College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences


The department offers the Spanish Major and the Spanish Minor. The major is essentially a pre-professional degree, preparing students for further study or for work in a variety of settings, domestic and international. The Spanish Minor adds value to many majors, and for this reason is one of the most popular minors on campus. Click through the following tabs for detailed information.

1. Spanish Major

The primary goal of the Spanish major is to equip students—both heritage and second-language learners—with a high level of trans-lingual and trans-cultural competence, preparing them to act professionally in work environments with educated native speakers of Spanish. Through our linguistics courses, students develop detailed knowledge of the intricacies of Spanish, and of language more generally. Our literature courses stress essential skills such as critical reading, writing, argument, and analysis, in addition to the vital cultural touchstones that constitute cultural competence.

Since the inception of the major in 2000, we have a strong record of placement in Spanish Ph.D. programs at campuses of the U.C. system. Our graduates are well prepared to pursue work opportunities internationally, or in transnational companies in the U.S. The Spanish B.A. is especially well suited for students wishing to teach Spanish in middle or high schools, since it provides the subject matter competency necessary to pursue a Single Subject Credential in Spanish (which is done as a fifth year of study in the School of Education at Cal Poly or at another institution).

Double majoring in a language can give you a serious edge on the job market.  This is why, nationwide, the trend of double majoring in languages and literatures has accelerated in recent years (see study).  We welcome double majors into the program, and would be happy to talk with you about your academic situation if this is something that interests you.

Please consult the Spanish Curriculum Sheet at right for further details of our program, including G.E. requirements.

Required Spanish Courses

  • Spanish for Spanish Speakers II SPN 250 or Intermediate Spanish SPN 251
  • Intermediate Spanish Reading SPN 252 or Intermediate Spanish Conversation SPN 253
  • Intermediate Spanish Composition SPN 254
  • Intro to Modern Hispanic Fiction SPN 256 or Business Spanish SPN 260
  • Advanced Spanish Conversation SPN 350/350S
  • Advanced Spanish Composition SPN 351
  • Spanish Civilization SPN 352
  • Latin American Civilization SPN 354 or Contemporary Latin American Civilization SPN 355
  • Survey of Spanish Literature SPN 356
  • Survey of Spanish-American Literature SPN 358
  • Spanish Morphology SPN 370
  • Spanish Phonetics, Phonology and Dialectology SPN 371
  • Spanish for Teachers SPN 401
  • Spanish Syntax SPN 450
  • Spanish Applied Linguistics SPN 451
  • Early Modern Spanish Literature SPN 454
  • Literature of Mexico SPN 455
  • Latin American Women Writers SPN 456
  • History of the Spanish Language SPN 458
  • Spanish Capstone Course SPN 480

Additional Required Courses

  • Structure of Language ENG 320
  • Language Acquisition ENG 323
  • Multimedia Practicum ENG 464


  • 5 additional courses from any department in the university

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2. Spanish Minor

The minor in Spanish provides an ideal complement to wade range of majors: Business, Liberal Studies, Sociology, Agriculture, Hospitality Management, and many others.  Students choose three intermediate language courses, and three upper-division courses of which one must be in literature, one in culture, and one in an area of the student’s choice.


6 courses, distributed as follows. Lower division: Choose 3 of the following classes, one of which must be SPN 254.

  • SPN 250 Spanish for Spanish Speakers II
  • SPN 251 Intermediate Spanish
  • SPN 252 Intermediate Spanish Reading
  • SPN 253 Intermediate Spanish Conversation
  • SPN 254 Intermediate Spanish Composition (REQUIRED)
  • SPN 256 Introduction to Modern Fiction
  • SPN 260 Business Spanish

Upper division: Choose one class from the first group, one from the second group, and a third from any of the 3 following groups:

Group A

  • SPN 356 Survey of Spanish Literature
  • SPN 358 Survey of Spanish-American Literature
  • SPN 454 Early Modern Spanish Literature
  • SPN 455 Literature of Mexico
  • SPN 456 Latin American Women Writers

Group B

  • SPN 352 Spanish Civilization
  • SPN 354 Latin American Civilization
  • SPN 355 Contemporary Latin American Civilization

Group C

  • SPN 350/350S Advanced Spanish Conversation
  • SPN 351 Advanced Spanish Composition
  • SPN 370 Spanish Morphology
  • SPN 371 Spanish Phonetics, Phonology and Dialectology
  • SPN 401 Spanish for Teachers
  • SPN 450 Spanish Syntax
  • SPN 451 Spanish Applied Linguistics
  • SPN 458 History of the Spanish Language

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3. Meet our Faculty

Marta Albalá Pelegrín

Marta Albalá shelfie

Assistant Professor. A native of Zaragoza, Spain, Dr. Albalá Pelegrín holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). She specializes in 16th and 17th century Spanish Iberian Literature, and in Early Modern Theater.

Isabel Bustamante-López

Dr. Isabel Bustamante-López

Professor and Coordinator of Language Programs. A native of Santiago, Chile, Dr. Bustamante-López holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Romance Linguistics from the University of Michigan. Specializing in Spanish Linguistics, she focusses on languages in contact, bilingualism and identity.

Kent Dickson

Kent Dickson

Associate Professor. A native of Seattle, Washington, Dr. Dickson holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Hispanic Languages and Literatures from UCLA. He specializes in Latin American literature of the 19th-21st centuries, particularly Perú and México.

Amàlia Llombart

Amàlia Llombart

Associate Professor. A native of Barcelona, Spain, Dr. Llombart holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Hispanic Languages and Literatures from the University of California, Santa Barbara. A specialist in Spanish Linguistics, she focusses on syntax and Spanish for heritage language learners.

Iris Louis

Lecturer. A native of Santiago, Chile, she holds an M.A. in Spanish Linguistics from U.C. Irvine, and specializes in Spanish language.

Natalia Lyon

Lecturer. A native of Russia, she holds an M.A. in Spanish from Cal State Fullerton. She specializes in Spanish language.

Stella Manley

Stella Manley

Lecturer. A native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, she holds an M.A. in Spanish from Cal State Fullerton. She specializes in Spanish language and composition classes, particularly SPN 254.

Oscar Romero

Oscar Romero at the Palacio de Bellas Artes
Lecturer. A native of Southern California, he holds a Ph.D. in Hispanic Languages and Literatures from U.C. Berkely. He specializes in Latin American and Chicano literature and culture, and Spanish language. He is pictured here at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City.

Daniel Tamayo

Daniel Tamayo

Lecturer. A native of Guayaquil, Ecuador, he holds an M.A. in Spanish Linguistics from U.C. Santa Barbara, and an M.A. in Translation/Interpretation from the Monterrey Institute of International Studies. He specializes in translation and interpretation.

Esther Vogel

Esther Vogel

Lecturer. A native of Honduras, she holds an M.A. in Spanish from Cal State L.A., and specializes in Spanish linguistics and language teaching.

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4. Beyond the Classroom: Study Abroad

A period spent immersed in the language and culture of another place can be a transformative experience. Linguistically, it can lead to rapid improvements in proficiency. Intellectually, it is almost certain to transform the way a student views the world. Personally, it can be a journey that leads one to a more mature and responsible outlook. Study abroad experiences contribute to producing globally-aware, curious, empathetic, citizens of the world.

Two types of programs are available. Those interested in less than a full year can work with the Cal Poly Pomona International Center. Those considering a full year of study abroad (the gold standard) should work with the CSU office of International Programs.

Financial aid does apply to programs run through the both these offices and a study abroad experience can be surprisingly accessible.

We encourage all our majors to consider spending time abroad. All CSU International Programs classes are transferred automatically. For students who have gone on other programs, we will work with you to make sure your classes transfer and are counted toward your major.

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5. Heritage Speakers and Language Study

Many of our students fall somewhere along the heritage speaker spectrum. If this is your situation, there are good reasons for you to want to study Hispanic literature, culture, linguistics and the Spanish language at an advanced level: professional reasons (becoming a professional teacher or translator/interpreter gives you a platform for engagement with the Spanish-speaking Latino community of the Inland Empire); intellectual reasons (fascination with Hispanic literature or linguistics at a deep level); personal reasons (having a deeper connection to one's culture); and political reasons (wanting to engage with one's community in a political way, wanting to take a position of leadership).

Mastering formal registers and written conventions is an integral part of language study. Heritage learners are quite often motivated by the desire to move with greater ease and confidence in professional or formal settings in Spanish, in both speaking and writing. Our classes are designed to increase your bilingual range and literacy.

Our philosophy is non-prescriptive: we seek to validate what you know, and in our linguistics courses we stress the importance of situating such notions as "correct" usage critically.

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