Spanish

If you want to major in Spanish, Western Michigan University offers two options for you. The first is a language, literature and culture program leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of Arts and Sciences. The second is also a language, literature, linguistics and culture program, but it leads to a teaching degree from the College of Education and Human Development.

Both options include a strong focus on Spanish culture.  Basic coursework covers fundamental, intermediate and advanced Spanish language as well as Spanish culture, Spanish-America, Hispanics in the United States, literature and linguistics. To round out your program, you will choose electives with the help of your advisor. The education curriculum is similar to the arts and sciences curriculum, but provides additional training that will prepare you to teach Spanish at the middle and high school levels.

Beyond the classroom

As a student in WMU's Spanish program, you will be strongly encouraged to take advantage of study abroad opportunities, including our own programs in Burgos and Santander, Spain, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. You will also have the opportunity to utilize your language skills through an internship or service experience in the Kalamazoo community, reaching out to the local Hispanic population.

WMU's Department of Spanish organizes two weekly Spanish Tables, one focusing on general topics and the other on health care themes. Led by a graduate Spanish assistant, the Spanish Tables will give you a forum through which to practice your Spanish in a laid-back, conversational setting and meet others who share your interests. The department also hosts events and activities that focus on Hispanic culture, such as lecture series, film festivals and a Day of the Dead Celebration. These happenings are open to a wider community and will give you an opportunity to experience a broader, more diverse view of the many world cultures that express themselves in Spanish.

In addition, the department offers more than 24 hours of free tutoring weekly to help you succeed in your language, culture, literature and linguistics courses.

After you graduate

Recent WMU graduates with degrees in Spanish are working in many different industries and types of organizations, including:

  • Airlines
  • Businesses and banks
  • Charitable organizations
  • Education, all levels
  • Health care
  • Hotels
  • International exchange programs
  • Law enforcement
  • Media
  • Museums
  • Real estate and land development
  • State and federal government (departments of State, Defense, Homeland Security, and Commerce; Agency for International Development)
  • Travel and tourism

Sample job titles include:

  • Artists
  • Attorneys
  • Bilingual teachers
  • Business executives
  • Civil service employees
  • Cultural officers
  • Customs and immigration officers
  • Diplomats
  • Filmmakers
  • Flight attendants
  • Foreign affairs negotiators
  • Foreign correspondents
  • Guides
  • Health care professionals
  • Intelligence specialists
  • International bankers
  • Interpreters and translators
  • Journalists
  • Language teachers
  • Linguists
  • Missionaries
  • Museum curators
  • National security agents
  • Negotiators
  • Professors
  • Speech pathologists
  • TESO and ESL teachers
  • Travel specialists

Where is this program offered?

  • Kalamazoo