Two of the majors in the Spanish and Portuguese Department are designated capstone majors: Spanish, and Spanish and Community and Culture.
For the Spanish major, seniors complete a capstone seminar that provides unique opportunity to work closely with a faculty member on a focused topic of research. Through their capstone work students are expected to demonstrate mastery of the Spanish language, along with specific skills and expertise acquired in earlier coursework. Additionally, students acquire a working knowledge of scholarly discourse relative to a specialized topic, conceive and execute an associated project, and engage with a community of scholars, presenting their work to peers and helping to further peers’s work through discussion and critique.
For the Spanish and Community and Culture major, undergraduate students participate in community-based experiential learning courses coupled with elective and adjunct courses. Reflective journals, final projects, and in-class presentations are required. Through their capstone work, students should have mastery of the Spanish language, ability to conduct and interpret research to determine the needs of specific communities, critical understanding and ability to apply theories within a service context, sensitivity to diversity and cultural differences, and ability to perform scholarly presentations that tie current issues to research and theory.
Spanish 1 through 3 use Unidos. The method is inductive. Selected examples are given to enable students to inductively grasp the rules and develop their own grammar. This enables students to use language effectively and creatively. The courses are taught entirely in Spanish — students simultaneously learn to understand, speak, read, and write Spanish.
Students with one or more years of high school Spanish who plan to enroll in Spanish 1 through 25 should take the departmental online placement examination. Consult the Schedule of Classes or the department office for more information.
No credit is allowed for completing a less advanced course after successful completion of a more advanced course in Spanish and Portuguese grammar and/or composition.
The departmental honors program is open to majors who have completed a minimum of six upper-division major courses with a 3.7 grade-point average or better in those six courses. Eligibility is verified by the departmental counselor. On the basis of their coursework and special interests, students then consult with a faculty member in that field and formulate a research project that they pursue under the faculty member’s guidance through Portuguese 198A-198B or Spanish 198A-198B.
Portuguese 198A and Spanish 198A are 4-unit courses in which students research and prepare a draft of a thesis on a selected topic; Portuguese 198B and Spanish 198B are 2-unit courses in which students complete the final thesis draft of approximately 25 to 30 pages. Approval of the honors thesis by the faculty mentor is the final requirement for departmental honors. Portuguese 198A-198B and Spanish 198A-198B may not be applied toward the majors.