Spanish, B.A.

Program Overview

Do you love the beauty of the Spanish language and appreciate the challenge of becoming fluent in it? If you desire to speak, read, write, and comprehend Spanish — and explore rich Hispanic cultures — this major might just be for you. Fluency in Spanish prepares students to participate effectively in a multilingual society by mastering the second most common global language.

The Spanish major at PLNU is offered through the Department of Literature, Journalism, Writing, and Languages (LJWL). The lower division requirements are Spanish I and II. Upper division requirements broaden the scope of study and include advanced grammar and composition; Spanish, Latin American, and Mexican American culture, history, and literature; and Spanish linguistics. If you want to continue your study of Spanish through graduate school, you might consider studying French or German as well.

Scott Bennett in Chicano Park

Spotlight

Scott Bennett, Ph.D.

Dr. Scott Bennett’s students know what it’s like to be challenged, to be pushed beyond their comfort zones. His Spanish major and minor students have felt his push to connect them with Latin American culture in a transformative way.

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Student Support

For most students, the transition into college life is one full of adjustments. There is the excitement of newfound freedoms, but also some uncertainty as you begin to make choices and take responsibility for your own future. 

At PLNU, we’re committed to supporting you — academically, professionally, spiritually, personally — so that you may be successful both in your time as a student and beyond. That’s why we offer a holistic support system that focuses on your unique experiences, particular needs, and personal and professional goals — resulting from our deep concern for you, our student.

With a focus on authentic relationships and personalized attention, our goal is to help transform you so you can follow your calling in your own career and life.

Student Support

Career Opportunities

A degree in Spanish is much more than knowing the language — it’s knowing the culture as well. Upon completion of this program you’ll be equipped to help develop bilingual curriculums and education, aid in translation settings, or even apply your knowledge in travel and future learning opportunities. The major in Spanish is meant to promote the understanding of diverse ways of life and allow students to meaningfully impact society by building relationships across languages and cultures as globally engaged servants and scholars.

At PLNU, our Spanish program is oriented toward two outcomes:

  • Preparing students to participate effectively in the second most common global language
  • Proficiency in advanced Spanish grammar and composition

What do jobs in Spanish look like post-graduation?

Employment in careers related to a degree in Spanish are projected to drastically increase. For interpreters and translators (one of the most common careers PLNU alumni pursue with this degree), employment is projected to grow 20% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What are PLNU alumni doing with their degrees in Spanish?

Many graduates of PLNU’s Spanish program have gone on to work in a variety of industries (most being directly related to community outreach and communication). Globalization and large increases in the number of non-English-speaking people in the United States have driven employment growth for those with multiple-language fluency. Most graduates have applied their Spanish degrees in educational settings, teaching positions, managerial positions, public relations jobs, and in the realm of counseling.

Some of the positions PLNU graduates currently hold:

Interpreters and Translators

2020 Median annual salary: $52,330

Interpreters and translators convert information from one language into another language. They must be able to read and write fluently in their languages in order to render an accurate and meaningful interpretation or translation of the original message. Interpreters and translators work with a variety of clients (company or business, individual organizations, or private clients).

Necessary attributes and skills: 

  • Speak, read, and write fluently
  • Compile information and technical terms into glossaries and terminology databases
  • Relay the style and tone of the original language
  • Understand and respect cultural taboos or differences

Instructional Coordinators

2020 Median annual salary: $66,970 

Instructional coordinators oversee school curriculums and teaching standards. They help create and develop instructional material. Additionally, these coordinators implement changes and assess their effectiveness. With a Spanish degree, instructional coordinators have the opportunity to better incorporate and demonstrate the value in bilingual education and programs. 

Necessary attributes and skills: 

  • Ability to plan, organize, and conduct teacher training, conferences, or workshops
  • Assess and discuss curriculum standards with staff
  • Retain a broad knowledge of educational materials and a willingness to review and suggest textbooks
  • Ingenuity to create procedures for teachers to implement a curriculum
  • Master's degree preferred and related work experience

Librarians and Media Collections Specialists

2020 Median annual salary: $60,820 

Librarians and media collections specialists help individuals gather information and conduct research for personal and professional use. They utilize their Spanish degrees not only in communication with people, but also in sharing and dispersing media and books pertinent to certain research topics. They work for local governments, schools, and other organizations.

Necessary attributes and skills:

  • Create and use databases of library materials
  • Organize library materials so they’re easy to find
  • Help library patrons conduct research to evaluate search results and reference materials
  • Research new books and materials by reading reviews, publishers’ announcements, and catalogs
  • Maintain existing collections 
  • Plan programs for different audiences such as non-English speaking audiences
  • Teach classes about information resources

High School Teacher

2020 Median annual salary: $62,870

High school teachers instruct students in a variety of academic subjects. Specifically, Spanish teachers must be well-versed and fluent in the language they teach in order to effectively support students as they learn the language as well. Teachers plan courses and curriculum based on the area of study they’re teaching. Additionally, they assess students’ progress by grading assignments, papers, exams, and other work.

Necessary attributes and skills:

  • Engaging conversationalist and speaker
  • Fluent or extremely proficient in Spanish
  • Ability to evaluate papers and projects
  • Thorough expertise and knowledge of specified department and subject
  • One to two years of teaching experience
  • Potentially pursue a master’s or doctoral degree
  • Time management skills

How will you apply your Spanish degree to make a difference in the education system, your community and beyond?

Beyond graduation, your Spanish degree will help you connect with people of diverse backgrounds as you head into a wide range of careers fostering communication and community. Not only will you be able to share your skills in communication, but you’ll be able to continuously learn from the Spanish speakers you interact with. Whether you go into teaching, curriculum development, or managerial positions, let PLNU help you get started on your journey. 

To learn more, get connected with one of our counselors here for additional support and to answer any questions you may have. Or, apply to PLNU today!

The oldest greek amphitheater in the western hemisphere during sunset at PLNU in San Diego.

Student Profile

Marie (Powell) LoPrell

Marie (Powell) LoPrell (10, M.A. 11) teaches Spanish at Steele Canyon High School. She started her teaching career at Guajome Park Academy and has been teaching for five years now. Prior to teaching high school, she taught fourth grade for a year in Honduras.

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