Welcome to the Spanish Department! ¡Bienvenidos al Departamento de Español!

The Spanish Department promotes active cultural understanding about the Spanish-speaking world, community engagement at the local and international level, and Spanish as a means of intellectual inquiry. We welcome students of all backgrounds and all abilities into our courses and our community events.

For Non-Majors

  • Non-Spanish majors are welcome in all of our courses.
  • All SPAN courses are taught in Spanish.
  • Many non-majors take the Spanish Placement Exam and follow the results to enroll the appropriate course for their language skills.
  • Many students who identify as Latinx or of Hispanic heritage elect to take Spanish 205, offered every Spring semester, which is designed specifically for bilingual students and students who have had previous exposure to Spanish at home.
  • Students considering spending a semester or a year studying in a Spanish-speaking country are encouraged to take Spanish every semester, as many immersive programs require four or five semesters of Spanish. See Study Away for more information.
  • Many non-majors take Spanish 301 which introduces them to the diverse literature and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world, as well as current debates in the field, research methods, theoretical concepts, and media literacy. Spanish 301 prepares students for advanced writing, analysis, and research in Spanish, and is the prerequisite for all 300 and 400 level Spanish courses.
  • Non-majors who spent all or the majority of their secondary educational experience in Spanish and are thus fluent or near-fluent in Spanish may also take our 300 and 400 level courses, either after completing Spanish 301 or with permission of the instructor.
  • Spanish 202, 205 and all of our 300 and 400 level courses count towards the major.

Considering Majoring?

  • Please visit the About the Major page for an introduction to the major.
  • Please visit the Getting Started in the Major page for more detailed information about starting the major and the gateway course Spanish 301.

For Transfer Students

  • Transfer Credit: Students who transfer to Amherst and wish to receive credit towards the major requirements for previous work must obtain written permission from the Department Chair.

Discover the Spanish Department

Spanish is spoken in 20 different countries, as well as the United States, by over 450 million Spanish speakers. In all of our classes, you'll be practicing your Spanish and studying Spanish cultures from around the world.

Spanish Tertulia: A tertulia is a gathering of people to talk about cultural matters in Spanish.
Spanish Tertulia: A tertulia is a gathering of people to talk about cultural matters in Spanish.