BA in Language and Culture
A Spanish language and culture major prepares students for a variety of careers in which cultural understanding, international experience, critical thinking, and practical application of a second language play a significant role. It is an excellent complement to a second major in many fields, adding valuable foreign language and cultural competency and international or multicultural experience to knowledge in other disciplines and preparing students for careers in government or civil service, law and law enforcement, health and human services, travel and tourism, international business, and education. The Spanish program at SOU prepares majors to enter graduate programs leading to careers that require superior language proficiency in specializations such as linguistics, literature, culture studies, and translation.
The Spanish language and culture major enables intermediate to advanced students to maximize their competency in language skills and cultural proficiency by focusing on communication, practical applications, research and analysis, language fluency, and cultural knowledge and understanding. The Spanish language and culture major requires all students to complete an international internship or a local community-based work experience. Both the international and local work experiences must demonstrate high language skills and good cultural knowledge.
The Spanish language and culture major is also designed to increase students’ integration of multidisciplinary knowledge into their specialization and their preparedness to enter the work world. To this end, Spanish language and culture majors are required to complete a minor or a second major in another field.
Accelerated Baccalaureate Degree Program
Spanish language and culture majors may participate in the University’s Accelerated Baccalaureate Degree Program.
Requirements for the Major
Students in a language and culture major must complete the following minimum requirements:
- Fulfill baccalaureate degree requirements.
- Speak with an advisor in Spanish and create a junior and senior plan of study, including all items below, as approved by an advisor.
- An interdisciplinary culture core (12 credits).
- A Spanish language and literature core (24 credits).
- Advanced language, literature, or culture credits (16 credits).
- A research and writing skills requirement, which must be met by completing SPAN 312 on the SOU campus in Ashland.
- A culture-specific work experience undertaken once an advanced level of proficiency has been demonstrated (minimum of 4-8 credits).
- A capstone project, completed under the supervision of a member of the Spanish faculty (4 credits).
- A Minor, Certificate, Second Major, or 20 credits of study abroad.
- A minimum 3.0 GPA in the major.
- A campus residency requirement. At least 16 upper division credits that have been approved by an advisor in Spanish, not including the capstone project and the practical work experience, must be completed in courses offered on the SOU campus in Ashland. At least 12 credits taken in residence, excluding capstone and practica credits, must be at the 400-level.
Work and Study Abroad
Foreign language students are encouraged to take advantage of the many varied and high-quality SOU approved study or work abroad programs and options available. Financial aid applies in most instances. With advisor consent, internship, practicum, and study abroad credit earned through SOU or another accredited U.S. university may fulfill Spanish degree requirements. An academic year abroad is recommended for all Spanish language and culture majors.
Advanced Service Learning
The language and culture degree requires students to work locally or abroad for at least 120 hours. The work must be completed in a community or country where Spanish is spoken. The community-based work experience is generally a part-time experience spread over several weeks. Majors must complete at least 4 credits and may be eligible to earn additional credits depending on the total number of hours worked (30 hours of work per credit). The work may be undertaken once a student has achieved an appropriate level of linguistic and cultural proficiency, usually toward the end of the junior year or at the completion of a year or semester of study abroad. The work experience is registered as an irregular course or courses and includes statements of work objectives, journals, reports, and an employer evaluation. Credits and course requirements are overseen by a member of the Spanish faculty.
All students in the language and culture major must complete a capstone project that demonstrates the skills and knowledge acquired during the completion of the major. The capstone project includes an analytical research paper and annotated bibliography following standard MLA format. The research is presented before students and a panel of foreign languages and literatures faculty.