Explore a Spanish Degree at UNW | University of Northwestern, St. Paul
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Department of World Languages


UNW student in Spanish class
Department of World Languages


  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Undergraduate

125 credits

required for program

Minor Available

125 credits

125 credits

required for program

Minor Available

Communicate fluently in Spanish and gain an understanding of Hispanic cultures for application in career and ministry. The Spanish major prepares you to communicate and relate to Hispanic audiences in the western hemisphere and in Spain. You’ll acquire practical knowledge of Hispanic cultures and strategies for bridging social barriers.

Why study Spanish at Northwestern?

You will spend a semester abroad and gain fluency, being fully immersed in language and culture. You have the option to choose between the Semester in Spain (SIS) program in Seville, Spain, or the Students International program in San Jose, Costa Rica.

You will be equipped with practical communication skills and knowledge of cultural and historical contexts, preparing you to use Spanish in professional, religious, and personal contexts. At Northwestern, you can sharpen your language skills by tutoring children at local Hispanic churches, studying Bible exposition courses in Spanish, attending bilingual theater performances, and joining other Spanish majors performing Christmas carols in the community. Free Spanish tutoring is available through Academic Achievement.

If you have taken three years or more of Spanish in high school, have an immersion background, or are a native or heritage speaker of Spanish, Intermediate Spanish I is the right course for you. This is the first course required for the Spanish major, Spanish minor, and Spanish education major. Contact the professor if you have trouble registering for the course.

If you want to bring bilingual skills and a cross-cultural mindset to your field of study, enjoy travel, or want to see international doors open to you, this is the right degree for you!

What degree tracks are offered in Spanish?

What will I learn?

You will learn to do life cross-culturally and in Spanish.

  • Communicate in personal and professional contexts that are relevant to you.
  • Share your testimony
  • Read news articles and 20th century narratives
  • Develop relationships with people from other cultures
  • Examine Latin American and Spanish history
  • Prepare your resume and interview for bilingual employment positions
  • Study the Bible
  • Live abroad

Careers in Spanish

There are a variety of career and academic pathways that begin with a degree in Spanish.

What types of work are related to this degree?

  • Any job that requires a second language
  • Interpreter, translator, language instructor
  • Refugee or immigrant resettlement
  • International business
  • Community education
  • Travel and tourism
  • Customer service
  • Banking
  • Information technology
  • Mentoring or helping professions
  • Military positions, diplomacy or intelligence
  • Missions or Foreign Service
  • Hotel, restaurant or catering management

Who employs people with this degree?

  • International businesses & banks
  • Embassies and consultants
  • Political organizations
  • Federal, state, and local governments such as customs, immigration or naturalization
  • Health services agencies
  • Public and private schools (non-licensure)
  • Professional language schools
  • Universities/study abroad programs
  • Law enforcement agencies
  • Hotels and resorts
  • Law firms
  • Non-profit/social human service agencies
  • Community development programs
View Career Guide

internship opportunity in Spain or Costa Rica


of seniors feel prepared to integrate their faith with their academic field

Preparing for a Career

College graduation rates continue to increase each year making competition for jobs even greater. Set yourself apart from the crowd with the following strategies for getting started, networking, and gaining experience.

Strategies for success:

  • Choose an additional academic area of study to supplement the foreign language, preferably one that requires a high degree of technical skill. Most people with foreign language ability use those skills to assist them in a different career field such as business, education, journalism, law, etc.
  • Seek opportunities to interact with international students on your campus or members of your local community. Host international students, join relevant student organizations, and participate in international campus events.
  • Volunteer your language skills to churches, community organizations, and programs that work with people who speak your target language.
  • Participate in summer programs, co-ops, and internships to improve your skills.
  • Conduct informational interviews with people in your desired field. They will have insight into the coursework, volunteer experiences, internships and other strategies that will help you achieve your goals.
  • In general, international positions are competitive and difficult to obtain. Be very proactive in developing the skills and experiences international employers seek.
  • Get your foot in the door in domestic positions because many international employers promote current employees into international positions.

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