Majors Handbook

Students pursuing the major in our department have two options: the Hispanic Studies major and the Romance Languages major.

The Hispanic Studies Major

The Hispanic Studies major allows students to appreciate the cultural and artistic diversity of the Americas and the Iberian Peninsula through interdisciplinary and comparative study. All students are required to take SP305 (or SP312) and SP306, courses that help them advance their written and oral expression skills as well as provide them with a more panoramic and theoretical introduction to cultural studies in Spanish; however, beyond those courses, our curriculum is flexible. Students will take three core courses in the major and select four elective courses in consultation with their major advisors and in accordance with their individual interests.

 Students may also take one of their elective credits in Portuguese language or Topics in Lusophone Culture, or a course approved and designated as CLAC, “Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum”, or in a related field and approved by the Department. Students may select to pursue one of these options for credit.

In their senior year, the “Culminating Project” (SP 433) allows students to further refine their academic writing skills and to reflect on the value of a Liberal Arts education from the perspective of our discipline. Students who are considering graduate study or who have a particular research interest will still have the opportunity to work with a faculty advisor on a thesis project (SP 432) should they wish. This project will be approved in consultation with the faculty advisor and Department Chair. 


  • SP305 or SP312
  • SP306
  • Three Thematic core courses:
  1. SP350 “Transatlantic Studies”
  2. SP360 “Studies of Periodization”
  3. SP370 “Genre Studies”
  • Four 300-level elective courses; may include one CLAC designated interdisciplinary course or one PG designated course or one relevant course taught outside of the department and approved by student petition; may include up to 2 units of transfer credit from non-CC study abroad programs.
  • SP433 Culminating Project

TOTAL: 10 units

Romance Languages Major
(Primary language in Spanish; second language focus in French, Italian or Portuguese)

Primary language focus in Spanish:

  • Two prerequisite courses: 305 (or 312) and 306
  • Four literature or culture courses at 300-level
  • One course for Senior Thesis or Project (432 or 433)

Second-language focus

  • French, Italian or Portuguese: 305 and 2 additional culture or literature courses

Third-language focus

  • 101 level Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese or Latin

TOTAL: 11-12 units

Culminating Project and Thesis

SP433: Culminating Project The culminating project consists of two components: a portfolio of revised essays, including a reflective essay, and an oral presentation. The portfolio is an opportunity for reflection and refinement of both written expression and thematic foci from the perspective of our discipline. Students will work closely with a series of essays written in prior upper-level courses (beyond SP306) to develop a portfolio of closely edited and researched short essays and an extensive final critical reflection. Themes and writing styles included in the portfolio will vary by student. Students will work in consultation with the professor to determine the essays appropriate for revision for the portfolio. The course is generally offered in block 7. At the end of the course, all students will give an oral presentation in the Spanish and Portuguese Department Colloquium.

Detailed Course Components: 

Students will identify 3-5 essays, totaling around 25-35 pages total. These will be written in advanced courses (beyond SP306) that address a variety of theoretical approaches, historical periods, and/or in-depth studies of a variety of genres. In consultation with the professor teaching the course, students will determine areas for refinement, revision and/or expansion of these core essays. This revision process will include peer editing from within the cohort of majors completing the culminating project simultaneously. 

In addition, students will write an extensive final critical reflection (10-12 pages). In this critical essay, students will reflect on the field of Hispanic Studies through the lens of their prior work and in consultation with the faculty person leading the course. This reflection will respond to guiding questions such as: What are the core theoretical approaches in the field of Hispanic Studies? What is the scope of this field of study? What are the questions that most interest the student and what are the methods that they use to find these answers? And, what is at stake in these answers? How is the student positioned with regards to this area study? What questions must they answer about themself in order to frame their studies?

 Finally, all students will give an oral presentation upon completion of the culminating project as part of the Spanish and Portuguese Department Senior Colloquium, an annual event that is open to the CC Community. This oral presentation will be approximately 10 minutes long and will include components of the reflective essay. These oral presentations will be developed in conjunction with the professor teaching the course and rehearsed in advance prior to the public presentation; this will be a graded component of the course.

SP432: Honors Senior Thesis
Students who are considering graduate study who have a specific research interest and a minimum 3.7 GPA in the major may petition to work with a faculty advisor on a Senior Thesis project (SP 432). This petition must be submitted by the end of Block 1 of the senior year. The petition will be written in Spanish or Portuguese, min. 500 words and must include a stated research topic, a research question, and make a clear case for why the student is interested in pursuing a specific research topic. Include a bibliography of primary and secondary sources. The petition will be reviewed by the Department as a whole.

The final thesis will be 40-50 pages in length. The work will be carried out independently under the supervision of a thesis director, ideally a specialist in the area of the student’s topic. The student will produce three drafts of the thesis and meet with the director at least once a week in individual meetings to discuss the draft. The thesis will demonstrate sufficient and clear proficiency in written Spanish, critical analysis of relevant cultural productions, and integrated research in the area of study. It will be presented in the Spanish and Portuguese Department Senior Colloquium, an annual event open to the CC community. Prerequisite: SP409, CO391, CO430, or a pre-approved research methods course in the Humanities.

The student will submit the completed thesis electronically to Digital CC for preservation.

Spanish and Portuguese Department Colloquium

The Colloquium is an opportunity for all Hispanic Studies and Romance Languages Majors to share their research and writing at the culmination of their coursework. The Colloquium takes place in the third week of Block 7 of each year and consists of a series of 10 minute presentations. These presentations will be evaluated by the tenured and tenure-track faculty in the department and will be graded based on the following criteria:

  1. Organization
  2. Clarity of expression
  3. Content 
Report an issue - Last updated: 09/06/2023