Spanish Major

32 units

Mission Statement

The Spanish program seeks to guide student development in Spanish conversation, develop reading and compositional skills, introduce major Spanish language literary works, heighten cultural sensitivity, and encourage creative and reflective thinking with respect to the history and civilization of Hispanic countries, all to better serve God through service to others.


Spanish is one of the most spoken languages in the world, and Los Angeles is one of the world's largest Spanish-speaking cities. There is a growing need for people with linguistic and cultural skills to work in increasingly globalized communities. Indeed, a recent study stated that bilingual speakers earn 10-15 percent more than those who speak only English. The Spanish program is designed to fill this need. It works well as a double-major, with low unit requirements and high compatibility with many career paths. It equips business professionals, healthcare professionals, community workers, journalists—anyone interested in other cultures—to thrive in the diversity of our planet. 

The Spanish major at Azusa Pacific University offers opportunities to serve in local Spanish-speaking communities through internships and hands-on coursework, or to go abroad through international programs in Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Spain. All courses offered in the department are within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and are designed to contribute to a Christian liberal arts education. Upon graduation, APU Spanish majors will have had the opportunity to achieve the following goals:

  • An advanced level of proficiency in the Spanish language in its four basic components: listening, reading, speaking, and writing, as outlined in the ACTFL Guidelines for the Advanced Level of Language Proficiency.
  • Sensitivity and appreciation for the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world, as well as competent functioning within these cultures.
  • Skills that will enable them to search for and find data from unaccustomed bodies of information through the use of their knowledge of Spanish.
  • Adequate competence for expressing intelligent and coherent opinions and observations about the literature produced in the Hispanic world.
  • The ability to evaluate diverse curricula of foreign language instruction and assess its validity for utilization in California schools.
  • Confidence and poise gained through their mastery of the Spanish language, which allows them to function personally and professionally in bilingual settings.
  • A working knowledge of applied linguistics and the science of language and language acquisition.

Such preparation means that APU students will be prepared to enter advanced studies in Spanish and interact with Spanish speakers of varying educational levels, from children to adult professionals.

Off-campus Study

As part of the Spanish language learning experience, Spanish majors and minors are strongly encouraged to study away for one term. The Department of Modern Languages offers study away programs in Costa Rica and Ecuador. Students may choose to participate in these or other available programs. In all cases, students must consult with a department advisor for their classes prior to enrollment and departure. Credit earned through these programs applies to the degree.

Career Opportunities

In addition to teaching, myriad other public contact fields may require some proficiency in Spanish. Foreign student advisors, pastors/ministers, immigration inspectors, translators/interpreters, import/export managers, diplomats, speech pathologists, customs inspectors, social/medical services, law enforcement, international finance and banking, and the rapidly expanding world of international business—these fields and many others increasingly seek candidates who possess Spanish language ability and cultural sensitivity as adjunct career skills. For students who have studied foreign languages in high school and still perform at beginner levels, a Spanish major or minor enables them to acquire the language and culture skills appropriate to a variety of public service applications.

Majors and minors in the Department of Modern Languages must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in all university coursework.


Spanish majors are strongly encouraged to complete one study term abroad and to complete SPAN 201/SPAN 202 or its equivalent prior to departure.

Core Courses23
(23 units beyond SPAN 101, SPAN 102, or equivalent) 1
Intermediate Spanish I
Intermediate Spanish II
Literary Masters 2
Writing 3: Survey of the Literature of the Spanish-speaking World 3
Spanish Capstone Seminar 4
SPAN 320
Civilization of Spain
Latin American Civilization
Conversational Skills3
Select one from the following:
Intermediate Conversation and Writing Abroad (abroad in a Spanish-speaking country)
Spanish Conversation and Community 5
Spanish for Heritage Speakers
Advanced Language-Study Practicum (abroad in a Spanish-speaking country)
Select two from the following list. A course taken to meet the above courses may not also count for elective credit.
Spanish Courses
Cultural History/Travel Study (If taken in Costa Rica or Ecuador Program) 5
Advanced Language-Study Practicum
Politics and Society in Latin America 6
Public Speaking in Spanish 7
Spanish Applied Linguistics
Spanish Language Pedagogy
Special Topics in Spanish (may be repeated for credit)
Global Learning Term coursework (completed anywhere in the Spanish-speaking world)
Family Organization
Global Internship
Community Life
Writing 3: Global Study Project 3
Total Units32

See the General Education Foreign Language Requirement page. Students who are native speakers of Spanish or have 3-4 years of high school Spanish should take the Spanish Placement or CLEP exam to waive elementary Spanish, then consult with an adviser before entering into intermediate or upper-division work.


Meets the General Education Literature requirement. 


Meets the General Education Writing 3 requirement.


Meets the General Education Integrative and Applied Learning requirement.


Meets the General Education Intercultural Competence requirement.


Meets the General Education Civic Knowledge and Engagement requirement.


Meets the General Education Oral Communication requirement.


Meets the General Education Writing 2 requirement.