Department of World Languages


student in the Billy
Department of World Languages


  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Undergraduate

125 credits

required for program

Minor Available

125 credits

125 credits

required for program

Minor Available

Become fluent in Spanish and gain an understanding of Hispanic cultures for a 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.

This might be the right degree for you if

  • you want to bring bilingual skills and a cross-cultural mindset to your field of study
  • enjoy traveling
  • want to experience international opportunities

Why study Spanish at Northwestern?

You will spend a semester abroad, gain fluency, and immerse yourself in different cultures. You can 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. You will use Spanish in professional, spiritual, and personal contexts. We encourage you to sharpen your language and leadership skills by tutoring children at local Hispanic churches. You can study Bible exposition courses in Spanish and attend bilingual theater performances. 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 Spanish speaker, 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.

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What degree tracks are offered in Spanish?

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

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.
View Career Guide

internship opportunity in Spain or Costa Rica


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

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

Still have questions about this program or how to apply?

Our team is ready with answers!

Discover the Department of World Languages

Professors at Northwestern are focused on their students first. Our faculty include experts in their respective fields who want to help you grow in your faith while you earn your degree.

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