Program Description

Acquiring the ability to speak and understand a language other than one's own, and gaining insight into the artistic and cultural heritage of other peoples of the world, are an integral part of a liberal arts education. The Department’s basic communication-oriented courses enable students to use spoken and written Spanish and give them some knowledge of Spanish and Latin American literature and cultural history. Advanced-level courses in literature, linguistics, and culture give students an understanding and appreciation of the language, literature, and cultures of the Hispanic peoples. Specifically, the Spanish Department’s curriculum, co-curricular activities and study abroad are designed to meet these goals:

  • Communication – Students will have the necessary communication skills to succeed academically in a Spanish speaking country.
  • Analytical Skills – Students will be able to analyze texts and linguistic phenomena with attention to relevant social, artistic, political, historical and economic issues.
  • Cultural Awareness – Students will acquire knowledge of social, artistic, political, historical, and economic issues related to the Spanish-speaking world.
  • Connections – Students will be able to use the Spanish language in a variety of interdisciplinary contexts to produce a personal, informed and critical understanding of the Hispanic world.

Study Abroad offers beginning, intermediate and advanced Spanish students an ideal opportunity to progress more quickly in Spanish while immersing themselves in Hispanic culture. Our Language and Culture Programs in Seville, Spain and Cuernavaca, Mexico are designed specifically for beginning and intermediate students looking to improve their Spanish, and to complete the foreign language requirement and other Gettysburg Curriculum goals.  Students in their Sophomore, Junior, or Senior year may participate, but must have a “C” average overall, and in previous Spanish classes. Students earn a maximum of 4 credits, including between 1 and 4 language classes (equivalent to Spanish 103 through 202). Choices for the remaining classes are literature and civilization, and frequently business, non-lab science, art and other classes offered in both Spanish and English, which may satisfy requirements in the Gettysburg College curriculum. Students live with families.  As a part of their study abroad experience, students participate in several orientation meetings at the College before leaving. Upon students' return, Gettysburg College provides a series of reintegration meetings. These pre- and post-travel sessions enhance students' experiences.

A greater variety of programs in Spanish-speaking countries are available to advanced students.  College affiliations with the following programs facilitate the process: in Argentina located in the cities of Buenos Aires and Mendoza (IFSA-Butler); in Mexico in Merida, Yucatan (IFSA-Butler); in Spain Salamanca (IES). Possibilities for study abroad exist in most Spanish-speaking countries.

The Spanish Department offers multiple opportunities for students to continue or initiate their contact with the Hispanic language and cultures while studying on campus. The Spanish Assistant organizes trips to Hispanic activities, Spanish language movies, discussions of current events, Spanish Club activities, and more. Students have the opportunity to interact with native speakers of Spanish through service learning components of their Spanish classes. Students tutor Hispanic children in after school programs, teach English to adult Spanish speakers, and help in various local non-profit, government, and church based agencies that provide services to the local Hispanic population.

In addition, Spanish majors, minors and native speakers have the opportunity to live in La Casa Hispana -- a residence for students with special interest in the Spanish language and in Hispanic Cultures. During certain hours of the day, the students only speak Spanish. The students also organize cultural activities that involve the college and the surrounding community. This is a unique and exciting opportunity for students to develop their language skills and to live with peers who share their academic and extracurricular interests.

Courses in the department provide sound preparation for graduate study, teaching, or careers in government, business, or social work. The department works cooperatively with the Education Department in the preparation of Spanish teachers. Since the largest minority group in the United States is Spanish speaking, it is increasingly important to know Spanish and understand Hispanic cultures.

Program Requirements

Course Requirements for the Spanish Major
Spanish Major Check Sheet - Effective with the Class of 2017
Spanish Major Check Sheet - Effective with the Class of 2014

Spanish majors study a combination of language, linguistics, culture and literature.   The Spanish major includes 9 courses above the 300 level:

Spanish 301 – Spanish Composition, Conversation & Culture:  Topics  -  A grade of “C” or better in 301 is a prerequisite for all upper level courses. 

One Elective: Any Spanish course above 301, taken at Gettysburg or equivalent taken abroad. 

Spanish 331- Hispanic Linguistics Today: An Introduction (Prerequisite for Spanish 380-389)

Spanish 345- The Pleasure of the Text (Prerequisite for Spanish 350-379)

Two Advanced classes in Literature and Cultural Studies (Spanish 350-379)

Two Advanced classes in Spanish linguistics (Spanish 380-389)

Spanish 400 (Seminar): This is the senior capstone experience for all Spanish majors.

The Spanish major includes, as can be seen above, 9 courses above the 300 level. Five of these courses, including 301, 345, 400, and two advanced classes, must be taken at Gettysburg College.  In addition, Spanish majors must spend one semester studying abroad in a program approved by the department. It is recommended that students study abroad as soon as their schedule permits.  (Students with extensive previous experience living or studying abroad may petition the department to be exempted from this requirement.) None of these 9 courses can be taken S/U.

Course Requirements for the Spanish Minor
Spanish Minor Check Sheet - Effective with the Class of 2017
Spanish Minor Check Sheet

Six courses 250 and above

Spanish 253-254 Intermediate Program courses count towards minor

Two courses must be taken at Gettysburg College; must include Span 301
Spanish minors complete Spanish 301 (which must be taken at Gettysburg) and 5 other classes at the 250 level or above.  Students must take 3 courses at Gettysburg, with the exception that up to 4 courses may be taken at approved Study Abroad programs. In the latter case, only 2 of the 6 courses must be taken at Gettysburg. None of these 6 courses can be taken S/U.

Course Listing

Course level:
100 | 200 | 300 | 400
SPAN-101 Elementary Spanish
Elements of understanding, speaking, reading, and writing Spanish. Enrollment limited to those who have never previously studied Spanish. Students cannot receive credit for both 101 and 103.


SPAN-102 Elementary Spanish
Elements of understanding, speaking, reading, and writing Spanish. Enrollment limited to those who have never previously studied Spanish. Students cannot receive credit for both 102 and 104.


SPAN-103 Fundamental Spanish
Fundamentals of understanding, speaking, reading, and writing Spanish. Use of interactive online language learning technology is required. Enrollment is limited to those who have previously studied Spanish and who are enrolled according to achievement on the Spanish Placement Test. Students cannot receive credit for both 101 and 103.


SPAN-104 Fundamental Spanish
Fundamentals of understanding, speaking, reading, and writing Spanish. Use of interactive online language learning technology is required. Enrollment is limited to those who have previously studied Spanish and who are enrolled according to achievement on the Spanish Placement Test. Students cannot receive credit for both 102 and 104.


SPAN-105 Intensive Fundamental Spanish
Fundamentals of understanding, speaking, reading, and writing Spanish. Use of interactive online language learning technology is required. Prepares students for Intermediate Spanish (201). Designed for students who have studied four or more years of Spanish in middle and high school, and who are enrolled based on their achievement on the Spanish Placement Test. Other students may enroll with Departmental permission. Students cannot receive credit for both 105 and any combination of 101, 102, 103 and/or 104.


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SPAN-201 Intermediate Spanish
Overview of Hispanic cultures through readings and films, with emphasis on written and oral expression in Spanish. Through extracurricular activities students gain a deeper understanding of the vast diversity of the Hispanic world. Prerequisite: Spanish 102, 104 or 105 or consent of department.


SPAN-202 Intermediate Spanish
Continuation of an overview of Hispanic cultures through readings and films, with more emphasis on written and oral expression in Spanish. Through extracurricular activities students gain a deeper understanding of the vast diversity of the Hispanic world. Prerequisite: Spanish 201 or consent of department.


SPAN-203 Intermediate Spanish: Issues of Immigration
A study in Spanish of Mexican immigration to the United States. Students explore the issues surrounding the national debate on immigration from the point of view of the people who cross the southern border to come to work in the United States. Through a novel, films, short stories, newspaper articles, and interviews, students learn about the experiences of the immigrants. The service learning component brings students directly into contact with immigrants in the local Gettysburg community. Prerequisite: Spanish 201 or consent of department.


SPAN-207 Service Learning in Argentina
An intensive summer language course centered on a cross-cultural service-learning experience in Argentina. The course integrates language classes and diverse cultural activities (folk-dancing and tango lessons, museums visits, and fieldtrips to archeological sites) with service at an orphanage and at a rural elementary school. Exposure to the cultural, social and geographical diversity of Argentina enhances linguistic as well as cultural competencies. This course may be taken after 201 or 202 as part of the two course sequence that fulfills the foreign language requirement.


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SPAN-300 Advanced Spanish Grammar
Third year language development course offering a comprehensive grammar review to advanced students of Spanish. The course is designed to build upon students' existing knowledge of Spanish grammar, beginning with a reconsideration of all the tenses in both the indicative and subjunctive moods, their values and their uses. Students demonstrate their understanding of the material through a variety of practical and creative exercises. This course is designed for students who finish Spanish 202 and need or desire more language practice before continuing on with the Spanish major. Counts toward Spanish minor, but not the major. Prerequisite: Spanish 202 or consent of department.


SPAN-301 Spanish Composition, Conversation, and Culture: Topics
Exercises in directed and free composition; extensive interaction with Spanish language and Hispanic cultures through readings, films and other media; group discussion and presentation of individual oral work; review of grammar and syntax at an advanced level. Organized around a central topic of importance in the Hispanic world. Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in Spanish 202, and at least 80% on the Spanish 202 final exam, or consent of department. Required for the major or minor (must achieve a “C” or better).


SPAN-306 Cultural Topics: Spain
Advanced composition and conversation course that explores a theme related to Iberian Cultures, organized around an artistic or historical period, event or genre. A variety of texts from both popular and high culture are studied, and may include film, television, music, visual arts, spoken word and periodicals, in addition to literary texts. Grade of C or better in Spanish 301. Counts toward major or minor.


SPAN-307 Cultural Topics: Latin America
Advanced composition and conversation course that explores a theme related to Latin American Culture, organized around a nationality, region, artistic or historical period, or event. The course uses a variety of literary texts from both popular and high culture and may include film, television, music, visual arts, spoken word and periodicals. Several sections are offered each year. Prerequisite: grade of C or better in Spanish 301. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor, or toward the combined Spanish/Latin American Studies major.


SPAN-309 Current Events Hispanic World
Advanced composition and conversation course based on current events in the Hispanic world, using articles from Hispanic periodicals and Spanish language news programs. Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in Spanish 301. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor, or toward the combined Spanish/Latin American Studies major.


SPAN-310 Topics in Hispanic Literature - Peninsular
Study of a variety of authors, themes, genres, and movements, ranging from 12th century to the present. Several sections, each with a different subject, are offered every year. Prerequisite: Span 301 with a grade of C or better. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor.


SPAN-316 Spanish as a Global Language
Study of the Spanish language with a focus on comparing at least three different centuries. Includes analysis of cultural and historical factors that have influenced the development of Spanish. Several sections, each with a different topic, are offered from year to year. Prerequisite: Span 301 with a grade of C or better. Counts toward the Spanish minor.


SPAN-320 Topics in Hispanic Literature - Latin America
Historical survey of Hispanic American literature from the early chronicles of Spanish explorers through the present, with some attention to the social, political and intellectual backgrounds of the works selected. Readings are taken from a variety of genres, geographical regions, and at least three centuries. Several sections, each with a different theme, are offered yearly. Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in Spanish 301. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor or towards the combined Spanish/Latin American Studies major.


SPAN-331 Hispanic Linguistics Today: An Introduction
Overview of Spanish syntactic, morphological and phonetic variation in Spain, Latin America and elsewhere. Spanish variation is used as a vehicle to introduce linguistic theories, methods, and problems as applied to Spanish. Attention is also given to relevant linguistic topics, such as Spanish dialectology, sociolinguistics, bilingualism and field research. Offered every semester. Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in Spanish 301 or consent of department. Required for Spanish major and counts toward the minor.


SPAN-345 The Pleasure of the Text: Introduction to Literary/Cultural Studies
Introduction to basic critical approaches to the reading of literary and cultural texts. Through the careful study of works in different genres, students acquire a knowledge of analytical skills and critical terminology in Spanish. Prerequisite: Grade of C or higher in Spanish 301, or consent of department. Required for the Spanish major and counts toward the minor.


SPAN-351 Poetry and Song in the Hispanic World
A study of song lyrics and lyric poetry from the earliest transcriptions of Spanish medieval song to contemporary poems and songs of Spain and Latin America. This course focuses on the relationship between form and content, noting major influences on the poetry of each period. Appreciation is considered a primary goal as students read, recite, analyze, and discuss a wide array of verse. Alternate years. Prerequisite: Spanish 345 or consent of the department. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor, or toward the combined Spanish/Latin American Studies major.


SPAN-353 Hispanic Film and Society
Study of Hispanic cinema from its inception to the present, with emphasis on films made since the 1960s. Examines relationships between film and popular world views. Considers how the interactions between audiences and political and commercial institutions influence movie content and film art and form. Offered alternate years. Prerequisite: Spanish 345 or consent of the department. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor, or toward the combined Spanish/Latin American Studies major.


SPAN-354 Nineteenth-Century Hispanic World
Study of the transatlantic nineteenth-century Hispanic world, looking particularly into its most decisive literary, historical and cultural moments. Examinations include narratives, essays, poetry and visual arts. Facilitates strategies for the interpretation of a selected corpus of texts grounded on aesthetic, cultural and ideological conflicts, creation of political contexts, and social change. Offered alternate years. Prerequisite: Spanish 345 or consent of the department. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor, or toward the combined Spanish/Latin American Studies major.


SPAN-355 Hispanic Theater
Study of the drama of Spain and Spanish America through the ages. Focus varies from semester to semester, based on such aspects as literary period, common theme, historical development, and dramatic theory. Offered alternate years. Prerequisite: Spanish 345 or consent of the department. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor, or toward the combined Spanish/Latin American Studies major.


SPAN-363 Plays, Poems, Prose, and Painting of Spain’s Golden Age
Texts include some of Spain’s greatest literary and artistic masterpieces. These works, which address issues of honor, gender relations, social class, ethics, national identity, and empire, remain as relevant and engaging in the 21st century as they were 400 years ago. Prerequisite: Spanish 345 or consent of the department. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor.


SPAN-367 From Realism to the Avant-Garde: Late 19th and Early 20th Century Peninsular Literature.
Studies in the essay, poetry, prose fiction, and drama of the major writers of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries in Spain. Offered alternate years. Prerequisite: Spanish 345 or consent of the department. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor.


SPAN-368 20th and 21st Century Peninsular Literature and Culture
Study of major literary and cultural trends and works in Spain, beginning with the resurgence of Spanish literature in the 1940s and continuing to the present day. Offered alternate years. Prerequisite: Spanish 345 or consent of the department. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor.


SPAN-369 Don Quixote de la Mancha
Study of Miguel de Cervantes’ timeless masterpiece, Don Quixote de la Mancha, considered the first modern novel, Don Quixote de la Mancha, remains one of the funniest stories ever told. Besides the complete novel, readings include essays about the European political, social, and religious/philosophical climate from which this great novel arose. Prerequisite: Spanish 345 or consent of the department. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor.


SPAN-370 Becoming Latino/a and Chicana/o in Latino Literature
Examines the development and progression of Latina and Chicana literature written in Spanish since its emergence due to the Chicano movement during the 1960s in the United States and the massive migrations from Latin America to the United States during 1980’s. Subsequently, it analyzes the construction of self-identity through the buildungsroman genre, mainly. Discussions and readings are based on canonical Chicana and Latina texts (novels, short stories and poems) that demonstrate the influence of Latin American culture and its migration to the United States. Prerequisite: Spanish 345 or consent of the department. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor, or toward the combined Spanish/Latin American Studies major.


SPAN-376 Latin Amer Contemporary Prose
Emphasis on the novel of the 'boom' in Latin America. Major writers such as Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, Carlos Fuentes, Julio Cortazar, Elena Poniatowska, Juan Rulfo, and Jorge Luis Borges are read. Prerequisite: Spanish 345 or consent of the department. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor, or toward the combined Spanish/Latin American Studies major.


SPAN-378 Contemporary Literature of the Hispanic Caribbean
An advanced course focusing on the contemporary literature of the Hispanic Caribbean. The course includes an analysis of a variety of literary genres, and considers the ways in which they represent and help shape their historical and cultural contexts. Prerequisite: Spanish 345 or consent of the department. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor, or toward the combined Spanish/Latin American Studies major.


SPAN-379 Colonialism, the Atlantic World and Latin America
Study of the textual productions resulting from the initial centuries of the Iberian invasion, conquest and colonization of the Americas. Readings and discussions focuses on the study of European and pre-Columbian imaginaries, and their impact on long-standing representations of Latin America. Goals include the analysis of a variety of discursive practices integrated into the process of colonization and how they have pervaded the understanding of Latin America. Offered alternate years. Prerequisite: Spanish 345 or consent of the department. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor, or toward the combined Spanish/Latin American Studies major.


SPAN-380 Sounds of Spanish: Phonology and Phonetics
Introduction to Spanish phonetic and phonemic theory and analysis, applied to improve pronunciation skills. Study of variation in pronunciation in Spain and Latin America. Three lecture hours and one practice. Prerequisite: Spanish 331 or consent of the department. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor.


SPAN-381 Spanish Pragmatics: Language and its Cultural Frontiers
An advanced Spanish linguistic survey of language that focuses on the relationship between linguistic forms and their users across Latin America and the United States. This course exposes students to linguistic, sociological and anthropological approaches to language and culture. This course also examines how context contributes to the meaning of utterances in the Spanish language. Prerequisite: Spanish 331 or consent of the department. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor.


SPAN-382 Spanish Morphosyntaxis: From the Word to the Sentence
Synchronic study of different linguistic theories that analyze Spanish words and sentences. The course presents a broad view of Spanish syntax and morphology, taking into account the results of recent research, but not assuming familiarity with current theories. A combined descriptive and theoretical approach is used to help students understand how different elements of the Spanish language relate to one another and why Spanish is spoken the way it is today. Prerequisite: Spanish 331 or consent of the department. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor.


SPAN-383 Spanish in Contact
Introduction to linguistic issues that have arisen in areas of contact between Spanish and other languages (English, Quechua, Catalan, and African languages, among others). Social and linguistic features will be addressed. A range of contact situations throughout the Spanish speaking world will be reviewed, with a view to gaining a better understanding of linguistic change in general. Prerequisite: Spanish 331 or consent of the department. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor.


SPAN-384 Spanish Sociolinguistics
An introduction to sociolinguistics, with a focus on research conducted on the Spanish language. Throughout this course students will examine the theoretic framework and methodologies associated with the study of linguistic variation. At the end of the course students will be able to identify linguistic variables, formulate a hypothesis, and choose and apply a methodology to investigate the variable using data from a spoken corpus. Prerequisite: Spanish 331 or consent of the department. Counts toward the Spanish major or minor.


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SPAN-400 Seminar
Directed and specialized studies in Spanish. Course is taken by seniors during the final semester in order to complete their undergraduate work. Offered every spring. Prerequisite: Limited to seniors, except with permission of the department. Required for Spanish majors.


SPAN-450 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


SPAN-451 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U


SPAN-452 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


SPAN-453 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U


SPAN-460 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


SPAN-461 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U


SPAN-462 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


SPAN-463 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor graded S/U


SPAN-464 Senior Capstone



SPAN-470 Individualized Study-Internship
Internship counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


SPAN-471 Individualized Study-Intern
Internship counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U


SPAN-472 Individualized Study-Internship
Internship not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


SPAN-473 Individualized Study-Internship
Internship not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U


SPAN-474 Summer Internship
Summer Internship graded A-F, counting in the minimum requirements for a major or minor only with written permission filed in the Registrar's Office.


SPAN-475 Service Learning Hispanic Comm
Summer Internship graded S/U, counting in the minimum requirements for a major or minor only with written permission filed in the Registrar's Office


SPAN-477 Service Learning Hispanic Comm
Half credit internship, graded S/U.


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