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 Modern Languages 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.
  • If service is 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. Most students can earn the certificate - awarded by the Peace Corps - without taking extra courses. Click here to learn more or talk to your faculty advisor.

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:
+SPAN 311 Advanced Spanish Grammar
+SPAN 312 Spanish Abroad (1-5 credits)
+WI-SPAN 313 Writing in Spanish
SPAN 314 Introduction to Hispanic Cultural Studies
SPAN 317 Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics
+SPAN 340 Second Language Acquisition
SPAN 400 Capstone

Choose 9 credits:
SPAN 316 Introduction to Hispanic Film Studies
SPAN 320 Spain
+SPAN 332 Latin American Women Writers
+SPAN 335 Comic Books in the Hispanic World
+SPAN 341 Spanish Pronunciations
+SPAN 342 Methods and Approaches in Spanish Language Teaching
SPAN 350 Special Topics in Hispanic Linguistics
SPAN 360 Special Topics in Hispanic Cultural Studies (350 and 360 may be repeated if topic is different)

Study Abroad
The program and course abroad must be pre-approved by the department. Approved programs vary in length; students should consult with their Spanish advisor for information and planning.

Other requirements:
18 credit hours of coursework in the major must be taken on the SAU campus.

Plan to Graduate

For majors with no previous Spanish coursework:

First Year
Fall - First semester of Spanish
Spring - Second semester of Spanish

Second Year
Fall - Intermediate Spanish Reading in Spanish
Spring - Advanced Spanish Grammart Writing in Spanish

Third Year
Fall - Introduction to Hispanic Cultural Studies
Spring - 2 elective courses or seminars on Hispanic culture or linguistics

Fourth Year
Fall - Study Abroad
Spring - Captsone

For majors with some previous Spanish coursework:

First Year
Fall - Depends on placement test
Spring - Advanced Spanish Grammar

Second Year
Fall - Writing in Spanish
Spring - Intro to Hispanic Cultural Studies

Third Year
Fall and Spring - 2 each of elective courses or seminars on Hispanic culture or linguistics

Fourth Year
Fall - Study Abroad
Spring - Capstone

Minor in Spanish (18 credits)

Required:
+SPAN 311 Advanced Spanish Grammar
SPAN 312 Spanish Abroad (1-5 credits)
+WI-SPAN 313 Writing in Spanish
+SPAN 314 Introduction to Hispanic Cultural Studies

Choose 6 credits:
SPAN 316 Introduction to Hispanic Film Studies
SPAN 317 Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics
SPAN 320 Spain
SPAN 332 Latin American Women Writers
SPAN 334 Seminar in Spanish Cinema and Media
+SPAN 335 Comic Books in the Hispanic World
+SPAN 340 Second Language Acquisition
+SPAN 341 Spanish Pronunciations
+SPAN 342 Methods and Approaches in Spanish Language Teaching
+SPAN 350 Special Topics in Hispanic Linguistics
+SPAN 360 Special Topics in Hispanic Cultural Studies (350 and 360 may be repeated if topic is different)

Study Abroad
Study Abroad in a high-language immersion program. The program and courses abroad must be pre-approved by the department. Approved programs vary in length; students should consult with their Spanish advisor for information and planning.

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

Spanish Secondary Education Major (31 credits)

You must first be accepted into the SAU Teacher Education program.

Required:
+SPAN 311 Advanced Spanish Grammar
+SPAN 312 Spanish Abroad (1-5 credits)
+WI-SPAN 313 Writing in Spanish
+SPAN 314 Introduction to Hispanic Cultural Studies
+SPAN 317 Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics
SPAN 400 Capstone

Choose 9 credits:
+SPAN 316 Introduction to Hispanic Film Studies
SPAN 320 Spain
+SPAN 332 Latin American Women Writers
+SPAN 335 Comic Books in the Hispanic World
+SPAN 341 Spanish Pronunciations
+SPAN 342 Methods and Approaches in Spanish Language Teaching
+SPAN 350 Special Topics in Hispanic Linguistics
+SPAN 360 Special Topics in Hispanic Cultural Studies (350 and 360 may be repeated if topic is different)

Study Abroad:
The program and course abroad must be pre-approved by the department. Approved programs vary in length; students should consult with their Spanish advisor for information and planning.

Other requirements:
18 hours of coursework in the major must be taken on the SAU campus.

All Secondary Education degree requirements (see the Education department description in the course catalog for current information).
Spanish Secondary Education Majors should have two advisors: one in Spanish and one in Education.

Plan to Graduate

For a Spanish Education Major with some previous coursework in Spanish:

First Year
Fall - depends on placement test
Spring - Advanced Spanish Grammar

Second Year
Fall - Writing in Spanish
Spring - Intro to Hispanic Cultural Studies

Third Year
Fall - Intro to Hispanic Linguistics OR any elective course or seminar on Hispanic culture or linguistics
Spring - Second Language Acquisition Any elective course or seminar on Hispanic culture or linguistics

Fourth Year
Fall - Study Abroad
Spring - Capstone

Scholarships and Grants

Undergraduate Scholarships

For academic/merit-based awards, eligible students are matched to the qualifying award; some of them are listed below.

For need-based support, eligibility is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The SAU school code is 001889.

You may also qualify for a scholarship or grant due to your talent in the fine arts or athletics, contact the Admissions Office so we can help be sure you're getting what you need. (You're also encouraged to seek outside scholarships and begin that search early.)

First-Year Scholarships

Amounts are for first-year students entering St. Ambrose in the 2020-21 academic year.

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*.

Your scholarship will automatically renew each year of your undergraduate studies, for up to four years, as long as you maintain satisfactory progress toward an undergraduate degree, a minimum 2.0 GPA, and remain a full-time student. 

FOR STUDENTS LIVING ON CAMPUS

On Campus (Merit-Based Scholarships)

Ambrose Advantage Scholarships
Criteria: Iowa resident, Pell Grant eligible, 2020 high school graduate, min. unweighted GPA 2.8, admitted to SAU and FAFSA filed by Mar. 15
Award: Full Tuition

Trustee Scholarships
Criteria: unweighted 3.9 GPA and minimum 29 ACT or 1340 SAT score
Award: $25,000/year and invited to compete for a full tuition scholarship

Presidential Scholarships
Criteria: minimum unweighted 3.8 GPA and 28 ACT or 1310 SAT score
Award: $22,500/year

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $14,000-$20,000/year

University Grants
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
$12,000/year

On Campus (Additional Institutional Scholarships)

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

Freeman Pollard Diversity Awards
Criteria: ethnically diverse student; FAFSA required. Additional aid available.
Award: $1,000/year on campus


FOR STUDENTS LIVING OFF CAMPUS

Off Campus (Merit-Based Scholarships)

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $12,000-$15,000/year (Iowa resident) or $13,000-16,000/year (non-Iowa resident)

University Grants
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $10,000/year

Off-Campus (Additional Institutional Scholarships)

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

Freeman Pollard Diversity Awards
Criteria: ethnically diverse student; FAFSA required. Additional aid available.
Award: $500/year


*While St. Ambrose University has a Test-Optional admissions policy, standardized test scores are required for admission to specific programs and eligibility for top academic scholarships.

International Student Scholarships

At SAU, our international students can qualify for university scholarships and grants based on academic achievement, merit, and their performance and abilities in fine arts and athletics.

Below, you'll find a quick summary of financial awards, and we continually look for ways to make an Ambrosian education even more affordable and attainable. Recently, we began offering athletic scholarships for Marching Band and Esports.

If you have any questions or want to apply, please contact the International Student Admissions office. 

Institutional Scholarships (2020-21)
There is no need to apply for the scholarships or grants below; students are automatically are eligible if they meet specific criteria, although some may require a certain GPA to stay eligible.

Academic Scholarship – $14,000-$20,000/year

Athletic Scholarships
We have many international student-athletes who are contributing and growing their skills as valued team players. As a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), St. Ambrose can award athletic scholarships to student-athletes. The amount varies and is based on performance and ability. These scholarships allow you to earn a college education while competing in the sport that you love. At Ambrose, we embody the value of developing both the mind and body.

To qualify for an athletic scholarship you must be eligible to play a sport at St. Ambrose. You can read about those qualifications here. The NAIA also has a complete website on how to register for eligibility at playNAIA.org

To learn more about all of our athletic teams and opportunities – including Esports – click here

Fine Arts Scholarships

These scholarships are based on your performance and ability in art, music, or theatre, and you may qualify for the Michael Kennedy Theatre Scholarship. Audition or portfolio required. Contact the Admissions office to apply or for more information. 

See below to learn more about outside scholarships and we encourage you to begin your search early.

Transfer Scholarships

Amounts are for transfer students entering St. Ambrose in the 2020-21 academic year. 

St. Ambrose scholarships are awarded for fall and spring semesters only and renewable up to 120 credits of undergraduate study, which includes credits transferred to St. Ambrose from prior attendance. For example: If you transfer in with an AA/AS degree, you would receive a scholarship for two additional years at St. Ambrose.

Scholarships

Phi Theta Kappa
Criteria: awarded to all Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society members transferring from a community college
Award: $15,500

OR

Transfer Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on GPA
Awards (non-Iowa residents):
3.5-4.00 GPA $15,000 
3.0-3.49 GPA $14,000
2.5-2.99 GPA $13,000 
2.0-2.49 GPA $11,000 

Awards (Iowa residents):
3.5-4.00 GPA $13,000 
3.0-3.49 GPA $12,000
2.5-2.99 GPA $11,000 
2.0-2.49 GPA $10,000 

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $1,000 per year (on campus); $500/year (off campus)

Dual Admission Scholarships
Criteria: participant in SAU/community college dual admission program
Award: $1,000 maximum

Freeman Pollard Diversity Awards
Criteria: Ethnically diverse student; FAFSA required. Additional aid available by application
Award: $1,000/year (on campus); $500/year (off campus)

Federal and State Aid

Iowa Tuition Grant
Criteria: based on financial need, Iowa residents only. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1, deadline July 1.
Award: $6,000

Federal Pell Grant
Criteria: based on financial need; file FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1
Award: $6,195 maximum

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
Criteria: based on financial need, priority to Pell Grant recipients. File FAFSA as soon as possible after Oct. 1.
Award: $400 maximum

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

Athletic Scholarships

As a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), St. Ambrose can award athletic scholarships to student-athletes.

These scholarships allow you to earn a college education while competing in the sport that you love. At Ambrose, we embody that value of developing both the mind and body.

How do I qualify for an athletic scholarship?
You must first be eligible to play a sport at St. Ambrose. You can read about those qualifications here. The NAIA also has a complete website on how to register for eligibility at playNAIA.org

With more than 31 varsity athletic teams and state-of-the-art facilities in which to play them, the Fighting Bees of SAU are bold contenders on any field. Watch this video

Fine Arts Scholarships

How do I qualify for a fine arts scholarship? 
Scholarships are awarded based on performance and ability in art, music and theatre. Review the various requirements below:

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 Modern Languages Department to study overseas for modern foreign language credit:

1) Awards of up to $500 for students taking a General Education Foreign Language course abroad taught by St. Ambrose University language faculty members.
2) 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

Modern Languages and Cultures
Hayes 205
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803
563-333-6021
TullisBrittanyN@sau.edu

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