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Spanish

Offerings: Bachelor | Master | Minor

Course Description

As its primary objective, the Spanish Major promotes the study of the language and culture of Spanish-speaking people. It is designed to provide the background and appreciation of Hispanic literatures and cultures, and linguistic and analytic skills, so students can pursue careers in a variety of fields. The program seeks to contribute support to and articulate with other areas of study at the University. It aims to serve the immediate region and its needs, while providing students with understanding and insight into the Hispanic world at large. The Spanish Major addresses cultural and linguistic connections between the United States and its Spanish-speaking neighbors. It promotes the concept that Spanish is not a foreign language, but rather one to be cultivated and appreciated alongside English in Southern California.

The availability of multiple concentrations within the Spanish Major gives students flexibility and diversity while providing a strong core in all basic linguistic, analytic, and cultural skills. The program takes into account the unique nature of the Cal State San Marcos student body and the University’s Mission Statement. The program addresses the need for trained language specialists in a variety of fields, with special attention to the location of Cal State San Marcos, in North San Diego County, an area characterized by a large Spanish-speaking population. The bi-national interaction that stems from our proximity to the Mexican border establishes the need for a multidimensional major which incorporates practical and academic components. The University’s commitment to interdisciplinary and multicultural issues guides the cultural and literary elements of the major. All of these principles are prevalent in the curriculum and the faculty, both of which are complemented by those of other programs.

Master - The mission of the Master of Arts in Spanish is to provide qualified students with a structured yet flexible program of study in the literature, linguistics, culture, and civilization of the Spanish-speaking world, and in the art of foreign language teaching. This program is designed to prepare students for further study at the doctoral level; for careers in teaching at the elementary, secondary, or community college level; or for positions in business, social services, international relations, government agencies, and other organizations in need of trained language specialists. The Master of Arts in Spanish degree program allows students the choice of three areas of emphasis:

  • Option A – Hispanic Literature and Linguistics,
  • Option B – Hispanic Civilization and Language, and
  • Option C – Foreign Language Teaching.

Regardless of the option selected, the student’s academic experience will be characterized by classes of the highest quality, which encourage the development of critical thinking, an appreciation of multicultural perspectives, and articulate use of the Spanish language. All students will receive ongoing faculty mentoring. Opportunities for guided and independent research, community involvement, and study abroad in a Spanish-speaking country are central to the graduate student experience in this program.

Our campus’ close proximity to the Mexican border, together with the large Spanish-speaking population in North San Diego County, makes our area a "living language laboratory" in which students can engage in first-hand study of the many linguistic and cultural aspects of native Spanish speakers. Students who wish to pursue teaching careers will benefit from the Barahona Center for the Study of Books in Spanish for Children and Adolescents, a special collection in the Cal State San Marcos library which houses over 80,000 books, periodicals, and other materials pertinent to teaching Spanish and Hispanic culture to young people. The University’s commitment to multicultural and global awareness, together with the presence of an international group of faculty in the Modern Language Studies Department, will contribute to the student’s process of learning, in this unique academic setting.


College of Humanities, Arts, Behavioral & Social Sciences (CHABSS)