At Davidson, our Hispanic Studies students work towards a mastery of Spanish, the second most spoken language in the United States and the fourth in the world. The development of our students' linguistic competency allows them to reach a more profound understanding of Spanish, Latin American, and U.S. Latino people and their literary and cultural expressions.
We strengthen our students' critical and analytical thinking skills as well as their ability to form written and oral arguments in Spanish. Through our curriculum and advising, we help our students cultivate the fluent worldview necessary to thrive and contribute thoughtfully in our globalized world.
To graduate with a major in Hispanic Studies, students must complete 10 courses above Spanish 201 or 203, including at least one 400-level seminar (SPA 401-410), the Senior Seminar (SPA 490), and at least one course in each of the following areas:
At least five of the courses toward the major should be taken in residence; courses taken on Davidson's Cadiz program count as courses in residence. The course sequences in Cadiz, depending on each student's language level, are: 203-272, 260-394, 393-394.
With specific approval of the department chair, a maximum of three transferred courses for one semester or five transferred courses for the academic year may be applied to the Hispanic Studies major or minor.
Students electing to write a senior thesis may do so as a SPA 429 independent study with a faculty member of the department. The independent study will be counted as an elective. SPA 429 does not take the place of the SPA 401-410 Seminar on Special Topics or SPA 490.
Heritage speakers and native speakers should consult with the Department Chair regarding course pre-requisites on a case by case basis.
Study in a Spanish-speaking country is strongly recommended. Visit our study abroad page for more information. Students are strongly encouraged to take SPA 270 before studying abroad during the academic year. The department may also recommend Advanced Spanish Grammar 302 or 303, depending on the student's language proficiency. Also recommended is at least a minimum knowledge of a second foreign language.
Courses to be counted toward the major may not be taken pass/fail.
There are key differences between the major in Hispanic Studies and the major in Latin American Studies (LAS). First, while the Hispanic Studies major requires classes on the literature and cultures of both Spain and Latin America, the Latin American studies major requires classes that focus on Latin America from the perspectives of several disciplines, including not only Hispanic Studies, but also anthropology, history, music, political science, and others. Second, while all courses for the Hispanic Studies major are conducted in Spanish, most of the courses taken for the interdisciplinary LAS major are taught in English, with the notable exception of study abroad courses and the Hispanic Studies courses on literature and culture that also count toward the LAS major. If you are interested in an interdisciplinary major that focuses on Latin America you may wish to view the Latin American Studies major.