The goal of the Spanish program at USU is to prepare students for advanced studies in Spanish language, literature, and culture. Spanish majors at USU take extensive language courses where they develop speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. Students also take courses in Spanish and Latin American history and literature, giving them the opportunity to broaden their education.
The faculty in this department have culturally diverse expertise in all aspects and areas of language and literature. Students have access to their knowledge, as well as a language lab and many tutors to help them through their upper-division classes and prepare for a number of exciting careers in government, education, travel, and foreign affairs. Spanish majors gain a solid grounding in another language and culture, which helps them function effectively as members of the international community.
Students also have a chance to complete an international experience component through USU's study abroad program.
- Spanish Teaching: This emphasis is for students who wish to obtain licensure to teach in secondary schools. It includes courses in language history, the interaction of language and society, and teaching methodologies.
This is for the Spanish teaching emphasis only. In order to obtain a secondary teaching license for grades 6-12, students must complete the 35-credit Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP), which includes one semester of student teaching in a public school. This program is administered by USU’s School of Teacher Education and Leadership (TEAL) within the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services. Student must apply to the School of TEAL the semester before taking STEP courses. This is usually the fall of their junior year. Students learn subject content through the Languages, Philosophy, and Communication Studies Department, and spend the last year or two studying education techniques through the STEP program.
Students in the Spanish teaching program are required to select an approved teaching minor in order to expand their career options.
With a degree in Spanish, students may pursue the following careers:
- Translator or interpreter
- Customs worker
- Government translator
- Immigration services
- Language teacher or tutor
- Social services
- International business or development
- Peace Corps
- Tour guide
Spanish Teaching Emphasis:
Spanish teacher in middle school or high school
Career Services provides counseling and information on hundreds of job and internship opportunities and even helps students apply and interview.
In addition to Utah State University’s admissions requirements, the Spanish program has additional requirements:
- New Freshmen: New freshmen admitted to USU in good standing qualify for admission to this major.
- Transfer Students: Transfer students from other institutions and other USU majors need a 3.00 total GPA for admission to this major.
- A Spanish language placement test is available if students wish to bypass beginning-level Spanish classes.
STEP Requirements (Spanish teaching emphasis only): In order to be accepted into STEP, students must go through an application process, which includes the following:
- Complete 60 semester credits with a minimum GPA of 2.75
- Complete certain core courses (see department for more information)
- Complete OPI test and score a minimum of "Advanced Low"
- Complete a speech and hearing test
- Pass the Teacher Education Writing Exam
- Provide an unofficial copy of your transcript
- Pass a criminal background check (this should be done one semester before submitting the application)
International students have additional admissions requirements.
Professional Organizations, Honor Societies, and Clubs
American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages: The ACTFL is the only national organization dedicated to the improvement and expansion of the teaching and learning of all languages at all levels of instruction. ACTFL is an individual membership organization of more than 9,000 foreign language educators and administrators from elementary through graduate education, as well as government and industry.
Phi Sigma Iota: Phi Sigma Iota is the highest academic honor in the field of foreign languages. This honor society recognizes outstanding accomplishment in the study or teaching of academic fields related to foreign language, literature, or culture. These fields include foreign languages, as well as classic languages, linguistics, philology, comparative literature, bilingual education, second language acquisition, and other interdisciplinary programs with a significant foreign language component.
Spanish Ambassadors: This club is dedicated to serving the Spanish-speaking population in Cache Valley, including translating at schools, health fairs, and university events; Spanish fluency is not required.
Spanish Club: The USU Spanish Club is open to any interested student on campus. The club discusses academic topics, informs members of job opportunities, and competes and participates in a number of different activities with organizations around campus.
Medical Unity Club: This club is for students interested in healthcare professions and working with Spanish-speaking communities or helping those who speak primarily Spanish in the United States.
Labs, Centers, Research
With the second oldest undergraduate research program in the nation, USU offers students a wide range of opportunities to gain hands-on research experience. USU’s Honors Program prepares students for excellent graduate programs by helping them build relationships with professors, participate in research projects, take smaller, more intensive classes, and develop leadership skills.
Technology Assisted Language Center: This center serves primarily as a self-paced, language practice facility for students majoring in foreign languages.