Why major in Spanish?

The skills and knowledge you will gain from UPIKE’s Spanish program will increase your marketability as a prospective employee, increase your understanding of Spanish-speaking peoples and cultures, help you become a global citizen and assist you in global travels. Learning Spanish is personally fulfilling and enables you to engage in meaningful service to others. Spanish is the perfect skill to complement any area of study at UPIKE.

Student reading in Allara Library.

Program Distinctives

The Spanish program at UPIKE is geared toward more than just the development of basic language skills. Through courses in subjects like civilization and culture, literature and film, you’ll gain a well-rounded education in Spanish by learning about the history, governments and artistic creations of those who speak the language. The Spanish program facilitates unique opportunities to learn more about the language and related cultural practices outside of the classroom through an annual trip to Festival Latino in Lexington, Ky., invited speakers, poetry readings and the creation of cultural projects for holidays such as the Day of the Dead. This program also prepares you to use the language in personal and professional contexts to build your skills for further learning experiences, such as travel abroad.

Student taking notes at his desk.

Interesting Courses

SPN 315 Hispanic Cinema
This course examines the cinematic arts as they relate to the cultures and literature of the Spanish-speaking world. Course topics may include some of the following: gender, class, ethnicity and race in Hispanic cinema. Discussion of film techniques, narrative structures, major directors, cinematic movements of Spanish, Latin American, and/or U.S. Latino film, and the relationship of film to history, culture and society may be included. All movies are shown with English subtitles, but the class is conducted entirely in Spanish with a focus on content and conversation in the target language.

SPN 316 Contemporary Issues in the Spanish-Speaking World
This course provides an in-depth study of contemporary Hispanic culture. Topics may include cinema, art, family structure, education, current politics, religion, popular culture, language change and language contact. Lecture and discussion are in Spanish.

SPN 317 Spanish for the Professions
This course is an overview of medical, legal and business Spanish for students who may need Spanish in their future careers. The course is conducted in Spanish and may be used to fulfill the requirements for the Spanish major or minor.

Students studying on a bench in Benefactors' Plaza.

Student Learning Outcomes

As a graduate with a UPIKE Spanish degree, you’ll be equipped to make positive interpersonal and business connections while promoting peace and goodwill people domestically and abroad. Additionally, you’ll be able to communicate competently in Spanish, recognize commonalities and differences between cultures, identify important geographical locations in the Spanish-speaking world, complete critical thinking tasks in the Spanish language, utilize research capabilities in your native and Spanish languages, and understand the importance of local and global service.

Career paths in Spanish

Bilingual Educator or Medical Professional
International Businessperson
Law Enforcement Officer
Social Worker

Where Recent Graduates have gone to work or study

Graduates of the UPIKE Spanish program have gone on to further their education or pursue careers in a variety of career fields including counseling, education, healthcare, religion, social work and speech pathology.


“Being bilingual advanced my career opportunities. In the counseling field, that extra set of communication skills allows me to feel more secure in my career. In learning another language, you dive more into a culture and it changes how you perceive the world. Spanish made mine that much brighter.”



Ella Smith-Justice

Associate Professor of Spanish
(606) 218-5049

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