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 Latine or of Hispanic heritage elect to take LLAS/SPAN 205, offered every Spring semester, which is designed specifically for heritage learners of Spanish, that is students who have grown up speaking, listening, reading and/or writing Spanish with family or in their community to various degrees. Some students may speak Spanish at home with their families; others may come from a Spanish-speaking household, but primarily use English to communicate with their family members; and finally, some may speak Spanish at home, but have never taken an academic Spanish course.
  • 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?

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.