Spanish and Portuguese

Although no major in Portuguese alone is offered, the department offers a combined Spanish and Portuguese Language and Culture degree option (see the Spanish Majors section below), as well as a Portuguese minor. Language courses at the elementary and intermediate levels are also available, as well as senior and graduate courses in Luso-Brazilian civilization and literature.

The department has identified the following as educational outcomes for the three tracks within the Spanish major.

The undergraduate degree in Spanish language and literature emphasizes knowledge and awareness of:

  • the fundamental outlines of the history of Spanish literature and of Spanish American literature;
  • the major creative writers in both Spanish and Spanish American literature;
  • basic critical methodologies in the study of poetry, drama, narrative fiction, and nonfiction; and
  • the cultural and historical contexts in which Spanish-speaking societies developed.

In addition, students completing the degree in Spanish language and literature are expected to acquire the ability and skills to:

  • read sophisticated Spanish texts at a level at which literary analysis can be performed;
  • write and speak Spanish sufficiently to participate in critical discussions and write critical essays;
  • analyze and interpret texts in terms of themes, characters, structure, style, and overall textual strategies;
  • relate analysis and interpretations of different texts to one another; and
  • communicate such interpretations competently in written form in Spanish.

The undergraduate degree in Spanish and Portuguese language and culture emphasizes knowledge and awareness of the same topics listed in the degree in Spanish Language and Literature, but specifies electives and related field courses, focusing on the Luso-Brazilian culture and adding knowledge of the Portuguese language.

The undergraduate degree in international Spanish for the professions emphasizes knowledge and awareness of:

  • modern business practices as applied to the Spanish-speaking world;
  • the theories of economics, business law, and international trade and finance;
  • fundamental business Spanish terminology;
  • the cultural environment in which business is conducted in the Spanish-speaking world;
  • basic business according to the canons of this discipline; and
  • international relationships. 

In addition, students completing the degree in international Spanish for the professions are expected to acquire the ability and skills to:

  • read and interpret in cultural and business-related terms sophisticated Spanish texts concerning business transactions;
  • write and speak Spanish sufficiently to communicate effectively on business-related issues, be involved in critical discussions, and write critical essays on the subject;
  • analyze a particular business problem to place it in a relevant context and formulate an appropriate response; and 
  • adequately translate business-related documents.

Course codes for this program are SPAN and PORT.

Bachelor's Degree Program(s)

Bachelor of Arts in Spanish

Students must complete the required courses of the College of Arts and Sciences and the required courses listed below. All Spanish majors are encouraged to consult with their designated departmental advisor before they register each semester.

Required Courses and Semester Credit Hours

BA in Language and Literature Option

  • SPAN 3000 Advanced Spanish Language Skills, SPAN 3100 Literary Analysis in Spanish, and SPAN 3120 Advanced Spanish Grammar—11
  • Hispanic linguistics requirement. Of the total 32 credit hours required for the degree, at least 3 credit hours must be in Hispanic linguistics (SPAN 3050, 3150, 4430, or 4450).
  • At least 9 credit hours in upper-division literature, culture, and/or language (may include the Hispanic linguistics requirement)—9
  • At least 12 credit hours in courses at the 4000 level or above, with at least 9 credit hours devoted to literature (3 credit hours must come from either SPAN 4150 or 4160, and 3 credit hours must come from either SPAN 4170 or 4180). (Twelve credit hours may include the Hispanic linguistics requirement.)—12
  • In addition to the 32 credit hours in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, 6 credit hours in courses from outside the Spanish department in one or more related fields—6

BA in Spanish and Portuguese Language and Culture Option

Students must complete the required courses of the College of Arts and Sciences and the required courses listed below. All majors are encouraged to consult with their designated departmental advisor -before they register each semester.

Note that prerequisites for the program include sufficient Spanish knowledge to be admitted to 3000-level courses and sufficient knowledge of Portuguese to be admitted to 2000-level courses.

  • PORT 2110 Second-Year Portuguese 1 or PORT 2350 Portuguese for Spanish Speakers—3
  • PORT 2120 or SPAN/PORT upper-division—3

Upper-division Courses

  • PORT 3003 Advanced Portuguese Language Skills—3
  • PORT 3220 Latin American Culture: Spanish America and Brazil or PORT 3230 Lusophone Cultures: Brazil, Portugal, and Lusophone Africa—3
  • 4000-level PORT course—3
  • SPAN 3000 Advanced Spanish Language Skills, SPAN 3100 Literary Analysis in Spanish, and SPAN 3120 Advanced Spanish Grammar—11
  • Hispanic linguistic requirement. Of the total 32 upper-division credit hours required for the degree, at least 3 hours must be in Hispanic linguistics (SPAN 3050, 3150, 4430, or 4440).—3
  • Upper-division SPAN or PORT literature, culture, and/or language (may include Hispanic linguistics requirement)—6
  • “Major Works and Trends” courses. Three of these credit hours must come from either SPAN 4150 or 4160, and 3 credit hours must come from either SPAN 4170 or 4180.—6
  • SPAN or PORT 4000-level course—3

NOTE: Directly-related courses outside of the department, such as ANTH 4730, can replace 3 hours of Spanish or Portuguese elective credits. These courses must be preapproved by the department.

Native speakers of Portuguese, and in general, all students whose Portuguese skills are beyond the PORT 2120 or 2150 level, are not required to take these courses. However, students have to make up these credit hours by taking 6 hours of upper-division SPAN or PORT courses or any related courses outside the department. Related courses must be approved by the department.

NOTE: To fulfill the requirements for a Spanish Language and Literature or a Spanish and Portuguese Language and Culture major, students must complete 32 credit hours in courses at the 3000 level or above and at least 12 upper-division credits at CU-Boulder, 6 of which must be from the masterpiece courses listed previously (SPAN 4150 or 4160, and SPAN 4170 or 4180).

No more than 3 independent study credit hours may count toward the major. 

No grade lower than C- in a Spanish course will be counted in the major requirement.

Students seeking teaching certification in Spanish must take SPAN 3050, 3120, and 3200 or 3210. 

Students who want certification for teaching at the secondary level should note that the School of Education requires SPAN 4650 and 4660. Students who major in Spanish are expected to meet with their departmental advisor before registration. Failure to do so may delay graduation. Students considering entering graduate school for an advanced degree in Spanish, either at CU-Boulder or any other institution, should see a departmental advisor as early as possible.

Graduating in Four Years

Consult the Four-Year Guarantee Requirements for information on eligibility. The concept of “adequate progress” as it is used here only refers to maintaining eligibility for the four-year guarantee; it is not a requirement for the major. To maintain adequate progress in Spanish, students should consult with the department associate chair for undergraduate studies to obtain detailed guidelines.

BA in International Spanish for the Professions Option

In cooperation with the Leeds School of Business, the department offers an interdisciplinary major in International Spanish for the Professions which includes the completion of the business minor. It offers students numerous career possibilities, both in government and private industry, at home and abroad. Those choosing this major are not able to enter the Boulder graduate program in Spanish without fulfilling the requirements in the language and literature major. Only a limited number of students may enroll in the International Spanish for the Professions major. Courses within the major normally are completed in the student’s junior and senior years. Declaration of the major and the business minor should be completed as early as possible in the student’s academic career, but no later than the second semester of the sophomore year.

NOTE: Prerequisites for the program include sufficient Spanish to be admitted to 3000-level courses, ECON 2010 and 2020 and a C- or better in a statistics or calculus course, (the statistics or calculus class will also count as one of the LD area courses described below). SPAN 3040 and SPAN 4070 must be taken at CU-Boulder. A 2.00 GPA or better is required for the Leeds courses.

Professional Spanish Courses (no substitutions permitted): 15 credit hours

  • SPAN 3030 Professional Spanish for Business 1—3
  • SPAN 3040 Professional Spanish for Business 2—3
  • SPAN 3200 Spanish Culture or SPAN 3210 The Cultural Heritage of Latin America or 3220 Latin American Culture: Spanish America and Brazil or SPAN 3420 Catalan Culture—3
  • SPAN 4060 Problems of Business Translation in Spanish 1—3
  • SPAN 4070 Problems of Business Translation in Spanish 2—3

Spanish Language Courses: 17 credit hours

  • SPAN 3000 Advanced Spanish Language Skills—5
  • SPAN 3100 Literary Analysis in Spanish—3
  • SPAN 3120 Advanced Spanish Grammar—3
  • Any SPAN 4000-level course—3
  • Upper-division elective (recommended: SPAN 3050, 3310, 3340, 4930)—3

Courses in  Economics and the Leeds School of  Business for College of Arts and Sciences students (no substitutions allowed): 15 credit hours:

  • ECON 3403 International Economics and Policy (prereq., ECON 1000 or ECON 2010 and 2020)—3
  • BUSM 2001 Management/Marketing—3
  • BUSM 2002 Accounting/Finance—3
  • BUSM 3XXX Track (any one of three)—3           
  • BUSM 4XXX Strategy/CES and Business Plan—3

NOTE: To enroll in Leeds Business minor courses, arts and sciences students must have a minimum 2.00 GPA and must apply for the business minor after completing statistics or calculus with C- and 26 hours (12 hours at CU or with transfer work). In addition, they must attend a five hour “On-Boarding Experience” before the first BUSM class and pay applicable course fees. For complete information and application forms visit leeds.colorado.edu/minor#overview.

Courses in Leeds School of Business for Double Degree students:

15 credit hours of BCOR classes, which cover comparable functional areas as those in the BUSM courses will be approved for the business course component and the 12 credit area course requirement will be covered by other courses required for the Leeds degree. See faculty director of the international Spanish for the profession major for approval of specific courses. 

Area Courses: 12 credit hours.

Students are required to take courses outside the Spanish department in a field related to their professional interests or a certificate program, second major or degree. These may include courses in business, economics, computer science, linguistics, another foreign language, Chicano/a studies, Latin American studies, international affairs, any course dealing with the Hispanic world from anthropology, history, political science and geography. Often some of these courses can be fulfilled on study abroad. Courses meeting this requirement must be approved by the faculty director of the major.  

Six credits may be taken in lower-division courses and three of these credits can be the statistics or calculus class taken as the prerequisite to the BUSM courses.

Six credits must be taken in upper-division courses.

NOTE: The College of Arts and Sciences does not allow more than 45 credit hours in any one discipline to be counted toward the 120 credit hours required for a BA degree. This rule does not mean that a student may not take more than 45 credit hours in Spanish, but rather that one must have at least 75 credit hours in courses other than Spanish. PORT 2120 or 2150 will be accepted as partially fulfilling upper-division courses in other foreign languages. No Spanish or approved area courses with a grade lower than a C- will be counted in the major requirements.The ancillary GPA (made up of the combined grades from the economics, business and area courses) must be at least 2.00.

Study Abroad

The department strongly recommends that all majors include some study in a Spanish-speaking country in their major program. The university cooperates with full-year and semester programs in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Spain. There are also programs in Brazil and Portugal for Portuguese speakers. Credit earned normally counts toward satisfaction of the major requirements, but the student should see the associate chair for undergraduate studies before enrolling in a foreign program to discuss transfer of credit. Credit for work done in special programs offered by foreign universities is evaluated on an individual basis. It should be noted that courses taken abroad and designated as Spanish are also subject to the 45-hour maximum rule of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Students who present transfer work or credit earned in CU study abroad programs to satisfy major requirements are expected to complete at least 12 upper-division credits, including at least 6 from the 4000-level "Major Works and Trends" courses listed above, on the Boulder campus.

Minor Program in Portuguese

A minor program is offered in Portuguese. Declaration of a minor is open to any student enrolled at CU-Boulder, regardless of college or school. For more information, visit www.colorado.edu/artssciences/students/undergraduates/minors.html.

Concurrent Bachelor's/Master's Program

Concurrent BA/MSIB in Spanish 

This program is designed for students who wish to combine their BA in international Spanish for the professions with an MS in international business (MSIB) from the University of Colorado Denver. Students are able to complete both degrees in five years, including two summer sessions because the 15 credit hours of economics and business courses from the undergraduate degree count toward prerequisites for the MS program.

Admission Procedures: Students apply for the MSIB program during their third year by declaring their intention to the international Spanish for the professions faculty director, submitting the standard MSIB application forms, and completing admissions requirements, which include the GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test). Students are notified of acceptance to the program before the start of their fourth year. Students must have at least a 3.00 GPA to be considered for admission.

Graduate Degree Program(s)

Graduate Study in Spanish

Students wishing to pursue graduate work in Spanish leading to candidacy for advanced degree should read carefully requirements for advanced degrees in the Graduate School section. 

Master’s Degree

Language Requirement. Students must demonstrate, as early as possible and before taking the comprehensive examination, a communication knowledge (as defined by the Graduate School) of a foreign language other than Spanish. They also must be able to speak, read, and write English well.

Areas of Concentration. The MA in Spanish is offered in two areas of concentration: one with an emphasis on literature, and one with an emphasis on linguistics. (Contact the department for further information.)

Doctoral Degree

Residence Requirement. PhD students must complete a minimum of one academic year in residence on the Boulder campus (excluding summer) within the four years immediately preceding the date on which they present themselves for the PhD comprehensive examination.

Language Requirement. The student must demonstrate as early as possible, but at least one full semester before taking the comprehensive examination, a communication knowledge (as defined by the Graduate School) of one foreign language and a reading knowledge of a second language in addition to Spanish. The languages are chosen by the student in consultation with the advisory committee.

Areas of Concentration. The PhD in Spanish is offered in six literary periods of concentration: medieval, golden age, 18th and/or 19th century peninsular, 20th and 21st century peninsular, colonial and 19th century Spanish American, and 20th and 21st century Spanish American. For further information on these options, contact the department.