Undergraduate Program

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese offers an unparalleled language learning experience for our majors and minors and students wishing to continue their language studies.  We invite you to explore our various programs!

At the undergraduate level, our students become not only fluent speakers, but competent writers and interpreters of a broad range of texts and cultural forms. Our language programs serve students’ abilities and schedules with a choice between intensive and non-intensive courses. Students are also guaranteed continuity: we offer several sections of every language course every semester.

The Department offers three undergraduate majors: Spanish, Portuguese, and the Major in Spanish & Portuguese Studies, as well as two minors, one in Spanish and one in Portuguese. In addition, students can complete the  Spanish Major with Business Administration Minor. If you are wondering whether one of our majors or minors is right for you, this flyer provides a great summary, and if ready, you can apply here. However, we strongly suggest you navigate this section to get more details. Applying to the Georgetown College and declaring a major are important decisions, and we have a lot to offer.

Our faculty play leadership roles in other units, including Anthropology, Latin American Studies, Comparative Literature, the Film and Media Studies Program, Medieval Studies, Performance Studies, and Catholic Studies. Our graduate courses, taught in Spanish or Portuguese, are open to all undergraduates ready for a challenge; we set no limits to learning! Since we possess unique strengths in Hispanic and Portuguese linguistics, our students can also explore at the undergraduate level topics often reserved for graduate study, including language variation, phonetics, bilingualism, language pedagogy, and syntax. We strongly encourage students to study and travel abroad and offer many opportunities to do so. Students in our majors can also obtain certificates in programs such as Latin American Studies, European Studies, and double majors in all areas of the Georgetown College curriculum, including Government, Comparative Literature, or Business. We stimulate in our majors the critical thinking skills they need for graduate school, the professional world, and for the exercise of responsible citizenship. Our students graduate to work in a variety of fields and organizations, such as Google, NBC Universal, Princeton in Latin America, Global Health Strategies, Teach for America, and Deloitte; they are also successful at obtaining fellowships. We take pride in educating the next generation of global citizens that will lead and make a difference in the world.

In contrast to many Spanish and Portuguese units at peer institutions, we have an ever growing number of students in advanced and upper-level Spanish and Portuguese courses. These students come from all areas of the university: the School of Foreign Service, the McDonough School of Business, and the School of Nursing and Health Sciences. For many of these students, advanced proficiency is a graduation requirement, which explains why half of our minors are students in the SFS. We work hard to offer both essential courses for the major while also designing courses to meet the needs of students in other schools as well as the needs of a rapidly growing number of heritage speakers of Spanish on campus. Some of the most recent curricular changes that we have implemented are: 1) New intensive advanced courses that are task-based and content-driven (history, geography, anthropology, politics of identity); 2) new offerings in Spanish for professions, such as business and health; 3) new Spanish for French speakers courses; 4) formalized integration of the service-learning component; 4) better integration of summer study abroad and undergraduate research; 5) complete redesign of the Portuguese curriculum to include a new summer program.