BACHELOR OF ARTS
"Do you know what a foreign accent is? It's a sign of bravery."—Amy Chua
We welcome brave students who want to experience the world in another language, challenging themselves to explore new ideas and forge lasting relationships with their global neighbors. Majoring in Spanish allows you to immerse yourself in Hispanic language, literature and culture while developing strong analytical thinking and communication skills. The Spanish Education major offers the opportunity to combine these skills with the coursework and practicum experiences necessary to earn a teaching certificate in Pennsylvania. In both majors, you’ll find countless opportunities to sharpen your language skills and challenge your cultural assumptions while experiencing the world from a different vantage point.
Entrance into the major is determined by the successful completion of the Introduction and Intermediate sequence or by the demonstration of equivalent skills on the CLEP, A.P., International Baccalaureate examinations.
We strongly encourage students to study abroad, and work with each student to find the program that will make this possible
Mercyhurst’s diverse international student body and faculty ensure that Spanish students can practice the language in real-world settings without leaving campus
The Bachelor of Arts in Spanish pairs well with many other degree programs for a double major
Studying a foreign language is excellent preparation for careers in many different fields, such as business, education, human services, government or international relations, as well as graduate school
Students may pursue a minor in this area by taking eight courses, a minimum of four in Arabic language, and the rest in related coursework in religious studies, political science, history, archaeology, etc., and must maintain a 2.5 in the minor.
Mercyhurst University's Asian studies minor program (formerly East-West studies) is an interdisciplinary, interdepartmental minor in Eastern cultures. Students must maintain a 2.5 GPA overall to remain in this minor. In addition, Mercyhurst students must take at least three courses in Asian language and five related courses in either Asian cultures, Japanese literature, Buddhism, Hinduism, Asian politics, world geography or modern Eastern history.
Mercyhurst students who are interested in pursuing a minor in language, may choose to minor in Chinese, French or Spanish. These minor programs offered through Mercyhurst University's World Languages and Cultures Department offer students courses in language, literature and culture in the student's respective field of study. In addition, Mercyhurst students will have the opportunity to delve into the history of the culture they choose to study.
Students minoring in a Chinese, French or Spanish program must take eight core courses and two upper level courses. Students must maintain a 2.5 GPA in the minor.
Mercyhurst students who are interested in pursuing a minor in language, may choose to minor in Russian studies. This minor program offered through Mercyhurst University's World Languages and Cultures Department offers students courses in Russian language, literature and culture. In addition, Mercyhurst students will have the opportunity to delve into Russian history.
Students minoring in Russian studies must take eight core courses and two upper level Russian language courses. Students must maintain a 2.5 GPA in the minor.
Whether you’re planning to work in school districts in the U.S. or travel and work overseas, the ability to effectively teach students the English language will open employment opportunities across the board. Students in the Teaching English-Language Learners minor will learn not only the methods for teaching English as an additional language, but also the language acquisition theories, socio-cultural influences, and program development strategies that make for more culturally sensitive and effective instructors (and leaders) of English language education. The minor includes six core courses, one elective, and more than 60 hours of practicum experience working with trained education professionals in preK-12 and adult education.
- Speak and understand Spanish at the Intermediate High level or better as detailed in the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines
- Read and write in Spanish at the Intermediate High level or better as detailed in the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines
- Demonstrate cultural proficiency in cultures that use Spanish
- Discuss in both spoken and written Spanish, literary and visual texts or cultural artifacts of the target culture
- Conduct and produce research in Spanish
- Demonstrate understanding of second-language acquisition and the history of foreign-language
Take advantage of opportunities to serve the global community through travel to places like the Mission of Friendship in Mérida, Mexico, or through work with local immigrant populations.
Our diverse study abroad options allow students to experience the vivid culture of Spain or Latin America while completing their degrees in Spanish or Spanish Education.
Many alumni have pursued graduate degrees at prestigious universities, including University of Illinois, Indiana University, American University, Middlebury College, and Universidad Alcalá de Henares in Madrid, Spain.
All language majors sit for the Oral Proficiency Interview in their senior year. The OPI is an independent evaluation of a student’s language proficiency level by an outside evaluator. Students can use the OPI rating, which is recognized internationally, on their resumes and employment or graduate school applications.
Mercyhurst is very fortunate to participate each year in the Fulbright Teaching Assistant program. The program brings young professionals to the U.S. to share their linguistic and cultural expertise by teaching courses, offering conversation groups, and enriching our students' understanding of the areas they are studying.
Phi Sigma Iota, international honors society for the study of foreign languages and cultures, is one of the highest honors one can achieve in the field. Language majors and minors are nominated in their junior or senior year based on:
- the completion of a 300 level language course (or equivalent)
- GPA of 3.0 or higher
- recommendation of the language faculty
Induction is held each spring at the annual dinner.
For more information, go to the society's official website at www.phisigmaiota.org.
All majors must maintain an overall 2.5 GPA and at least a 2.75 GPA in world language major courses. World language education majors must also meet all the requirements of the education program. All majors and minors, as well as those students seeking teaching certification, are expected to maintain a portfolio, which will be important for assessment at Sophomore Review, before a student is permitted to student teach, and prior to graduation. An outline of requirements for the portfolio, which includes written and oral work, can be obtained from the student's language adviser or from the department director.
Early in the spring semester of the sophomore year, the department reviews the student's academic record, their language portfolio, and recommendations from professors to determine academic progress. At this time, students are formally invited into the major and are informed in writing of the department's decision.
Karen Williams, Ph.D. was a beloved member of the Department of World Languages and Cultures for 23 years. The scholarship, established by her family in her name, seeks to support students who have a passion for studying language and culture with a goal of making the world a better place. The $1,000 scholarship is awarded to junior Spanish education majors, Spanish major, or Spanish minor (preference in that order) who demonstrates academic excellence and commitment to this field. Students may apply for the Karen C. Williams scholarship in the fall of each year. For more information, please contact Dr. Alice Edwards at firstname.lastname@example.org.