispanic Literature and Culture Studies (350 and 360 may be repeated if topic is different)

Other requirements:
15 credit hours at the 300 level must be taken on the SAU campus.

Please Note: Study Abroad in a high-immersion program is recommended but not required.

Certificate in Spanish for Health and Human Services Professionals (18 hours)

Required (12 credits):
SPAN 201, 202, 203, and LXS 201

Choose two courses (6 credits):
SPAN 312, 316, 317, 332, 335, 340, 350, or 360.

Study Abroad
It is recommended (but not required) that students seeking this certificate should Study Abroad in a high-immersion program.

300-level electives taken abroad can count towards the elective credits for the minor, as long as the program and courses abroad are pre-approved by the department. Approved programs vary in length; students should consult with their Spanish advisor for information and planning.

9 credit hours towards the certificate must be taken on the SAU campus.

Spanish Secondary Education Major (31 credits)

You must first be accepted into the SAU Educator Preparation Program. See requirements

Required (15 credits):
+SPAN 311 Advanced Spanish Grammar
+WI-SPAN 313 Writing in Spanish
+SPAN 314 Introduction to Hispanic Cultural Studies
+SPAN 317 Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics
SPAN 400 Capstone

Choose 1-2 courses (3-6 credits, depending on credits taken during study abroad):
SPAN 316, 332, 335, 350, or 360 (350 and 360 may be repeated if topic is different).

SPAN 400 Capstone project, 1 credit

Study Abroad in a high-immersion program for at least one semester. During this semester, the student must take 9-12 credits in 300-level Spanish electives. The program and courses abroad must be pre-approved by the department. Students should consult with their Spanish advisor for information and planning.

Spanish Endorsement for Elementary Education: Students should consult with their advisor in Education to determine the number of Spanish credits they will need for the endorsement. The Modern Languages Department does not require, but highly recommends, the following courses for the Spanish endorsement: SPAN 311, 314, 317 and 340.

18 hours of coursework in the major must be taken on the SAU campus. Spanish Secondary Education Majors should have two advisors: one in Spanish and one in Education.

Plan to Graduate

For Spanish Education Majors with who place into 200-level courses:

First Year
Fall - Intermediate Spanish I
Spring - Intermediate Spanish II

Second Year
Fall - Advanced Spanish Grammar and Intro to Hispanic Cultural Studies
Spring - study abroad (9 credits in pre-approved 300-level Spanish classes)

Third Year
Fall -300-level Spanish elective
Spring - Writing in Spanish and Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics

Fourth Year
Fall - Second Language Acquisition and 300-level Spanish elective
Spring - Spanish Capstone

For Spanish Education Majors with who place into 300-level courses:

First Year
Fall - Advanced Spanish Grammar
Spring - Writing in Spanish

Second Year
Fall - Introduction to Hispanic Cultural Studies
Spring - Study Abroad (9 credits in pre-approved 300-level Spanish classes)

Third Year
Fall - 300-level Spanish elective
Spring - Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics

Fourth Year
Fall - Second Language Acquisition and 300-level Spanish elective
Spring - Spanish Capstone

Scholarships and Grants

First-Year

St. Ambrose offers excellent scholarships and grants, work-study and other financial aid options! Full-time students may be eligible based upon your strong academic performance in college, your talent in fine arts or athletics or your demonstrated financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The SAU school code for the FAFSA is 001889.

First-Year Scholarships and Institutional Aid 2022-2023

There is no need to apply for the scholarships or grants below; students automatically are eligible if they meet specific criteria. The Admissions Office calculates the award amount by using unweighted high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Please note, while St. Ambrose University has a test-optional admissions policy, standardized test scores are required for both admission to specific programs and/or eligibility for top academic scholarships. Scholarships and grants are renewable for four years of undergraduate study. 

Your scholarship will automatically renew each year of your undergraduate studies - up to four years - as long as you maintain satisfactory progress toward an undergraduate degree, achieve certain GPA requirements (see below), and remain a full-time student. 

Download helpful PDFs of this information here: First-Year Iowa Resident or First-Year Out of State Resident


IOWA RESIDENTS LIVING ON CAMPUS

Iowa Resident On Campus Merit-Based Scholarships

Trustee Scholar
Criteria: unweighted 3.9 GPA and minimum 29 ACT or 1340 SAT score. Must maintain 3.25 cumulative GPA in successive years.
Award: $25,000/year and invited to compete for an Ambrose Scholar full-tuition award

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $15,000-$21,000/year

University Grant
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $13,000/year

Iowa Resident On Campus Additional Institutional Aid

Ambrose Advantage
Criteria: Iowa resident, Federal Pell Grant eligible, 2022 high school graduate, min. unweighted GPA 2.5, admitted to SAU, and FAFSA filed by Mar. 15. To remain eligible in subsequent years, students must maintain 2.5 GPA and qualify for the Federal Pell Grant.
Award: Full tuition

Athletic Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability
Award: varies

Fine Arts Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability in music, art and theatre
Award: varies

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $1,000/year

Minority Scholarship
Criteria: ethnically diverse student, FAFSA required
Award: $500-$1,000/year

Catholic Traditions Scholarship
Criteria: graduate from Catholic high school
Award: $2,000/year

Menke Parish Scholarship
Criteria: Diocese of Davenport parishioner, additional application required
Award: $1,000/year



IOWA RESIDENTS LIVING OFF CAMPUS

Iowa Resident Off Campus Merit-Based Scholarships

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $13,000-$16,000/year

University Grants
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $11,000/year

Iowa Resident Off Campus Additional Institutional Scholarships

Ambrose Advantage
Criteria: Iowa resident, Federal Pell Grant eligible, 2022 high school graduate, min. unweighted GPA 2.5, admitted to SAU, and FAFSA filed by Mar. 15. To remain eligible in subsequent years, students must maintain 2.5 GPA and qualify for the Federal Pell Grant.
Award: Full tuition

Athletic Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability
Award: varies

Fine Arts Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability in music, art and theatre
Award: varies

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $500/year

Minority Scholarship
Criteria: ethnically diverse student, FAFSA required
Award: $500-$1,000/year

Catholic Traditions Scholarship
Criteria: graduate from Catholic high school
Award: $2,000/year



OUT OF STATE RESIDENTS LIVING ON CAMPUS

Out of State On Campus Merit-Based Scholarships

Trustee Scholar
Criteria: unweighted 3.9 GPA and minimum 29 ACT or 1340 SAT score. Must maintain 3.25 cumulative GPA in successive years.
Award: $25,000/year and invited to compete for an Ambrose Scholar full-tuition award

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $17,000-$23,000/year

University Grant
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $13,000/year

Out of State On Campus Additional Institutional Aid

Athletic Scholarships
Critieria: performance and ability
Award: varies

Fine Arts Scholarships
Critieria: performance and ability in music, art and theatre
Award: varies

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $1,000/year

Minority Scholarship
Criteria: ethnically diverse student, FAFSA required
Award: $500-$1,000/year

Catholic Traditions Scholarship
Criteria: graduate from Catholic high school
Award: $2,000/year

Menke Parish Scholarship
Criteria: Diocese of Davenport parishioner, additional application required
Award: $1,000/year



OUT OF STATE RESIDENTS LIVING OFF CAMPUS

Out of State Off Campus Merit-Based Scholarships

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $14,000-$17,000/year

University Grants
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $11,000/year

Out of State Off Campus Additional Institutional Scholarships

Athletic Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability
Award: varies

Fine Arts Scholarships
Criteria: performance and ability in music, art and theatre
Award: varies

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $500/year

Minority Scholarship
Criteria: ethnically diverse student, FAFSA required
Award: $500/year

Catholic Traditions Scholarship
Criteria: graduate from Catholic high school
Award: $2,000/year

State and Federal Grants, Work Study

Grants are money that you don't repay, and they can come from government or private sources. SAU receives all financial aid funds directly - including loans and grants - then applies them to your account: once in the fall term and once in the spring term. Grants can be used to cover your tuition, books, and housing costs. You must apply for grants each academic year. If you have any loan funds in excess of your costs, you may receive a refund. If you are a first-time borrower, there is a 30-day hold on your first disbursement. For all of these grants, you must complete the Free Application Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after October 1.


Iowa Tuition Grant
To be eligible for the Iowa Tuition Grant, you must be a resident of Iowa as defined by the State Board of Regents and currently enrolled or planning to enroll in an undergraduate degree program at an eligible Iowa college or university (SAU is eligible). Iowa College Aid administers need-based college financial aid for Iowans, such as the Iowa Tuition Grant. FAFSA deadline is July 1.
Award: $6,800

Federal Pell Grant
Awarded to students of the highest need based on how much your family can contribute to your education. The U.S. Department of Education sets a Expected Family Contribution (EFC) threshold. Then, when you file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), it computes where you land within that threshold and determines if you qualify for the grant and for how much.
Award: $6,345 maximum

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
To qualify, you must file a FAFSA by the priority deadline of March 15 and you must qualify for a Pell Grant. This grant is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to students who have submitted all required documents for review and in time for the review to be complete. If you are eligible for a Pell Grant or SEOG, the awards will appear on your financial aid award letter. Award: $400 maximum

Federal Work Study
Criteria: based on financial need. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1.
Award: $1,850

Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant 
Provides aid to students intending to teach in a high-need field at a school that serves low-income families (as determined by the U.S. Department of Education or a state education agency). Review criteria and all details here.
Award: up to $4,000

Outside Scholarships

There are many opportunities to receive scholarships from outside sources, here are a few websites to begin researching your options:

Another tip: Next time you're on campus, check out the bulletin board outside Bee Central where we post more flyers and applications for outside scholarships.

Foreign Language Scholarships

Two scholarships are available from the Spanish and Latinx Studies Department to study overseas for modern foreign language credit:

  • Awards of up to $500 for students taking a General Education Foreign Language course abroad taught by St. Ambrose University language faculty members.
  • Scholarships of up to $2,000 for declared language minors and majors. 

Students who apply for either scholarship need to complete an application (pdf) and return it to the department chair by these deadlines:

  • Nov. 15 for a Winterim or Spring semester program
  • May 1 for a May term, Summer term, or Fall semester program

Tony Villasenor '11, '13 MBA


Tony's drive to discover and experience the world took root at St. Ambrose. While working on undergraduate degrees in International Business and Spanish, he was required to study abroad. Tony chose Barcelona. "It was a semester-long trip. At first, I thought it would be too long. In the end, it was too short," he says. "I love learning, learning where people come from, about their culture and experiences. Being able to relate to people from all over the world has really propelled my career."

Read Tony's Story
Lupe Nache Vital mobile cutout image Lupe Nache Vital Cutout Image

Lupe Nache Vital

B.A. in Social Work and Spanish,Class of 2021


Social justice is tied to action, and our BSW students experience learning. Lupe will spend 400 hours on-site at community agencies and organizations, working with, and advocating for, clients. It is an experience that will elevate her confidence and amplify the impact she makes in the world.

See My Story

Apply Visit Info

Contact


Brittany Tullis, Associate Professor and Chair

Spanish and Latinx Studies
Hayes 205
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803
563-333-6021
TullisBrittanyN@sau.edu

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