A Language That Will Take You Places

Whether you’re looking to become more marketable in business or broaden your cultural horizons, learning Spanish will be a rewarding experience. It’s America’s second most spoken, and fastest growing language. With more than 350 million speakers it’s also the fourth most commonly spoken language worldwide.

Our Spanish bachelor’s degree program will prepare you to communicate in Spanish while providing a rich understanding of the literature and culture of Latin America, Mexico and Spain. Even more, you’ll benefit from the unique opportunities you’ll find at UNC:

  • Learn from native speakers, working in small classes with valuable one-on-one interaction with award-winning faculty.
  • Embark on a life-changing study abroad adventure in Spain, Mexico or Latin America.
  • Participate in poetry readings and competitions, Latin dance lessons, cultural presentations, movies and many other activities outside the classroom.
  • Gain leadership and critical thinking skills you can apply directly to your career through diverse internship and research opportunities.
  • Join our Sigma Delta Pi Spanish Language honorary, which has been awarded best chapter in the nation five years in a row.

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FACULTY SPOTLIGHT

John Ryan, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Spanish Linguistics

To understand how and why Spanish works the way it does, John Ryan, Ph.D., studies many forms of the language, such as how it is used by children as they learn it, how it used by adults learning it as a second language and its evolution throughout different periods of history. He also studies the structures of other languages that are most closely related to Spanish, like Italian, Neapolitan, Portuguese and Catalan. In addition to teaching courses as a Hispanic Studies faculty member, Ryan has been separately endorsed as a member of the UNC graduate faculty, as well as that of the School of Teacher Education. 

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Degree Options

Choose a Spanish program option that best meets your professional goals and personal interests. You can also add endorsements in teaching Spanish, English as a Second Language and Bilingual Bicultural Education.

Liberal Arts

Gain a broad understanding of the Spanish language, culture and history. As a liberal arts major you’ll gain the skills to listen, speak, read and write in Spanish as well as a deeper understanding of the civilization and culture of the Spanish-speaking world.

K-12 Teaching Emphasis

Develop the skills to teach Spanish in grades K-12. In addition to learning Spanish language skills and gaining an understanding of the civilization and culture of the Hispanic world, you’ll also learn to be an effective educator.

Minor Option

Spanish Minor

As well as being culturally enriching, familiarity with the Spanish language can be a major advantage in the job market. Our Spanish minor offers an excellent complement to almost any major and requires 24 credits to complete.

Endorsement Options

Bilingual Bicultural Education Endorsement

Designed for elementary, secondary and K-12 education licensure students and students earning a K-12 ESL endorsement, the Bilingual Bicultural Education Endorsement teaches Spanish language skills, children’s literature in Spanish and K-12 curriculum in Spanish.

Spanish Endorsement

If you’re a non-Spanish major but would like to develop the skills and background to teach Spanish in secondary schools, we offer a 24-credit Spanish Endorsement. This endorsement must be attached to an Elementary, Secondary or K-12 Teaching License.

Teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) Endorsement

Learn the theory and practice you need to teach English as a second language. When you successfully complete the ESL Endorsement you’ll be recommended for the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse K-12 endorsement.

Related Programs

Your Future in Spanish Language Study

In the Spanish program, you’ll not only experience another culture through its language, you’ll also gain new perspectives on your own culture and your own identity in the world.

Consider UNC’s B.A. in Spanish if you:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of the Spanish language and culture
  • Pursue a career in teaching or business, or graduate study
  • Work closely with faculty in small classes

You’ll learn:

  • Listening, speaking, reading and writing in Spanish
  • Literature and culture of Latin America, Mexico and Spain
  • Spanish language pedagogy (K-12 Teaching Emphasis)

Sample courses:

  • Spanish Conversation and Film Studies
  • Masterpieces of Spanish Literature
  • Latin American Civilization and Culture
  • Spanish for Oral Proficiency
  • Educational Psychology for Secondary Teachers (K-12 Teaching Emphasis)
  • Methods of Teaching Foreign Languages (K-12 Teaching Emphasis)

Explore Diverse Places and Cultures

Few experiences are as enriching and rewarding as a journey abroad where you can experience a different culture first hand. There are more than 20 countries in the world where Spanish is the first language, and in UNC’s Spanish program you’ll have opportunities to travel to places like Chile, Peru, Mexico, Spain, Argentina, Guatemala, Panama, Ecuador, Costa Rica and more.

Beyond the Classroom

When you complete your bachelor’s degree in the Spanish program at UNC, you’ll excel in communicating in verbal and written Spanish and have far-reaching knowledge of Latin America, Mexico, Spain and U.S. Hispanic literature and culture.

Where can your degree take you?

Whether you plan to pursue a career at home or abroad, learning Spanish will open the door to a wide range of professional opportunities, including:

  • Teaching
  • Government
  • Social work
  • Criminal justice
  • International studies
  • Advertising and marketing
  • Translation and interpreting
  • Tourism
  • Banking

 

Current Research in Spanish Language Study

In addition to being caring, dedicated educators who work closely with students, our professors are noted researchers in their fields of study. Our current research projects include:

The Early Verb Project

Dr. John Ryan, Associate Professor of Spanish Linguistics

Dr. Ryan’s primary area of research has to do with the emergence of verbs in both first and second language learners of Spanish and other languages. His most recent work, the Early Verb Project, is the first comprehensive cross-linguistic study of early verb emergence in children. Dr. Ryan published the results of his work in his first book, The Genesis of Argument Structure: Observations of a Child’s Early Speech Production in Spanish.

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What You Need to Know Right Now