Spanish

Major / Minor

Amparo Alpañes, Ph.D., associate professor of Spanish and chair of the Department of Modern Languages, teaches a Spanish class in the Howard J. Burnett Center October 27, 2020 on the campus of Washington & Jefferson College.

W&J’s Spanish program offers courses that cover all areas of vibrant, Spanish-speaking cultures, from language and grammar to literature and film. Our faculty are proud to teach students language fluency as well as the cultural awareness to interact with native speakers from communities all over the world.

Because of the range of courses we offer, the Spanish major can easily be tailored to fit the goals and interests of the student. Incoming freshmen must receive a language placement for languages with which they have prior experience to determine their beginning course level for that language.

In addition to opportunities to study abroad, Spanish majors are required to complete a semester abroad, as well as a capstone project, to augment the skills and knowledge they gain in the classroom. Additionally, opportunities for networking include membership in Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society.

Explore Modern Languages

Our Mission

The mission of the Department of Modern Languages is to impart to all W&J students the skills, knowledge, and qualities necessary to communicate and interact in culturally appropriate ways with speakers of languages other than their own. The Department of Modern Languages is, therefore, a key component of a liberal arts education and serves the mission of the College by preparing students to become observant, responsive, and knowledgeable actors in our increasingly multicultural and global society.

Our Programs

  • Chinese

  • Russian

  • Spanish

  • French

  • German

  • Arabic

Alumni Interview: Megan Bevilacqua Bradley Class

Alumni Interview: Daniel Hood and Korey Morgan

Alumni Interview: Samantha Gagliardo and Amber McGee (Languages and Law)

Beyond the Classroom

W&J offers semester-long study abroad opportunities in Spanish-speaking countries including Costa Rica, Ecuador, Spain, and Uruguay, plus summer Magellan projects and study abroad in whichever country students choose. Travel opportunities are also available during Jay Term courses in January or May, and internships and service learning opportunities for students are available in Costa Rica, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Spain and Puerto Rico.

Adam Hrycko ’20, spent the summer of 2019 in Cusco, Peru, completing an internship at the Wiracocha Spanish School. As a Program Expansion and Development Intern, Adam helped the school build US university partnerships by doing translation, and language/content updating for digital media and international marketing materials. This opportunity allowed him to gain professional experience, understand better the cross-linguistic and cross-cultural elements of the language, and eventually led him to pursue a master’s degree in Global Communication and Applied Translation for Spanish.

Unique on-campus opportunities are also part of W&J’s robust program. Eight W&J students joined literary forces in their Spanish class to write a detective novel in their second language. The project allowed them to explore their creativity while connecting with the culture of Spain in a way that deepened their understanding of the country and its people.

Spanish Faculty